Summer brings hot fishing to Lake Powell

Cayen Foye, 7, from Flagstaff, Ariz., recently enjoyed catching catfish, sunfish, bass and stripers while camping in Iceberg Canyon at Lake Powell. The water is now warm enough (80 F) for swimming and boarding but fishing continues to be a really cool family adventure.

Lake Elevation: 3,638 msl
Water Temperature 77-83 F

PAGE, Ariz. — Summer has arrived!  Water temperature on the surface at Stateline Ramp early this morning was 80 degrees.  Fish are undaunted by the warm water and continue to provide great sport with only minor adjustments in fishing techniques. Lake level has now stabilized.

Stripers are really showing off.  Small pods of slurping fish are seen constantly from Wahweap to Good Hope Bay. The visual display is awesome, the chase exhilarating.  Return to the fish cooler is somewhat less.

During full moon, slurps were best on calm evenings and during mid day. With the moon now waning early morning fishing will improve.  The secret to catching fish from slurps is casting a tiny shad imitator in front of the rapidly moving school and allowing the lure to swim into view of the lead fish. When striper pods only surface once it is very difficult to move the boat in range and cast while the fish are still feeding on top. The game changes when the same school will resurface two or more times.  Then it can be determined which way fish are headed and the boat positioned to be in casting range when the school comes up. At that point surface lures, rattle traps, flies and spoons will be consumed at about an equal rate.  If I could only use one lure right now it would be a small spoon.  If the school stays up or resurfaces cast the spoon beyond and reel it quickly through the school.  If the fish go down then let the spoon free fall as the fish descend.  This is the only bait that has the versatility to stay with the school no matter their intent.

If filling the cooler with stripers is the goal then bait fishing is still the best bet. Copious chum is required to keep a resting school interested. Steep main channel and main canyon walls now harbor the schools of larger stripers that are patently waiting for larval shad to grow big enough to provide meals for larger stripers that can only swim in the warm surface zone for a very short time.

Bass fishing has moved to the basement. Warm surface water has forced forage and bass down to the 15-30 foot mark. Tweak techniques slightly to present the bait in an irresistible manner. Split shot and drop shot rigs are now the best techniques to present plastic grubs and senkos to hungry smallmouth bass. Rigged in this manner the weight hits the bottom while the plastic bait is suspended and remains motionless for a time. Live worms presented in this manner will work on all game fish that swim in the lake.

Catfishing is superb now on worms, shrimp, chicken liver, sardines or table scraps. Bluegill will congregate under your shady boat hoping the prop wash will stir up some food.  Kids of all ages will love using flies or blood worms on tiny hooks to catch curious, tenacious sunfish.


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