Lake Powell Fishing Report: Monsoon rains anticipated to help water levels at Lake Powell
Lake elevation: 3,559 feet
Water Temperature: 80-83 Farenheit
The lake level is now falling at about one foot per week. The inflow today is only 8,000 acre feet while outflow has increased to over 23,000 acre feet.
The most recent low water level of 3,555 may happen as soon as the first week of August. Monsoon rain is the only chance of slowing down the decline during the summer.
The best time to go fishing is at dawn. The travel lanes are calmer and slurping Stripers are more active from first light to 9 a.m. Yesterday we went to Warm Creek and found slurping Stripers in many different locations as soon as we entered the canyon.
In the previous week our best lures were Kastmasters because we could make long casts with the heavier lures and slurping stripers were willing to bite these lures.
This week we were disappointed because the constantly slurping Stripers were all yearling fish that measured about 9-12 inches. These small stripers were much more interested in the small, half inch shad, than the much larger spoons. Stripers in Rock Creek last week were larger fish that were ready to eat a larger lure.
If the Stripers are small, downsize the lure or become more innovative by adding a dry fly and towing it behind the heavier lure which is easier to cast with a spinning or casting reel. Obviously, the best technique during our experience yesterday would have been to use a fly fishing outfit. We easily got in casting range of the many little schools of surface feeding fish, but they were much more interested in the tiny larval shad than a large Kastmaster spoon.
Our other option was to travel further uplake, where we caught larger stripers last week. It is also possible that the bigger stripers were not able to stay on the surface now that the water has warmed into the 80s. Mature stripers cannot withstand “hot” surface water in the 80s. They have to drop down to 20-30 feet where water is cooler. We tried trolling in the vicinity of slurping schools and caught as many stripers on trolling lures as we did on topwater lures.
This week we only caught one smallmouth bass trolling. It seems bass are hiding out from the hot sun by seeking deeper structure in shady canyons with high steep walls. Look for large rocks and boulders in the early morning shade.
The tall canyon walls in Lake Powell offer some shade all day long. Use that to your advantage by casting to those shady rocky locations where largemouth and smallmouth bass are most likely to be hiding.
Bluegill are actively spawning in shallow water. They are nest builders like bass, so they are often located on a rocky ridge that drops quickly into deeper water. They like shade so look at the back of the canyon under an overhanging rock ledge. There may be a random tumbleweed that has blown into the water and found by schooling bluegill. Kids like panfish and can catch them now when other fishing experiences may be more challenging to them.
Another option is catfishing at night from camp. The air temperature drops after the sun goes down making a more pleasant fishing experience.
Catfish are anxious to find food during their most common feeding period under a dark sky. My favorite technique is to put a single circle hook on my line without any weight. Use the big chunk of bait heavy enough to cast out 20-30 feet and let the bait sink to the bottom. Then patiently wait for the catfish to find it. There are some really big catfish caught this time of year with the current lake record now over 18 pounds. This may be your way to catch a new lake record trophy fish.
Oh! and by the way - BOILS have started in Good Hope Bay (wish I was there).
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