Conditions change as summer ends at Lake Powell

Deborah Mathis of Colorado Springs caught her first striper followed quickly by a bunch more while fishing with her boyfriend near Bullfrog on beautiful Lake Powell. I think she is now hooked on fishing. Catching stripers on the surface will do that. Fishing is improving lake wide as the weather cools.

Lake Elevation: 3,654 asl              
Water Temperature 78-83 F

PAGE, Ariz. – Lake Powell has kicked off the covers. Surface water temperature first thing in the morning has dropped from 83 to 78 in the past few days. The warmest water in the afternoon has dropped from 88 down to 83. These are small steps but the lake is now headed in the right direction. Night time air temperatures are now in the 60s. Water level dropped only one foot as the large outflow was curtailed to a steady state flow of 15,000 CFS. Expect the smaller flow released through the dam to continue through the month of September.

All of these environmental adjustments are not lost on the fish. There have been significant adjustments in where fish are positioned and what anglers must do to catch them. The most important information is that stripers are no longer boiling at Hite. The easy pickings found near the launch ramp last week has quieted temporarily. Boils are still found in the upper lake but the action has now moved downstream.

Anglers now have to go down lake a few miles to White and Trachyte where individual fish splashes have replaced boils. Surface lures thrown immediately to a splash ring will often catch fish but trolling with deep diving lures puts many more fish in the cooler. The best boil concentration is found in Good Hope Bay. Most of the surface events are quick making it necessary to chase many boils before catching fish. But the excitement is awesome. Good Hope is the best spot this week.

There are some boils near Bullfrog centered near the Halls houseboat buoy field. Scattered boils may be seen at many different locations both upstream and down from Bullfrog. Again look for isolated splashes both morning and evening which indicate stripers feeding on top. Trolling works better for filling the cooler in these conditions but surface fishing is more exciting.

There will be much repositioning and relocating as water conditions and temperatures change. Expect big changes as cooling continues and fall weather exerts a stronger hold on the lake. Expect daily changes now with fishing improving in the main lake. Hey! There may even be a striper caught near Wahweap in the coming weeks.

Smallmouth bass have been the first fish to respond in the southern lake. They are being steadily caught from Padre Bay to the San Juan on drop shot plastic baits at 20-30 feet. The best lure has been the Yamamoto shad shaped worm fished about 12 inches off bottom.

It’s been a long hot summer. But conditions are changing and fishing is improving. The shad population is strong and fishing success will improve in the short term and be excellent all the way through the cold weather in December.


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