The water level at Lake Powell remains steady at 3,522 MSL, as it has for the past two weeks. The launch ramp at Wahweap is still in operation and working well. The Bullfrog ramp is scheduled to open no later than May 1. Both ramps will have boiler plate metal sheets in the water for boaters to drive on while launching and retrieving their boats. Boiler plate will only allow two boats to launch at a time, so there will likely be an increase in wait time at the ramp as the number of boaters coming to the lake increases.
Weather is warming, with daily air temperatures ranging between 55 and 85 Fahrenheit. These temperatures impact fish behavior. As water warms, fish activity increases. As it cools after storm fronts or cool nights, fish activity declines. Bass and crappie are waiting for spawning temperatures in the water between 60-65 F. Currently, bass nest building will begin as water temperatures stay in the 60s overnight. These nests will be in shallow water where they are visible to anglers. That really increases fishing success. Stripers spawn in May at night, so they tend to be less active during the day and very active at night. Walleye have just completed spawning, so they will be more likely to bite now as they are hungry after the month-long spawning season. Fishing success will improve as the water continues to warm.
Water temperature also varies depending on water color. Clear water is usually cooler than murky brown water. Right now, shallow, colored water in the backs of canyons is warmer than deep, clear water in the open bay. It is possible to detect a 5-degree temperature difference between clear and murky water within a half mile in the same canyon. Recent fish reports from the southern lake indicate stripers are lurking near these color transition lines. Trolling and casting with deep diving lures near the color change was very effective this week. Stripers were caught as deep as 40 feet and as shallow as 8 feet.
Smallmouth bass were reportedly caught on deep-diving rebel crawdad lures near rocky points and shelves in clear water and also on brown tailed grubs on one-quarter ounce jig heads in murky water. Largemouth bass were not as plentiful but were more likely to hit watermelon-colored Senkos toward the shallows in 5 feet of murky water. Some crappie were caught near trees and brush in the backs of canyons where water depth was near 15 feet on translucent grey grubs.
Walleye are starting to respond to crankbaits on shelves from 8-15 feet deep. They are a bit harder to catch because they like to stay on shelves in open water. When a walleye hits your lure, it is likely that more may be caught in that same location. Turn the boat around and head back to the exact spot where the first walleye was caught. Bottom bounce lures on open-water shelves and flats to catch more of these very particular fish.
Catfish are responding to bait in all the areas where stripers and bass are found. You may be surprised to catch a big catfish while fishing bait for stripers in the backs of canyons at a depth of 20-40 feet.
Fishing is getting much better with warming. The month of May will be the peak season for most Lake Powell fish in 2022.