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Lake Powell Utah Fish Report

Information compiled by Wayne Gustaveson,


Attention: Lake Powell is infested with quagga mussels. Protect other Utah waters by cleaning and draining the water from your boat before leaving Lake Powell. Your boat must be dried for 18 days before launching in another water. If you plan to launch soonet, a professional decontamination is required. Locate a decontamination station and learn about quagga mussels.

Lake Powell


Lake elevation: 3,629 feet

Water temperatures: 76–79°F

Lake Powell fishing is always amazing. While working on the lake this week, my goal was to get to Good Hope Bay to repeat the fantastic boils I experienced on my previous trip, but wind has complicated fishing all week. My first stop was the San Juan, where we expected a few striper boils. We did not expect the magnum boils that developed along the north wall of Neskahi Bay on the morning of September 19. Active stripers were leaping high out of the water and hitting our surface lures consistently. If they went down for a few minutes, we just dropped spoons and caught more until they returned to the top. We had to leave them boiling to head uplake for the Good Hope Bay experience.

Cooper Sparks caught a lot of bass by dropping shad shaped plastic worm to the bottom near a quick-falling, brushy shoreline.

Photo courtesy of Wayne Gustaveson.

More wind greeted us at Good Hope Bay, and we only found one short, small boil. The next morning we ran all the way to White Canyon and did not see anything but a few single stripers hitting the surface. We saw very few boils from September 16 to 20.

What does this mean for boils this week? There will be boils lakewide, but the timing and location are not assured. Stripers are very fat and aggressive, and are constantly chasing shad — but much of that is happening in deeper water now. Instead of just scanning the surface, it is more important to watch the graph to find resting striper and shad schools in deeper water. You can catch these fish in 30 to 90 feet of water on spoons, downrigger trolling and even on bait.

My plan for the rest of the 2017 fishing season is take three rods. Attach a surface lure to one, a spoon on the next and a plastic shad-shaped worm on the third. With this combination, you can catch fish in any location of any canyon on Lake Powell. Stripers will hit surface lures and spoons depending on their depth and location. Smallmouth bass will crush the plastic bait.

My goal for the rest of the year will be to look for surface action, but it is fine to catch bass and stripers while scanning for a boil. Here is what to expect over the length of the lake:

Southern Lake: Spoons will be the most effective striper lure from Wahweap to Rainbow. Stripers are moving toward the backs of canyons. Rock Creek has the best recent reports from the backs of the three canyons. Bass are hitting well on the breaking edge of brushy points where the depth quickly falls from 12 to 25 feet.

San Juan: Expect striper boils in Cha, Wilson Creek and Neskahi Bay and uplake to the Great Bend. Spoons will work consistently in most canyons from the mouth of the side canyon to about half way back. Bass fishing in the San Juan is unsurpassed lakewide.

Escalante: Striper boils and spooning will be best from 50 Mile Canyon to Cow Canyon. Smallmouth fishing is very predictable on every rock slide in the main canyon.

Bullfrog: Spooning is the best striper technique. Start at Dome Rock in Bullfrog Bay and travel as far as Iceberg and Slick Rock downstream or Moki to Hansen Creek upstream. Rincon is awesome for bass fishing.

Good Hope Bay to Hite: Boils will start up again but the start date is unknown. Until then, use spoons to catch a lot of stripers. Trachyte Canyon to White is my best guess, but the water color is murky. It may be better to spoon in clear water from Good Hope downstream. I wish I could pin this down better but I did not find a consistent pattern during the day I was there. I saw my best boil in Popcorn Canyon across from Ticaboo.

Have fun fishing now that summer is over and autumn has arrived. There will be some monster boils at random times on random days lakewide, but you'll catch more stripers from deep schools that you graph on the bottom while waiting for the lake to boil.

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