Light line, smaller lures solve tough fishing at Lake Powell
Lake Elevation: 3636
Water Temperature 68-73 F
PAGE, Ariz., June 6 – My weekly fishing trip was one day after a full moon and a big windstorm. I wasn’t expecting much but was pleased to find cooperative smallmouth and striped bass.
Stripers were feeding on plankton near the surface at the edge of the brush line. They seemed to be slightly deeper than last week with most hits coming where bottom depth was 25-30 feet. Every time we trolled into shallower water, pesky smallmouth would whack our Lucky Craft Bevy Shad lures. In two hours of fishing we caught 12 smallmouth, 7 stripers and a walleye.
We were hoping to get a school of small stripers located by trolling and then cast to them allowing us to catch yearling stripers until we got tired. But it did not work that way. It turns out these stripers were a bit fussy. We trolled two rods with similar lures but the lure tied to light line (6-pound test) was much more effective than the rod with 12-pound test. That worked great until we hooked the big one. We saw the 5–pound striper turn when it neared the boat and then run away grinning with a Bevy shad in his mouth. We missed the big one but caught more 18-inch stripers than we did last week. Looks like bigger stripers are starting to show up in the southern lake.
Fishing Lesson: When fishing is tough, use lighter line and smaller lures for timid fish. (But be prepared for the consequence of losing more lures while catching more fish!)
We were searching for boils but did not see any from Wahweap to Rock Creek. We arrived back at the dock at 11 a.m. only to get a phone call at noon saying stripers were slurping everywhere from the Castle Rock Cut to the main channel at Buoy 12. Slurps are most likely to be seen from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Now with a bright moon evening slurps will be much better than morning.
Slurps are increasing lakewide. They are showing up in the evening in Bullfrog Bay closer to the main channel than the marina. Bigger stripers are slurping in Good Hope Bay and the San Juan. Four pound stripers are eating slightly larger shad in the productive inflow waters. Shad in the main lake are just an inch long or smaller. Expect more boils to occur over the entire lake when shad size doubles to 2 inches in July.
Walleye are now caught less frequently than they were in May. They are feeding more often at night and in low light and less during the day. Those that are being caught in the day time are smaller yearlings. Largemouth and crappie are still found in the shallow trees but they are now caught in dwindling numbers as well. Catfish and bluegill catch is increasing to make up for the declining catch of other species.
Lake Powell offers a great variety of species to choose from. It seems there is a fish to please everyone.