Lake Powell Fish Report – May 29, 2012 Lake Elevation: 3636
Water Temperature 63-70
Striped bass fishing is now perking up. The spawn is over allowing adult stripers to focus on finding food instead of spawning. “Food” is quite small as shad, their primary forage item, are less than an inch long. These tiny shad live very near the surface so stripers skim the surface to effectively feed on their tiny prey. These surface feeding (slurps) events can be readily observed by anglers. Approach the slurp quickly but stop the boat at least one long cast away so skittish fish do not spook. When in range, cast a small surface lure, crappie jig, plastic grub or spoon to the leading fish in the straight line of stripers advancing across the surface. Lures that hit in the middle of the group often spook and scatter the school. Cast to the leaders for best results.
The best lure for fishing slurps is a small spoon such as a Kastmaster. Spoons are heavy enough to reach a rapidly moving school but can be fished close to the surface if stripers stay on top or it can quickly fall to deeper water and follow stripers as they descend.
Significant surface feeding events were observed right after the big Memorial Day wind storm abated. The best reports came from the San Juan where stripers slurped nonstop from dawn to afternoon on May 28th. Stripers were not able to feed effectively near the surface during the wind so they took full advantage of little shad as soon as the wind stopped. Other slurps have been seen in Warm Creek and Navajo Canyon in the southern lake. It is expected that slurping activity will increase lakewide over the next two to three weeks. Look for surface feeding action while cruising the lake or while fishing for other species for best results.
The other species that may provide some exciting fishing while waiting for stripers to pop on top include largemouth and smallmouth bass. Water temperature has dropped back into the 60s following the wind storm. The current temperature is in the preferred range for bass and has increased their activity level once more. Bass fishing picked right up after the wind storm as well.
Crappie are still active in the tree lined shallows about 10-15 deep in the backs of many canyons. The surprise fish of the season is the bluegill. They live in the trees right next to crappie and have been readily caught this spring. Small bluegill are seen in most brushy areas but the bigger, brightly colored adults are often in deeper water at the end of a rocky point where the brushy flat falls quickly into the depths. Live worms on small hooks suspended by a bobber are a sure thing for catching hand-sized bluegills.
Walleye are still being caught on the trolling pattern with shallow running lures clipping the tree tops where bottom depth is 10-20 feet. Walleye are an ambush feeder. They wait in the cover of trees for bait to swim by and then strike like a snake at a fish target or lure. They can also be taken on tube jigs fished on the bottom at 10-25 feet and trolled bottom bouncer rigs with a live night crawler as terminal tackle. Fishing success continues to be delightful in this year to remember on Lake Powell. All of this and now BOILS.