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April Lake Powell Fishing Report

April 09
16:03 2014

April Fishing Report

Special to Lake Powell Life by Wayne Gustaveson

fishing lake powell

Austin Benson and Hunter Allan

Lake level remains fairly constant with a slight drop to 3574 MSL. We hope spring runoff holds off for another 3 weeks as the Castle Rock Cut deepening project will continue until the last week of April. The best news is that the Cut will be deepened down to 3575 MSL meaning that the lake only has to come up 5 feet or so from the present level to allow boats to take the shortcut. That will save much time, fuel and aggravation with rough water in the main channel detour. My guess is the Cut will be passable before Memorial Day.

Warm weather is here and fish are responding accordingly. It is time to go fishing! Bass are moving up to feel that warm surface layer. Fishing is not hot yet for bass but much improved over the last 3 weeks. Remember that colored water warms faster than clear water and target the warmest water available to find willing bass.

Walleye fishing is improving for the same reasons. Plastic bass lures (tubes and grubs) are beginning to draw interest but they work much better when tipped with a piece of live worm. The best depth for finding walleye is 12-20 feet. If trolling is your favorite technique then troll over long rocky points that jut out into the main channel. Allow the lure to touch bottom a couple of times as it bounces across the point. Walleye really like lures to be close to the bottom. Slow trolling bottom bouncers with live worm or plastic worm imitations work on flat bottom structure under a wind-caused mudline in the afternoon breeze.

Stripers are the most active fish right now. Schools of adult stripers have followed gizzard shad schools into the backs of canyons and coves. Similar reports have come from 7mile canyon, Lake Canyon, Iceberg and a few San Juan canyons. Stripers are hitting crankbaits cast into very shallow water. Some fish are even boiling on 5-inch shad and surface lures. White lures with a chartreuse stripe seem to mimic the gizzard shad well.

In other canyons (Gunsight, Padre, Last Chance, Rock Creek, Escalante and San Juan) fat juvenile stripers are feeding on plankton. Stripers are scattered and can best be caught trolling a shad imitating crankbait that runs 12 to 20 feet deep. Trolling speed should be 3 mph for the best result. Mark locations where each fish is caught and return to that spot to catch more.

More stripers are hitting anchovy bait at the dam. Catching is getting much better with 10 fish caught per hour from anglers checked this week. Stripers caught on bait are not as healthy as those caught with reaction lure techniques.

Very deep canyons (150 feet or more) with a shallow bench along the edge are harboring a few large striper schools. We found a huge school with fat juvenile stripers and recovering adults at Buoy 25 which was last years’ hottest striper spot in the lower lake. We dropped spoons right on the school with quick results but fish moved back into the deep water after we caught 6 or more in 5 minutes.

Spring fishing is at its best right now. It will only improve as the water warms into the 60s.

More information about fishing Lake Powell can be found on Wayne Gustaveson’s blog, Wayne’s Words.

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