By: Wayne Gustaveson of www.wayneswords.com
Lake Powell water level is stable at 3600 feet. That means the Castle Rock Cut is wet but not passable. Summer fishing patterns are now in play. The key, regardless of species targeted, is to fish early and late and use shade to your advantage.
Largemouth and smallmouth bass are on rocky slopes. Rocks utilized vary from slick rock slopes to large boulders, down to small rubble rock. Look for rocks large enough to allow crayfish to crawl under where they hide from predators. Smallmouth bass are the second most likely fish to bite your lure whether trolled cast or drifted under the boat. Chartreuse grubs are a good bait to start with each day.
Walleye are still being caught in good numbers. They can be targeted by trolling a 12-foot diving lure along the front of rocky structure in the morning or evening shade. Great results have come recently with the Bomber Deep Flat A lure in Silver Flash color. It seems to have just the right running depth and action to entice hungry walleye residing in the 12-20 foot depths.
Stripers are still the most likely fish to catch but they are slightly more difficult to find now. Striper schedule starts at dawn when they come to the surface looking for a school of larval shad. A slight dimpling action is all that is seen as they quietly feed on the tiny fish. They can be caught on small swim baits or other small lures cast to the periphery of the surface disturbance.
This search patterns lasts for about 2 hours. Then stripers move back to resting points where they have resided for the past two months. Mid day stripers then look up again to find more larval shad. They repeat this shad search again in the evening twilight. But when not actively feeding stripers are in 20-30 feet of water and very vulnerable to anchovy bait.
Lake area determines which type of feeding action to look for. From the dam to Padre Bay stripers are in deep water without significant shad numbers. Therefore bait fishing is the best technique. The hottest spot now is directly under the chain link fence marking the Power Plant intake east of Antelope Point Marina. These fish are shallow and well trained at taking anchovy bait. Let the bait slowly sink until it disappears then gently lift it up and down. Most of the fish will be caught at 12-20 feet.
Stripers are on split shift from Padre Bay to Rainbow Bridge. Look for slurps early but then go to proven bait fishing spots such as Buoy 25. The school at 25 is not as dense as it once was but still offers the opportunity to catch 50 fish in 2 hours. There are many other bait fishing options which can be detected by trolling to catch and is while graphing to locate the school. Toss chum to light up a striper school and then catch as many fish as the cooler can take. You do not have to use bait to catch these fish. They can be taken on your favorite lure once the chum is on the water. Casting a bucktail jig or chartreuse grub will select the faster, healthier fish while bait provides an opportunity for slower fish to eat.
From San Juan to Slick Rock Canyon look more for slurping action. There are more shad here resulting in more surface action. Bait fishing is good during the bright daylight hours. From Lake Canyon to Cedar Canyon a combination of trolling to locate fish followed by bait fishing or more trolling is a good strategy. Good Hope to Hite has muddy water and trolling or graphing is the best way to catch fish.
The weather is hot but fishing is still pretty darn good at Lake Powell.