Weather at Powell is fine, but fishing is even better
Increase in wild turkey numbers leads to more hunting opportunities
It’s late fall in the Grand Valley, but it’s an endless summer at Lake Powell.
At least according to long-time Lake Powell fisheries expert Wayne Gustaveson, author of the much-read Lake Powell fishing report, Wayne’s Words.
Even though the summer crowds have deserted the lake, which spans 186 miles when full, Gustaveson’s latest report says the fishing remains excellent thanks to a prolonged warm spell.
“Water temperature this morning (Monday) at the Wahweap main ramp was 59.9 degrees (and) that rounds up to 60 degrees for me,” Gustaveson wrote. “The average temperature on this date is 58.6 F. What’s the big deal about a few degrees? Shad remain in shallow water when the temperature is close to 60 and retreat into deep water when the temperature is near 55.
“Knowing that makes it an easy decision when launching at Hite, where fishing is best now.”
He said anglers finding warm water should go upstream from Hite where water is shallow and murky.
“Fish in the brush for bass and stripers,” he encouraged. “When water cools into the low 50s then head downstream and fish deeper water for striper schools resting on the bottom.”
He said the best success comes using plastic baits such as the Walleye Assassin, in salt-and-pepper color.
Fish it weedless, with a hidden offset worm hook, and without adding extra weight.
“Move steadily along the shoreline until a striper is caught and then concentrate on that spot as they feed in the brush on shad and sunfish,” the report continues. “When a striper is hooked and brought to the boat, school mates often follow, hoping for a feeding opportunity.
“As your buddy is reeling in a fish, don’t grab the net. Instead, drop a spoon under the boat to catch another striper.”
Lake Powell came within 40 feet of filling this year, thanks to the third largest June runoff followed by the second largest July runoff since the closure of Glen Canyon Dam in 1963.
Full pool is 3,700 feet above sea level, and the lake peaked at 3,661 feet this summer.
Gustaveson said other fishing opportunities include crappie in the San Juan River arm and from Good Hope to Hite.
Walleye fishing also is prime, Gustaveson said, when slow-trolling a night crawler harness behind a bottom bouncer.
“The trick is to find a brush-free bottom near the brush zone where the walleye rig can be used without hanging up,” Gustaveson said. “Look mid-channel where water depth is 20 to 40 feet” and “look for a flat bottom without brush.”
“Enjoy the late-season fishing and wonderful warm days when storm fronts are not forecast,” Gustaveson said. “Air and water temperatures near 60 make a delightful time for fishing at Lake Powell.”