August 29, 2017 - Right Place at the Wrong Time

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
Lake Powell Fish Report – August 29, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3631

Water Temperature: 79-83 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson


Upon returning from a week’s vacation there were a number of exciting fish reports waiting. Striper boils were reported to be much closer to my home port at Wahweap. Normally large boils require traveling to the San Juan or Good Hope Bay. The reported boils were a short boat ride away at Castle Rock, Warm Creek and Navajo. With great anticipation we loaded up and headed out this morning before dawn.

The sunrise was absolutely beautiful as we crossed Wahweap Bay on perfectly calm water. We saw single fish splashing near Castle Rock but headed uplake looking for a larger fish concentration. As we turned the corner heading to the main channel the wind came up which prevented us from going to the mouth of Navajo. We fought the wind all the way to Gunsight, then Labyrinth, Face and finally stopped at Gregory Butte. No boils were seen through the white caps. The wind finally quit as we headed back down lake to Labyrinth.


Zane Olsen unhooking a Rebel "Jumpin Minnow"

In flat water we finally saw stripers hitting the surface. These stripers were in wide spread, small pods of 3-6 fish covering a large cove. A fat, healthy striper was caught each time our topwater lures landed near a surfacing fish but only one fish was caught from each pod with lots of chasing. These were not the large striper boils we were looking for. So we moved on.

One report indicted a consistent boil in the main channel between bouy 13 and 15. We found that school mid morning but they went down before we could get to them. We caught one fish blind casting a large surface lure to the vacated spot. We saw a quick boil at Labyrinth wall but they went down before we could cast.

In short, stripers did not welcome me back with open fins. The wind kept the stripers down during morning prime time and when it quit stripers stayed deep. My striper boil report is a recap of reports received recently from anglers that did catch a lot of stripers in boils in the southern lake. In the past few days striper boils were seen at Castle Rock (Warm Creek side), mouth of Navajo, main channel between buoys 13 and 15, Gunsight, and Face Canyon.

Some of these reported boils were huge and lasted a long time. Stripers could be boiling right now at the spots visited this morning. In fact, when at the fish cleaning station we met anglers who caught boiling stripers at Castle Rock at 7 AM. If we had gone down toward the dam instead of through the Castle Rock Cut this morning we would have witnessed an hour long boil in the cove halfway between Wahweap Marina and Buoy 1. Then more evening boils were reported recently near Buoy 9 just uplake from Antelope Point Marina. In short boils are where you find them but it is best to look morning and evening.

Uplake, strong boils were found in the back of Halls Creek. It seems the spots that were boiling strong last week are quiet right now. Each time I make this report those old boil spots take off again so don’t be afraid to return to your spot that has recently boiled.

We stopped and trolled in a few spots this morning and found smallmouth bass and an occasional striper willing to hit crankbaits near rocky reefs or long primary points. The best and biggest bass were caught in the early morning shadows, particularly in the area just vacated by surface feeding stripers. In the bright midday sunlight, the size of smallmouth caught declined dramatically. Smallmouth bass anglers were not doing well as we talked with them mid morning. I suggest trolling to find a good bass spot and then using dropshot rigs with shad shaped worms at that spot.

Fishing was tough for us this morning due to the wind. When that happens, stripers often feed mid day or again in the evening. Wait! I think I will go out again right now. Catching stripers on top water lures is most exciting fishing that happens in fresh water.

Uplake report from KBASS:

Fishing topwater right now is explosive in the north. The first morning (and every morning) , we caught boiling stripers off the back of the houseboat at first light inside the tire line by the store.. By 8:00 the east side of Bullfrog Bay was lit up from the North houseboat field to Dome Rock. Generally this bite lasted til noon. Close to the under water tammies we caught occasional small mouth. We were the only boat fishing there. Shad are about 2 inches long. We went north one morning and saw about five boats fishing boils at the mouth of Knowls. As we approached, the whole bay from there to Tapestry Wall erupted in a big feeding frenzy. We fished there and filled another big Igloo cooler with stripers in about 3 hours. We ended up leaving boiling fish at noon and going back to clean fish and rest our arms. Though we used mainly topwater Spooks, it was possible to maximize the catch by spooning when they went down. As a side note we did very little chasing in the boat. With the large schools of fish we just drifted and let them surface around us. All fish were full of shad and healthy. One of the best fishing trips I have had...ever!
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