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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 27, 2018

Lake Powell Fish Report – June 27, 2018
June 27
10:35 2018

Lake Elevation:  3610 – Water temperature:  75 – 80 F – Slurping stripers were visible all over the lake on our weekly trip.  Average size of slurping stripers was 14 inches but they range from 8 to 18 inches.  Water was warm (78-80 F) on top which means that adult stripers cannot come to the top and spend much time without suffering severe stress due to warm water. Young stripers see a larval shad school near the surface, form a scavenging line and attack the small shad.  Since these shad cannot swim fast, stripers eat as many shad as possible in 15 seconds and then go back down to 30 feet.  That makes it hard to see the striper school and then get in range to make a cast while they are still on the surface.  Normally the striper school goes down and then quickly pops back up on the next shad school.  If they surface near your boat then a quick cast will possibly catch a fish. If stripers are out of casting range then the boat has to be moved quickly to get in range.  The action is exciting but catch rate is low.

Lures that worked well included a small white clouser minnow fly attached behind a bubble filled with water and a small skinny surface lure (Ima Skimmer) and a Kastmaster spoon.  It is necessary to throw long casts to the quickly moving striper school. That is not easy with a small lightweight lure with limited casting range.

The cast must land in front of the lead striper. If it lands in the middle of the school they often spook, jump and then go deep.  It is better to throw well in front of the school and let it rest until the school gets in range.  Then start working the lure, bringing it right in front of the slurping fish.  When all this happens a fish is caught.  When any of the other possibilities occur; casting too short; casting behind the school; or not casting soon enough, the school will sound and you will have to wait for the next school to surface.  When one school goes down, just look around to see more schools surfacing in the vicinity.  Also look at the graph to see if the fleeing school goes under the boat.  If so, deploy a spoon to the depth indicated on the graph to catch more fish.

Stripers are chasing shad on the surface. Shad are tiny and not moving fast so stripers are just cruising in a small wake called “slurps”. Expect striper boils to start in mid July.

Slurps were recently seen from Warm Creek to Rock Creek in the main channel and midway back in many canyons; from Bullfrog to Trachyte; and in the Escalante and San Juan Arms.  Slurps are lakewide but the intensity and catch rate is greater further north.

Bait fishing for larger stripers is still working particularly along the main channel and in many canyons.  It takes a few tries to find fish and it is more likely to find fish in spots that are not reported that often.  Recent reports have come from the mouth of San Juan and Lake Canyon where big catches of stripers were found.

Trolling for walleye in the shade of the canyon walls early in the morning is working. Lures that have been effective include; Live Target threadfin shad (Copper color), Lucky Craft 78 or 100 XD pointers in chartreuse shad.  The shady walls between Piute and Deep Canyon in the San Juan are a good place to try but any similar landscape may work lakewide.

Smallmouth bass are hitting surface lures at first light in the morning.  Then they go deeper so fish at 20-40 feet to catch bass during the daytime.

Bluegill are still spawning and the circular nests can be seen in 3 feet of water near the shoreline or any large rocky area.  Use a tiny jig head with a piece of live worm attached to catch these brightly colored fish.

Catfish are active from sundown and into the night. Use table scraps, worms or anchovies on the sandy beach behind the houseboat. It’s a great activity to keep the kids interested as it cools down after a hot day at the lake.

By: Wayne Gustaveson or


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