It’s a great time to check out Lake Powell’s striper boils
PAGE, Ariz. — Fishing is improving over the length of the lake as fisheries respond to improved habitat and forage.
With water levels rebounding and spawning habitat returning, a new generation of bass and stripers is responding to the resurgence in lake conditions.
More striper boils are seen each day, and bass are being caught with more regularity. The best locations in the southern lake include the main channel near the mouth of Navajo Canyon, Gunsight Canyon main channel, Last Chance coves about halfway up the canyon and main channel from West Canyon to Wetherill.
Boils, where stripers break the surface as they feed on schools of shad, are most active during the first two hours in the morning and the last hour in the evening.
Stripers move quickly, feeding and then going down to regroup before surfacing once more.
This week the boils moved closer to the canyon walls as stripers trapped shad in places where there is no escape and feeding is easier for the predators.
Other spots to try, where the boils are up a bit longer, are near the mouth of the San Juan and from Cha Canyon bay to Neskahi bay.
The best time is early morning and late evening.
Headed to the north lake? The best action is from the Horn to Trachyte Canyon.
Again, early and late are the best times to find surface-feeding fish.
During the rest of the day there are still fish to be caught, and in the end more fish can be caught deep than on the surface.
To start, chase a boil, and then when they quit, start trolling and graphing the bottom structure. In the backs of canyons and coves look for suspended shad schools surrounded by other fish traces.
Toss out a floating marker and continue to troll, hoping for a hookup. If no fish are caught trolling, return to the marker and drop spoons, bucktail jigs or plastic grubs to the bottom.
Game fish are schooled near large shad schools. It is possible to catch bass and stripers under shad schools. Bass will be in large groups instead of randomly scattered along the shoreline.
On some days, trolling midrange lures like Shad Raps or Pointers is the best option. On other days, the Kastmaster may be the best bet.
Keep changing lures until the favored pattern for the day is discovered. Trolling might work well, or fishing the bottom in likely spots seen on the graph may be best.
The choice is up to the fish, and as anglers we have to respond to what the fish are doing if we want a successful catch.
Fishing is more challenging in these ideal conditions when fish do not have to work to eat, but the satisfaction of catching fish now is very rewarding.
Do not just use the same old techniques. Get out of your comfort zone and try a new approach. Use different lures and fishing techniques to find what the fish want.
You will be surprised at your reward at the end of the day.