Warming conditions make it easier to catch Lake Powell fish
Lake Elevation: 3,618 msl
Water Temperature 52-60 F
PAGE, Ariz. – It seems April weather is always the same. There is some warming and when it seems it will actually get warm another cold blast follows. Base water temperature was 52 again this morning for the second consecutive week after a big wind storm. But the next time it warms it will be for real – I promise, honest, for sure, well maybe, I hope. And when it gets warm conditions will change making it much easier to catch fish.
For now the same patterns we have discussed for the last month still prevail. There are some subtle differences. Today we went to Lone Rock (Wahweap Bay) to troll up some small stripers. We have been catching them there for weeks. They are in the upper surface layers eating plankton and will hit a shallow running crank bait as it gets in their face. This time the only fish we caught was a walleye when our lures accidentally got too close to the bottom.
After trolling over all the spots that were good previously, it was time to actually find out what was going on. We moved to Lone Rock Canyon and immediately caught a fish. It finally dawned on me that water temperature in Wahweap Bay was 52 while temperature in the Canyon was 56. Once in the warmer canyon, the trolling pattern worked just as well as it had previously. We caught small stripers on a regular basis on shallow running Lucky Craft bevy shad.
Well what do you know; fish went to warmer water instead of staying where it was cold. We missed the most obvious indictor of good spring fishing. Fish like warmer water. We wasted an hour repeating the method that worked last week instead of checking temperature at the beginning of our trip. Water temperature is the key to spring fishing. Remember that. It will save time and put more fish in the live well.
We caught a 5 pound striper and some smallmouth while trolling across a shallow point. Trolling the baits past a submerged island produced more smallmouth bass. All the fish are poised ready to move on beds as soon as the water temperature spikes. The last 10 days of April still look like an excellent time to make that first trip to the lake.
There have been some good catches of crappie and bass already but not on a consistent basis. In late April and early May bass, crappie, walleye and striper fishing will get better. It will then be possible to count on active fish on every trip taken in decent weather.
Smallmouth bass are on rocky points and reefs. They are willing to hit plastic tubes and grubs. Largemouth and crappie are in the brush and will hit those baits that can swim through the brush forest and come out the other side. New warming has begun now and it appears that water temperature will hit 60 degrees by this weekend.
It is time to go fishing at Lake Powell.