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LAKE POWELL FISH REPORT: Fishing on the lake remains excellent

Posted: Thursday, Oct 4th, 2012

Mike Larsen, Salt Lake City, lost a dog to old age and then brought his new dog to Lake Powell. Here is Ellie’s first fish as Mike’s new fishing companion.
Surface water temperature is now in a slow downward spiral. Nights are enjoyably cool with warm temperatures during the day. A weather front and temperature drop disrupted fishing success for a couple of days last week but it was mostly a readjustment in timing. Some areas that had enjoyed a good morning bite now had better fishing in the evening. Fishing is still good but it may be necessary to readjust schedules.

Best fishing will always be better early or late. Right now many good morning spots are performing better in the evening. If morning does not work for you one day, get excited about going out again on the other end of the day. I remember well that last year during October the best fishing happened at dusk.

The new wrinkle now is the random appearance of a roving shad school at midday that causes a short-lived but highly productive fishing experience. In Dove Canyon one day recently we struggled to find the normally reliable morning feeding stripers. We gave up and turned around to head out of the canyon when a small boil erupted 50 yards behind us in a spot we had just fished without success. Luckily we had top-water and spoons hooked up on waiting rods. We quickly boated 10 stripers on top and then immediately went to spoons to get 10 more before they quit. A few more random casts to shore produced 5 nice smallmouth bass.

Fish remain active at the many spots that have been successful recently. We have good fish reports last week with stripers and bass being caught at Castle Rock Cut, Warm Creek haystacks, Navajo Canyon, Last Chance, Rock Creek, San Juan (Neskahi), Bullfrog and Halls, and Good Hope Bay at Blue Notch.

Spoons were the most reliable tool, but top-water lures are becoming much more dependable morning and evening, and during the chance encounter with boiling fish mid day.

Bait fishing is steady at depths of 30 to 60 feet where most of the larger stripers reside. Most boiling stripers are the juvenile variety that are able to live in warm surface water all the time. But it won’t be long now until the larger stripers will be released from the cool water where they spent the summer. That presents a problem for them as the smaller stripers are quicker and stronger and able to out compete larger stripers for the limited shad supply. All this points to a tremendous bait fishing season coming in spring 2013.

Bass are really fun right now on top-water lures both morning and evening. Toss a big surface lure over the thin row of brush near shore and slowly work it back until the giant splash occurs.

Even more bass can be caught on lightly weighted flukes and D-Shad fish slowly in the few remaining trees along the sandy shoreline.

Fishing remains excellent by worldly standards. I was disappointed yesterday to only catch 20 fish. That speaks volumes about the Lake Powell fishery.

Wayne Gustaveson is the Lake Powell project leader with the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources. Check out his website at http://www.wayneswords.com.

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