April 4, 2018 - Clear water in South

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
Lake Powell Fish Report –April 4, 2018

Lake Elevation: 3612

Water temperature: 52 -58 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com

The warming trend faltered this past week and afternoon water temperatures dropped slightly from 60 degrees down to 57 while early morning temps were still in the low 50s. Cooling slowed down bass that were starting to build spawning beds. Bass will move back up and fan some more rocks later this week as the next warming trend arrives.

Chris Romero Jr. Romeroson_edited-1.jpg

It was surprising to see the impact of cooling daytime water temperatures, dropping lake levels, combined with the presence of quagga mussels as visibility in the lake became clearer than ever witnessed in my long career. We fished for bass in Friendship Cove only to find an aquatic petting zoo where the lake bottom could be seen at 25 feet throughout the entire cove. Bass and other fish were seen swimming under the boat but few were caught due to water clarity. My advice is to spend more time fishing for bass in deeper water (25-30 feet) or in canyons where visibility is 15 feet of less. In clear water, throw very long casts to prevent fish from seeing the boat before they have a chance to see the lure. Recently, under the declining full moon, the very best bass fishing success was from 5 pm to dark when shadows were on the water. That is the warmest water of the day with water clarity reduced by shadows.

Walleye fishing has started in the northern lake. One party captured 50 walleye over the past weekend fishing near Good Hope Bay. Their technique was to cast Gulp minnows and Keitech swimbaits on 3/16 ounce jig heads on main lake points where bottom depth was 10-15 feet. The lures had to be retrieved very slowly for best results. Expect walleye action to improve lakewide, each week through the rest of April and May.

Chris Crosby

Some crappie have been caught over the length of the lake. They will be near a sunken bush or holding by an old cottonwood tree trunk. Brush is not abundant so it takes a lot of searching to find where they hangout. More crappie are caught in the mid and northern lake.

Clear water is not a problem in the northern lake where runoff is starting to muddy the water from Hite down to the Horn. The channel is getting muddy but the backs of the canyons (White, Trachyte, Scorup, etc.) remain green with good fishing for bass, walleye and stripers.

Bait fishing is working now in the southern lake with stripers reportedly caught at the dam, power plant intake and on the first left turn after passing buoy 3 while heading up lake. Number of stripers caught is not as many as last year when 20 or more fish were caught per boat. This year the average catch is 10 fish or less. It is important to be in the right spot where many fish can be caught while 20 yards away from the good spot no fish are caught. Move around from spot to spot until the boat is centered over a school for best results.

I still go uplake and troll for stripers along the breaking edge of the shoreline where water depth changes quickly from 20 feet to 50 feet. Stripers can see and feel the trolled lure in the clear water and come up from 40-50 feet to hit the lure at 10 feet. It is wise in the clear water to troll the lure at 200 feet or further to let the fish forget about the boat before seeing the lure. This is more important in the southern clear lake than in the north where water clarity is less than 10 feet.

Striper Schoolgraph14.jpg

In the south, stripers are schooling in clear water along the main channel and in the murky water at the backs of canyons. The schools are now large, tight and easy to see on the graph instead of scattered in small bunches as they were over winter. Once located, they can be caught by casting crankbaits, jigs, and spoons to their holding location. More fish can be caught on lures uplake than on bait near the main channel.

Expect fishing success to improve with warm weather and falter as the wind and cool temperatures return. Watch the weather reports that are fairly accurate for about 10 days out. Go fishing on the best weather days during April, when possible, to have the best success on your trip.
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