Powell at summertime high in elevation and fishing success
With the summer fishing season nearing its mid-point, Lake Powell has topped out at 3,609 feet in elevation and will soon begin its annual decline.
That’s the latest word from Utah fisheries biologist Wayne Gustaveson on his Lake Powell fishing site, wayneswords.com.
What the rest of the summer will bring is steady fishing success and pristine beaches, Gustaveson said.
“The bright side of this picture is that brush and drift-wood cluttered camping and recreational beaches will become pristine for the rest of the summer as water level declines,” he said. “The slow decline will stabilize fishing success and set the stage for awesome topwater fishing during the rest of July and August.”
The submerged brush will provide cover for the all-important young shad, which are the foundation of the lake’s food pyramid.
Gustaveson said the peak of the topwater fishing season will come when the lake drops to 3,603 feet and the brush comes out of the water and is no longer available to protect shad.
“Water level from 3,603-3,605 elevation should be the ideal time to catch bass and stripers on surface lures,” he said.
Fishing in the southern lake slumped during the recent full moon, with the best angling at Bullfrog and Halls marinas, with night fishermen catching 2-3 pound stripers under the lights.
Gustaveson said daytime fishing success is now recovering lakewide as small stripers are chasing small shad on the surface over the entire lake.
Topwater lures fished at dawn and dusk are producing bigger bass and largemouth can be caught open water when they gather with a school of slurping stripers.
“The ideal bass fishing experience results when stripers drive shad into a shallow brushy cove,” Gustaveson said. “It is great fun to catch stripers on topwater lures while they are actively engaged. Continue to work topwater lures near brush to target largemouth bass after the boil subsides.”
Also, Utah Department of Transportation officials said Thursday the ferry connecting Utah State Route 276 between Bullfrog Marina and Hall’s Crossing is back in business and has returned to its summer schedule of providing four round-trip crossings per day.
The ferry fee depends on the size of the vehicle, starting at $10 for foot passengers and bicyclists.