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Lake Powell Fish Report – April 17, 2019

Lake Powell Fish Report – April 17, 2019
April 17
06:00 2019

Sue Lassandro with her personal best Largemouth Bass caught in Warm Creek.

Lake Elevation: 3568 – Water temperature: 57-60 F – Lake Powell has finally stopped going down and has bottomed out at the elevation of 3568 MSL. It will be gratifying to see the lake begin to rise as the heavy winter snow melts and begins to fill the reservoirs downstream. It may take as long as 2 months for the water level to inundate the Castle Rock Cut and Antelope Point launch ramp. Hopefully, the rising water will cover brushy habitat so that spawning will be successful for all fish that use brush to avoid predation when small in size.

Today the surface water temperature is 57F, which is the kick-off temperature for bass and crappie fishing success. Water in the high fifties in the morning will warm into the 60s later in the day which means afternoon fishing is better for bass. That spike in temperature triggers spawning activity. Bass and crappie will now build spawning beds/nests in about 3 feet of water. These nests are easy to see in clear water and sets up a signpost that anglers can use to target bass and crappie.

Smallmouth bass may be the best target species right now. They are still in pre-spawn mode but are very active and inquisitive when a plastic grub hits bottom close enough that a bass can see or feel its presence. Smallmouth bass are very curious and will respond to a wide variety of baits. Just move along the shoreline until a bass bites and then target that area to catch more bass.

Largemouth bass are found in narrow side canyons with lots of rock structure. Find the warmest water with a wide assortment of rocks to target largemouth.

Striped bass fishing is getting much better as stripers are moving toward the main channel. Each spring the migration occurs as water temperature warms and shad abundance is at the lowest point of the year. Shad do not spawn until May, so stripers impatiently wait for them in the channel where anglers can provide some forage. Bait fishing (anchovies, or striper meat) is taking off and more than one fishing boat has returned to the marina with a load of over 100 stripers for one day of fishing.

Fishing at the dam is spotty but schools move through periodically and provide great excitement when the school moves under your boat. Shore fishermen at the Chains have the same experience of waiting for a school only to be rewarded by a quick catch of 30 or more stripers when the school moves through. Other dependable hot spots include: Buoy 3 (south wall on the corner just before the mouth of Antelope Canyon); The intake structure just east of the Antelope Canyon Buoy field; Buoy 9 on the corner before arriving at the mouth of Navajo; In Navajo Canyon first two points just past the double islands.
Further uplake stripers behave differently by occupying deep narrow canyons with very clear water. It is possible to look down and visibly see large schools. They can be caught on bait but also by trolling, casting and jigging. Further north, stripers have been reported at the mouth of Lake Canyon and Moki Canyon mouth as well.

Trolling in the backs of major canyons with medium to deep divers is a good way to target the healthiest stripers that are still searching for shad in the backs of canyons.

Quality of life is measured by amount of time spent fishing.

By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

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