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Lake Powell Fish Report – March 6, 2019

Lake Powell Fish Report – March 6, 2019
March 06
11:10 2019

Cole Zeglund (Page AZ) fished the first bass tournament of the season with his dad. He caught a big largemouth bass that he will remember forever!

Lake Elevation: 3571 – Water temperature: 48 F – My first regular fish report for 2019 begins with the results of the first Lake Powell Bass Tournament of the year which was held at Wahweap on March 2-3.  The winning weight for 2 days of fishing was 32 pounds. That is very impressive considering the water temperature was only 46-49 degrees, which is not anywhere near the normal active bass temperature of 60 degrees or better. The largest bass caught weighed 5.04 pounds. The largest smallmouth bass was just over 4 pounds. Average catch was about 20 bass per boat (2 anglers) per day.  All of the bass weighed in at the tournament were released to swim again in the beautiful blue water at Lake Powell.

The lake level continues to fall as more water is being released from the dam than flows into the lake on a daily basis. The good news is that snowpack is holding at over 100% of normal. We need more rain and snow in April and May to make up for the parched conditions and low runoff that was the new normal in 2018.  So far, we are on the right track for enough runoff to bring the lake level up enough to reopen the Castle Rock Cut, which will not happen until late May or June if the expected runoff occurs.

Fishing over the length of the lake is not fast but steady.  Both large and smallmouth bass are a good target species now as they are becoming active due to the change in day length.  The low water temperature is holding them back some but they are still catchable.  After the storms pass and the daytime temperatures rise, fishing will improve dramatically.  Right now, it is fun to see the scenery on a quiet lake and still catch a fish or two.

Walleye are starting to spawn which takes them out of the mix as they spawn at night and are dormant in the daytime.

Striped bass are searching for shad.  When they find shad forage, their activity level increases and they are easy to see on the graph and to catch.  On my weekly trip to find fishing information, I went to the back of Navajo Canyon.  I stopped where the blue water changes to brown (mudline) and deployed a deep diving trolling lure.  The graph immediately showed a small group of fish suspended at 20 feet. When my lure reached that spot a fish struck the lure, but missed. Unfortunately, that was the only group of stripers I saw in the back of the canyon and the only bite I got all day.


There was another angler back in the muddy water who reported catching and releasing a 6-pound largemouth.  He kept a two nice smallmouth bass caught in clear water.  He caught 3 fish and had a successful day.

These conditions hold lakewide.  I suspect that fishing results uplake will be a bit more generous with perhaps 5 bass caught in the rainy weather and many more on sunny afternoons when surface temperature rises into the 50s. Striper catch will be higher as there are more shad in the mid to northern lake, which makes feeding opportunities more common.

By: Wayne Gustaveson or

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

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