Late-summer rains improve fishing at Lake Powell
PAGE, Ariz. – Late-summer weather patterns bring much-needed rain to Lake Powell, not enough to offset the lake’s decline of a foot per week (3,592.5-feet elevation as of Monday) but enough to offer cooler water temperatures, which were 77-81 degrees reported Monday.
The result is fishing for stripers and smallmouth bass remains exceptional.
It’s wise to remember that although the water level is 107 feet below full, the reservoir still is more than 460 feet deep at the dam.
Life goes on for the lake’s aquatic residents, who do the best they can to find their niche in the sandy coves or in the depths of the steep lake.
Adult stripers are holding at about 30 feet, where cooler temperatures make life more pleasant for these hungry fish. Add some anchovy chum to the water, and stripers come running.
Best fishing spots are still the same with old favorites like the Dam, Power Plant intake, and steep walls in Padre Bay and Navajo Canyon.
Hungry striper schools can be found in just about any canyon lakewide by graphing along the canyon walls while looking for schools and/or just by chumming a few spots and waiting for fish to show up.
Some fine points that make finding striper schools easier:
■ Fish along the shade line created by a steep cliff wall.
■ Target a fractured cliff wall or small isolated rock slide along a shaded steep wall.
■ Search near smooth slick-rock humps at 30 feet with deep water all around.
Smallmouth bass are now found most often along steep cliff walls in the shade, much like stripers.
A rock pile or single boulder along the edge provides shade and structure in which bass hide and feed. Drop-shot-rigged shad-shaped worms provide the best bait and presentation to get down to the bass zone. The 20-30-foot bottom contour is the prime fishing zone.
Few game fish are shallow now with the exception of largemouth bass. These predators have moved to their preferred dense leafy cover in the rich weed growth found in the back of V-shaped sandy coves.
Largemouth will be on the deep-water side of the weeds looking for small forage fish hiding in a few inches of water between the shore and the first set of weeds.
For more Lake Powell information, visit http://www.wayneswords.com.