February 13, 2019 - Trophy Striper

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
Lake Powell Fish Report – February 13, 2019
Lake Elevation: 3574
Water temperature: 45 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

My last fish report suggested a pattern for finding striper schools by cruising toward the back of a major canyon while watching the graph for a quick depth change from deep water to a consistent depth range of 65-85 feet. On Feb 12th there was finally a small break in the weather where the sun was out with no wind blowing. We loaded the open boat with no windshield, put on ski goggles and headed to Warm Creek. Normally the trip to Warm Creek takes 10 minutes from Wahweap but with low water the Castle Rock Cut is closed and the 15-mile ride is closer to an hour.

We finally completed the long journey, saw the anticipated depth change, slowed down and started graphing for fish traces. It helped my confidence to see a huge school of grebes hovering over the 65-foot deep bottom. Amazingly, we graphed a couple of fish traces within the first two minutes and then saw a hump on the bottom that could have been a rock. Rocks are usually irregular in shape while fish traces are smooth and blend into the bottom. This looked like fish so we dropped spoons quickly to the bottom.

It only took about two minutes of bouncing slab spoons on the bottom before the first striper was hooked. With three anglers in the boat, there were plenty of spoons to imitate a shad school and the fish responded aggressively. Within 15 minutes the cooler was half full of 2-3 pound stripers. The fish were in good shape and were squeezing out shad as the stripers were quickly lifted off the bottom, and brought to the surface.

Fishing could not have been much better, but then that changed as well. Nob Wimmer was using his homemade 1.5 ounce spoon and consistently tossing stripers in the cooler. The he said “I’ve got a big one”. He said the same thing on a trip to Warm Creek on December 12, 2017 and eventually put a 30-pound striper in the boat. I looked at his spinning rod bent over double, watched the line going out and knew we were about to see another trophy striper. The time was 10:15 AM and the fish finally turned over on the surface at 10:30. I grabbed it by the jaw and brought it into the boat. The fish was 38 inches long but we did not know the weight until we placed it on certified scales back at the office. This fish weighed 20 pounds (officially 19.45 lbs).

We ended up fishing for 90 minutes following the same school for the entire time. We counted 80 small stripers and one trophy fish at the fish cleaning station. We had a calm ride back through the main channel and Antelope Point Marina before returning to Wahweap Main Ramp. It was a great day of fishing that makes me want to go again next week.


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