Rising Lake Powell makes fishing a bit harder

Kyle Heffelfinger caught this nice largemouth bass on a white spinner bait in the stick-ups on a smoke-colored double-tailed hula grub. Bass fishing continues to be good but walleye ands stripers are also causing some fishing excitement.



Lake Elevation: 3,623 msl
Water Temperature 63-69 F

PAGE, Ariz. — Lake Powell is coming up at a rate of 3-4 inches per day which makes fishing the shoreline a bit more difficult. In these conditions bass are still very active but it is necessary to fish deeper water.  It is best to cast to the edge of a drop off instead of the sandy flat that may look quite promising. The row of trees will begin to disappear with only a few stickup limbs to mark their presence.

That may be helpful in fishing for largemouth as weedless rigged baits can now be fished straight down under the boat and through the tree branches.  Approach likely looking tree groves quietly and slowly to disturb the area as little as possible before dropping the bait into the brush.  Largemouth bass and crappie are still in the trees and will react to lures worked gingerly through the branches.

Smallmouth bass are easier to catch.  It’s a sure thing to find a small rock slide on a vast expanse of slick rock.  A small patch of rocky habitat collects bass magnetically.  Bigger bass are now deeper (20-35) than when they were spawning. Find open water shoals, and reefs and let a plastic tube or grub (1/8 to 3/8 ounce) descend along the deep water edge until a bass finds it. Bass will feed on top of the shoal and then drop over the edge to deeper water. First try casting to the top of the reef and then into deep water along the edge for best success.

Striped bass are staged for spawning.  Giant schools are congregated in isolated areas in almost every canyon area.  Find a school by graphing and trolling. Fish are most active right at dusk.  Once located the schools should remain in the area until the spawning event occurs. They can be caught from the resting school on anchovies or hard plastic crankbaits, plastic swim baits or flies like Mylar Clowser minnows. Twilight is the best time to fish for stripers but they can be caught periodically throughout the day.

There is a large school of stripers in Padre Bay southeast of Cookie Jar Butte. But stripers are present in all the canyons and finding your own school would be the best bet. Look along Moki Wall out of Bullfrog.  Some stripers have been caught near the dam and Power Plant intake but not in numbers reminiscent of years when forage is less. Stripers tend to return to the same spots annually. Try areas that have been good producers in previous years. This is a good time to try anchovy bait.

Walleye are making a strong come back. Fishing success is the best seen in over a decade. Standard walleye night crawler worm harnesses and bottom bounces are best but simply trolling a crankbait at a depth of 12 foot over submerged trees 15 feet deep in murky water is working well. Windy afternoons create mudlines favored by feeding walleye. Cast soft plastic bass baits into the mudline and drag them back slowly for a chance at tasty walleye.


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