Fishing good at Lake Powell in spite of rising water

John Leach of Page, Ariz., shows off an early morning largemouth bass he recently caught from Warm Creek Bay in Lake Powell. Leach was using a 5-inch Senko. Bass, walleye and striper fishing continues to be outstanding on the huge lake.

Lake Elevation: 3,635 msl
Water Temperature 69-75 F
PAGE, Ariz. — Lake Powell rose 5 feet since the last report one week ago. Daily inflow is currently near 85,000 acre feet per day.  Fishing remains good despite rapidly rising water and interesting weather patterns.

Smallmouth bass are ever-present.  Just drop a plastic grub along the breaking edge of rocky structure for constant hookups from smaller fish. Rocky points and ledges are good but the best structure is off shore in open water where a shallow island has just gone under water. Look for yellow water in the sea of clear blue in the main lake.  Fish the edges where the blue and yellow water meet remembering that two weeks ago anything shallower than 10 feet was dry land.  For larger fish let the plastic bait go deeper to 25 and even 35 feet.

Largemouth bass and walleye are hanging in submerged tree tops. Bass are expected to be there.  Fish a tube or senko in the submerged branches.  Find alley ways for safe retrieval lanes. The key is to work these baits slowly with great patience while imagining a bass studying the bait and decided whether to strike or not. Large bass up to 6 pounds continue to be caught on a daily basis.

Walleye have found trees to be a perfect ambush site for feeding opportunities on shad and sunfish. Submerged tamarisk groves are often of uniform height. I found that trolling lures within a foot of the tree tops provides consistent walleye action.  My bevy shad was diving to tree top level, but not hanging up, where bottom depth was 17 feet. A zigzag pattern was necessary to keep the lure in the strike zone as depth rose and fell on the trolling course. A deeper/shallower running lure would require a different bottom depth but trail and error will allow understanding of proper trolling depth.  If the lure hangs in tree tops use a deeper bottom depth.  The walleye reward makes the trolling challenge worthwhile.

Stripers have begun the morning slurping ritual. At 6 a.m. (MST) small schools hit the surface to feed on larval shad. They slurp for a few seconds and then are gone again. A school will surface a few times and then go deep until they choose to come up again. There are sporadic slurps throughout the day.  These fish are not often catchable.  A very small lure like a Clouser minnow fly will be taken but it is hard to put the boat in position to deliver a fly to a quick moving school.  Shad are growing each day and within two weeks they will be big enough for stripers to accept surface lures.  Then the fun begins with daily boiling action.

For now when stripers are not slurping they will react to sardines/anchovies cut up in small pieces and chummed near a resting school. Catches of 20-50 fish have been reportedly caught on bait this week.

So far 2010 has been provided phenomenal fishing.  Looks like that will continue with significant striper boils during the summer months.  Fishing Lake Powell is really a lot of fun.


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