Information compiled by Wayne Gustaveson, www.wayneswords.com
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 elevation: 3,633 feet
Water temperatures: 79–83°F
Lake Powell is still warm on the surface (79–83°F), active stripers are sporadically boiling lakewide and smallmouth fishing is improving dramatically.
Photo courtesy of Wayne Gustaveson.
Striped bass are boiling over the length of the lake. The boils are larger and last longer from the mouth of the San Juan to Hite. There are commonly many schools that come to the surface and feed on shad for extended periods occurring both morning, mid-day and evening. When stripers are actively feeding on top, it is possible for anglers to stay within casting range of the schools as they pop up and down often. Sometimes they come up out of range, but other times they are close enough to make a short cast and catch many fish in a short time. One group of anglers caught over 100 stripers during a morning of fishing.
Be aware, though, that stripers often take a day off. They can boil prolifically in one spot two days in a row and then be missing completely on the third day. When they don't show up, spend time looking for another active group. Heading north from Bullfrog may be the best way to find another active school, but boils occur randomly and can be hard to predict. When stripers do not come to the surface as expected, keep a rod ready to cast while traveling up or down the lake. When the fish start to boil, get in range quickly and cast to the feeding fish. They will go down quickly and then pop back up close to spot where first seen. It is wise to travel in a pattern between the spots where you've previously seen boils. Stripers can miss a day and then come back up in the same spot where they were found a few days ago.
The boil pattern in the southern lake is very similar to that reported uplake. The exception is that boils are less abundant, quicker and the fish take more days off. On my trips uplake, I often see a few quick boils in only a spot or two. I can catch 10 to 20 fish instead of 50 to 100.
The great news lakewide is that smallmouth bass are feeding actively and are easy to catch. They were missing in action during the first part of the month. The declining lake level has allowed them to find the habitat and forage they like and to stay in it. Their prime location is along a shallow shoreline covered with brush. It is possible to find smallmouth along the tall main channel walls or in rocky coves, but the most consistent spot is along sandy flats with brush. I took my young grandson fishing and trolled along the brushy shoreline of West Canyon and Neanderthal with a lure that ran at 12 feet over the brushy bottom at 20 feet. Smallmouth were holding near the tree tops and were very excited to attack my shad lure (2.5-inch Live Target, Threadfin Shad Silver Bronze) as it swam past their bush. He caught a lot of bass.
Trolling over tree tops is a great way to find walleye as well. Now that shad are abundant, it is best to fish for walleye at first and last light. Walleye prefer to feed at night in summer conditions, but they are fat and healthy and you can catch them by trolling and casting.
Catfish are another night prowler. They are easy to catch off a sandy beach near camp or where your houseboat is parked for the night. Fish using some table scraps on a (#4) circle hook behind the boat.
Bluegill and green sunfish are active now and often use a parked houseboat for shade. Take the kids to the back of the houseboat. Put a Gulp Minnow or small worm on a tiny hook and catch some sunfish. There are still lots of things to do at Lake Powell.(08-15-17)