Lake Powell Fish Report

Lake Powell

by Wayne Gustaveson

April 14, 2021
Lake Elevation 3565
Water Temperature 55-62 F

The bad news is that Lake Powell is still declining. Inflowing water yesterday was 10,000-Acre feet. Water released was 22,000-Acre feet. We can see amazing rock and sand structures poke their heads out of the water now, that we have not seen since 2005, the last time the lake was this low. The good news is it only took 3 years for the lake to come back up to 3600 MSL. I am hoping that happens again. More bad news is the emerging rock features can dismantle your boat and motor if you run over them. Be on constant alert for new rock features whenever the boat is moving.

Water is gradually warming. The average temperature is 56F in the morning, but it warms to the 60s in the afternoon. On my lake trip yesterday, we did not see many bass nests in the lower lake (Wahweap to Rock Creek). Reports coming in from the north lake indicate warming temperatures and nest construction is underway. The key to consistently find spawning bass is to wait for 60 degree temperatures early in the morning. That should happen beginning April 18th and beyond as the daily air temperatures climb into the 80s. I did some bass fishing on my last trip in mid channel and caught a few smallmouth on a green double tailed grub in very shallow, clear water. I did not try the murky water near the back of the canyon, because I was focused on striper fishing.

Bait fishing for stripers is HOT! The standard spots; the dam, Buoy 3, Power plant intake, 2nd point after the double islands in Navajo Canyon, Bouy 25 - are all producing big catches of stripers. It is much easier to go to the dam and Buoy 3, than to head uplake through the wakeless area at Antelope Point and the bumpy main channel. I saw my first tour boat yesterday in the main channel. These new boats are smaller and faster than the old white ones, but the wake is still "impressive". After 8 AM the main channel from Buoy 1 to 18 is turbulent. Slow down to ride over the big wakes merging with each other.

Stripers are looking for food while hanging out waiting for warmer weather, spawning and shad forage. One 3-pound striper caught yesterday had a stomach full of plankton. All the others were empty or had my bait in their stomach. We began at Buoy 25 and trolled Lucky Craft Pointers to catch our first 6 fish. Then I filleted a striper and used that bait to catch a couple more. We did not stay long because we needed to check out Last Chance and Rock Creek. The same trolling lures worked well in the murky water in the backs of these canyons where water depth was about 20-30 feet.

If you are looking for the bass and striper hotspot with less turbulent travel – the answer is Good Hope Bay to the Horn. The journey uplake still has hazards, but driving in the middle of the main channel is safe. Distance is 23 miles from Bullfrog to the lower bay beginning at Buoy 118. The best recent report was from the Horn (Buoy 130). Trolling for stripers and walleye is excellent. Bass fishing is great. It seems the water temperature is slightly warmer in the northern lake. I am sure bait would work for stripers up north as well.

Fishing is good now but it will get better with warmer weather. The last week of April and the first two weeks of May should be epic with great catches of stripers, walleye, bass and catfish. Prime time (water temperature from 60-65F) is just ahead. Plan your next fishing trip accordingly!

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