By: Wayne Gustaveson of Wayne's Words Fishing Report
Lake Powell water level has declined another foot this week leaving 15 feet of water in Castle Rock Cut. Fishing success continues to be strong for almost all game species. The big news is morning striper and bass boils.
The perfect morning schedule includes breaking out the camera to take some incredible sunrise pictures at 5:50 AM (MST). Sunrise occurs at 6:00 AM and with that a few fish start to splash. It is wise to be searching the shoreline by cruising or using binoculars to study location of fish activity. Splashing can be seen over a mile away by looking east and catching the splash backlit by the rising sun. Move toward the greatest concentration of surface activity. Make your best choice of location because the boil starts at 6:30 AM on the dot. Cast surface lures or shallow runners at the mixed boil as large and smallmouth bass and stripers are all chasing shade into the shallows. Boils will be on the brushy flats and against shore – not in open water.
Unfortunately most boils are short lived. They typically last for about 10 minutes. Seagulls, herons, ravens, and coyotes are tuned into the schedule and will mark the spot of boiling activity with intense feeding activity. Watch for critters to lead you to boils in a new area.
Return there the next day to be in the spot before the feeding and catching begins.
Stripers would like to feed much longer but, for whatever reason, the surface activity dies in a few minutes. Don't despair. Now the real fun begins. Stripers are still hungry and willing to eat any shad they can find. But they need to cool off in deeper water. The school just moves from the shallows to the first drop off where water is deeper than 30 feet.
Find hungry, active fish by graphing the breaking edge on the 35 foot contour near the site of morning boils. When ANY FISH are graphed immediately drop spoons to the bottom to restart the school. When the first fish is hooked drop a floating marker over the side to keep the school in visual range while the moving boat drifts away from the stationary school. Keep dropping spoons to fish following hooked school mates or those interested in spoon activity. Return to the marker and start over to catch more fish. While 4 or 5 fish can be caught on top, 30-50 can be caught in the next hour on spoons. Fishing is as good as it gets right now for those willing to experiment with spoons.
Boils have recently been seen at the Castle Rock Cut (both Warm Creek and Wahweap sides), Navajo Canyon where water depth in the main channel is 110 feet, Dove Canyon, and Dungeon Canyon. I am sure the same pattern continues all the way from Wahweap to Good Hope Bay but I don't have any recent uplake reports for corroboration.
Bass anglers are having good success by fishing the shallow lake edges with flukes, D shad, and other plastic lures heavy enough to cast but light enough to fish slowly through brush.
Largemouth bass are between the shore and the first band of brush where water depth is 2-8 feet. Smallmouth are on the rocky points in 10-20 feet of water. Bass, like stripers, are still willing to eat after the initial boiling action of the morning.
Surface feeding boils are repeated most evenings in the same locations that they occurred in the morning. Sometimes the very best fishing of the day happens right at dark.
I hope you camp right next to a favored boil spot this week.