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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 29, 2019

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 29, 2019
May 29
09:58 2019

Brady Eyre from Panguitch

Lake Elevation: 3583.42 – Water temperature:  61-65 F – Lake Powell is three feet higher than reported in the last fish report. That is great news for all those fishing at the lake this spring, but those on the southern end are giddy because the Castle Rock Cut is now open.  Yesterday on my fish report trip, we found a few low spots in the Cut where the depth was only 1.5 feet.  We had our outboard motor elevated so it was almost at a 45-degree angle. We did not hit bottom in the shallow spots.  Since then the lake has risen another 4 inches. In another week, the shallowest spot in the Cut will be over 2.5 feet making the Cut passable for almost all vessels.

Our trip goal was to find out how fishing conditions have changed since the big cold front passed through.  We started by trolling for stripers on the Wahweap side of Castle Rock.  We caught 2 stripers in 3 short runs confirming that as a valid technique. We then tried the mouth of Labyrinth with no success in one short trolling run.  We caught another 3 stripers in 3 short runs on the east wall of Padre Canyon. Our next stop was Buoy 25 where we got a real time fish report that stripers were still hitting bait on the canyon wall. We then hit the back of Last Chance and Rock Creek and found stripers willing to hit trolled Flicker Shad (Chartruese), Lucky Craft XD 78 Pointers (Chartruese shad), and small, dark-colored rattletraps. Using trolling, casting and spooning techniques, we caught 25 healthy stripers, of which only 4 were malnourished.

Uplake stripers were caught trolling in the back of Bullfrog and Halls and other canyons. Bait fishing works as well at Moki Wall and Moki Canyon, Lake Canyon, mouth of Halls Creek, and many other spots.  Bait will continue to work on the main channel walls and mouths of canyons for a few more weeks.

The most exciting report of the week is that stripers are beginning to “slurp” on larval shad in Moki Canyon and many other canyons in the northern lake. Newly hatched shad are just learning how to swim near the surface.  Stripers form a line, swim through the floating shad school and slurp shad off the surface. Their surface disturbance is visible from about 100 yards away. Cast small surface lures to the side of the slurper line or to individual fish that are breaking ranks with the main body of their cohorts.  These individuals are looking for a new target while the school feeding in formation is only interested in eating small shad. Stripers will now regain their health since shad are now available for a daily meal.

Dwayne Watson from Hatch, Utah

Smallmouth bass fishing slowed down with the cold, rainy weather but will now peak as the water temperature climbs from 60 to 70F in the next week. Ned rigs, single and double tail grubs, square bill crankbaits and a variety of other plastic lures based on your personal preference will work great this week as bass are re-energized with warming conditions.  Largemouth bass will follow suit but they will be parked in the tumbleweed piles that have recently gone underwater.

Walleye are energized, as well, by the warming water as they search for food at 15-20 feet.  Crayfish colored Ned Rigs fished very slowly along 15-foot flat shelves have been the most dependable presentation so far this spring.  Add a piece of worm to increase your confidence in catching these toothy predators.  Keep all the walleye you want as there is no limit on walleye and they are harder to catch in the summer months. This is prime time.

Bluegill and green sunfish will be easy to catch on tiny ice jigs with a piece of worm around shallow brush and rocks in the warming water.  Bluegill will also use your houseboat for shade and can be caught by children off the back of the boat.

So take your pick of which species to chase. Fishing at Lake Powell will be supercharged this week with the warming weather.

Note about the photos this week: Duane Watson sent these pictures because a friend from Panguitch caught this fish, then put it back and told him where it was at. He went back and caught the same fish on topwater.  It’s all of 8-pounds plus. Biggest one he ever caught at Lake Powell. Yes, it’s back swimming again. Someday it may be the new state record.

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

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

Wayne Gustaveson

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