Best fishing at Lake Powell is uplake

Evan Archer, 15, of Abiquiu, N.M., fished for stripers with his grandfrather in Iceberg Canyon at Lake Powell. It was a trip of lifetime for the youngster. These fish were caught on bait but now similar catches can be had by fishing with surface lures for boiling fish in the main channel.

Lake Elevation: 3,660 msl

Water Temperature 80-85 F

PAGE,, Ariz. – The strict division between good fishing uplake and bad fishing downlake remains in place. The best fishing spots from last week include the main channel from Buoy 92-98 and the backs of the canyons near Hite. Shad are present in the relatively clear water of the channel where they have abundant plankton to eat. Stripers find shad schools feeding near the surface and drive them to the surface where shad are disadvantaged and can be consumed more efficiently. Shad size is still small which equates to stripers eating in quick bites followed by a dive into deep water and then a return to the surface some distance away. This is frustrating to anglers if stripers only come up once. The key to catching them is to be in casting range when they resurface the second or third time. If they come up in range catching success is high. If they only surface once then be prepared for more chasing than catching.

Near Hite, water clarity in the channel is murkier than that in the canyons. So look in White, Farleys and Trachyte Canyons to find cooperative stripers. The same rules apply. If they resurface in the same area catching prevails, if not the cooler remains empty.

Shad and stripers exhibit different feeding behavior each day. Some days they are very aggressive and stay up for long periods. But normally there is a daily timing pattern. Right now the pattern is better, stronger, higher quality boils in the evening hours. In the hot spots near Bullfrog anglers are catching up to 25 stripers in the morning and then 50 or more in the evening. There may be a mid-day boil but reports are random and not repeatable. If only fishing one time period, evening is the time to choose.

Fishing for all species out of Wahweap is challenging. Lockjaw is common although both smallmouth and largemouth bass are caught on main outside points as fish wait for a shad school to swim by. Fishing will improve in the south soon, as the lake is now slowly declining and bass will be able to find a home range where they can hang out their shingle and spend some time. The rapid rise in lake elevation has covered so much inviting brush that largemouth are scattered over a very wide area. Anglers are reporting finding largemouth schools and catching a ton of fish only to go back the next day and find none. Fishing will remain hit-or-miss for the next week or two and then improve dramatically. Look for great fishing lakewide in September as shad and sport fish numbers are high.

Remote locations of the San Juan, Escalante and Hite will be the first areas to show improved fishing. Right now the best bet is to go to Bullfrog or Hite and chase evening boils. I really wish that was closer for me and I live at Lake Powell. I will keep watching and impatiently waiting so I can let you know as soon as fishing on the south end improves.


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