Bass fishing at its peak at Lake Powell

Shane Spravzoff of Flagstaff, Ariz., this week caught this brace of walleye along with bass, crappie and stripers from the Rock Creek area at Lake Powell. Spring fishing is as good as it gets right now for all species except stripers.  Striper fishing will improve after the shad spawn and boils start.

Lake Elevation: 3,635 asl  
Water Temperature 64-66 F

PAGE, Ariz, April 24 – Bass fishing does not get any better than the success seen in the last week. Spawning large and smallmouth bass are in the shallow rocks and brush. Nests are readily seen in favored coves. Some coves are preferred over others so spend some time looking for nesting bass. Big largemouth up to 7 pounds and smallmouth to 4.5 pounds have been caught recently. Big bass are being caught at an unprecedented rate.

There has been a dramatic rise in surface water temperature in the past few days. Morning water temperature is now 64 degrees instead of 56 seen last week. Young bass are excited about the rapid rise in temperature and seem willing to eat anything put in front of them. Juvenile smallmouth bass are in the rocks, along shallow rock ledges, and willing to chase lures seen from a long distance in the crystal clear water of the main lake.

he entire lake features good fishing. Ranked by recent reports the best spots to fish are the San Juan arm which features the largest bass and biggest catches often exceeding 100 bass per day;  Then midlake from Good Hope Bay to Padre Bay; The Escalante Arm and finally Hite and Wahweap Bay. There are no bad places to be on Lake Powell where bass fishing is concerned.

My best lure advice is to use your favorite proven bait. Some anglers are really good at using plastic grubs while others prefer spinnerbaits.  Fishing is good enough now that changing to unfamiliar lures may be the only way to limit your catch. The old standby lure will be your best bait this week.

Crappie fishing is reaching its peak but crappie are not found as widely as bass. Again the San Juan Arm may be the best spot followed closely by the Good Hope Bay to Hite area.

Walleye fishing is reaching its peak as well with the best spot being from Good Hope Bay upstream until the water turns muddy. Main channel water is murky all the way to Red Canyon but the really muddy water is closer to the Horn near Scorup Canyon. Water color is not even close to the mud that was experienced last year all the way to Bullfrog Bay.  he lake is fishable all the way to North Wash.

Gizzard shad are ever present as they spawn in the clear water in the canyons and coves where water depth is 10-20 feet. Groups of shad are seen chasing through the tree branches. They may be mistaken for a variety of other fish but the silver body and deeply forked tail is a quick way to identify them.

We tried to solve the missing striper mystery this morning. Reports have been spotty with a few fish caught here and there from moving schools. It has been hard to put together a consistent pattern. We know that water is warming rapidly and stripers are healthy with mature fish in spawning condition. The only time stripers are finicky eaters is during the spawning period. Since spawning occurs at night it is logical that activity level picks up during the night. We ventured out in Wahweap Bay at first light and trolled the ever consistent Lucky Craft pointers in 10-25 feet of water near brush. Results were very satisfying with 8 mature stripers caught in an hour.  When the sun came up we made sure to fish in the shade. Full sun on the water slowed the bite considerably. The second part of the pattern was to “go small”. We used the smallest Pointers available which were barely 3 inches long. Please try the early morning, late evening or night fishing along shore near your camp to see if that enhances the catch rate for striped bass.


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