OUT: Lake Powell Report March 11, 2009
PAGE, Ariz. — Lake elevation: 3,611 msl; water temperature: 50-52 F.
Water temperature is still stalled in the low 50s. Warming that triggers bass activity, walleye spawning, and striper feeding is still anticipated but not factual yet.
On the bright side, you haven’t missed any lakewide fishing opportunities.
Specifically, the only bright spot is striper fishing in the upper lake between Hite and Good Hope. Shad are still abundant in the upper lake and stripers are there to take daily advantage of any shad misstep.
Water temperature is still limiting feeding and excessive movement but no self-respecting striper will allow a shad-looking morsel to swim close to his snout without reaching out and touching it.
Such was the case recently. An angler reported readily catching stripers at the common mouth of White, Farleys and Trachyte Canyons. That area is affectionately called “striper city” by the regular Hite anglers.
A return trip to the same area produced no stripers but the angler fished his way downlake to Good Hope Bay and found willing fish in the back of Red Canyon.
The technique was flat-line trolling with jointed megabaits in “shallow” water. Megabaits tuned properly will troll at 20-25 feet. If fished just above the bottom, stripers that have come shallow to feed will take a pass at baits that come in proximity.
They won’t chase far but a lure that occasionally scuffs the bottom in 22-feet of water is hard to resist.
One day last week over 100 stripers were caught in the back of Red Canyon. The next day the fish may have moved to another reef or another location.
They could also go deep and not feed every day.
The pattern is most important and the individual location less so. All winter, trolling with a deep diver has produced a few stripers for patient anglers. It is a good technique that allows graphing and locating while offering the fish a hook to bite if it is so inclined.
Other lures that will work for deep trolling are deep Thundersticks and deep-down Husky Jerks.
Shallower running baits can be fished deep with down riggers, leaded line, or by adding weight in front.
Another variation I seldom pass up is dropping spoons to striper schools located on the graph while trolling.
A spoon placed mid-school can start instant feeding activity. Stripers may continue to bite as long as a spoon is in the school or a hooked fish is being played.
What often happens is all anglers get fish in the boat at the same time allowing the remaining fish to lose interest and get away.
The worst thing that can happen is for a hooked fish to break off and swim away with lure in mouth and the rest of the school in pursuit.
When that happens it’s time to troll again to locate a new school.