hello! planning a trip, looking for advice


New Member
first of all great site! great info! thank you!

Will be coming to powell sept 11-18, leaving out of bullfrog. We've got a houseboat rented, but will also have fishing boats in tow. I've got trollers, electronics, can do any type of fishing (spin/fly/bait/troll), should be able to get fishing boat about anywhere as well.

Group is big (12-15), for about 1/3 of the group, this trip is fishing first. The others are there for the hiking, napping, watersports, etc.. But they put me in charge of destination....so...

Up lake or down lake from Bullfrog in mid September? Any specific spots you'd recommend? Good fishing, good beach for camping, etc...Fishing is paramount, but I do want a place where the others can have their fun as well. We haven't really set a limit, but I'd say we'd like to stay no more than 4-5 hrs from bullfrog

Of course I wouldn't mind catching a little of everything while there - but focus will be on the stripers/LM/SM I suppose.

I don't really want to deal with my massive downriggers for a week, but I will if trolling is a good tactic. And I'm thinking mid sept. that is not a good tactic?

Thank you in advance for your help!


wayne gustaveson

Staff member
I would go north to fish or south to play and fish.

Here are some tips from my fish report from last September:

The big news now is that striper schools are actively chasing shad schools in deep, open water. That means it is time to pull out the jigging spoons and start fishing in deep water in the canyons and main channel. If you are lucky it is still possible to see a quick striper boil. You may be able to get to the school quickly and catch some fish on top water lures. More importantly a surface feeding event marks the spot where large schools of stripers are holding in deeper water. Get to the boil site as quickly as possible and if the fish have gone down, deploy spoons into the depths, let the spoon hit bottom and then speed reel the spoon back to the boat.

Speed Reeling definition: When the lure hits bottom start reeling the spoon as fast as physically possible. If fish are seen on the graph at a certain depth, pause and jig a few times at the suspected holding depth. Then continue reeling very fast until you are sure that the spoon is above the holding depth of the school. Retrieve the spoon, cast again, then repeat the retrieval process.

If no boils are seen, use the graph to search for a large striper school, which may be holding somewhere between 30 and 90 feet of water. When a striper school is detected, stop quickly and drop spoons immediately. Let the spoon hit bottom to help you know where the spoon is in relation to the fish. If the school is 10 feet off the bottom than reel up 4 turns and start jigging the spoon up 3 feet and letting it fall back down 3 feet. Stripers often follow the spoon and then hit as it falls. It is more likely to feel the fish as you jig upwards instead of feeling the fish hit the lure as it falls. A hooked striper excites the other fish in the school as they see the fish swimming with a “shad” in its mouth. The school follows the hooked fish looking for more food. It is often possible to “lead” a striper school that follows the boat. When a fish is caught, unhook the fish as quickly as possible, and return the spoon to the water immediately to keep the school under the boat and actively engaged in searching for more shad. It is not unusual to lead a striper school for over an hour as the boat drifts with the breeze, while catching 50 or more stripers in one drift.

Spooning hotspots recently include Knowles Canyon, Good Hope Bay, Dome Rock in Bullfrog Bay, Piute Canyon in the San Juan, 50 Mile Canyon in the Escalante, and Oak Canyon upstream from Rainbow Bridge.

Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be excellent lake wide. Dropshot rigged Yamamoto Shad-shaped worms and other plastic baits are working well all day along the shoreline. Look for long rocky points that reach out into the lake at the new lower water levels we are now dealing with. Bass will be holding at 10-20 feet at the end of the point and also at the same depth perpendicular to the point.

Most fish are perking back up now that the water temperature is dropping into the mid 70’s in the morning. Expect to still catch a few largemouth bass, bluegill, walleye and catfish while fishing for your favorite species of fish.


Well-Known Member
You have picked the best time of year to enjoy Powell... but this period has also been known for unpredicted strong micro burst (sept 17, and the no fear storm) make sure you are well anchored in a protected cove. With 4-5 hours you could probably get to the mouth of the San Juan or to escalante, both of which are unbeatable. There is plenty of camping near the mouth of San Juan, and plenty of hiking at escalante. Be careful and well prepared as you are about as far away from help as you can get at both of these epic spots.

Don’t be tricked into driving the houseboat past the mouth of the San Juan as you will spend hours looking for a camp spot, camp at the mouth. There is also plenty of camping at the mouth of escalante, but unlike the San Juan, there are more spots available without much more drive time.

The escalante has a pumpout near the mouth, 15 is a big group.


Well-Known Member
I would look for a spot in Hall's Bay if it's not too busy, there's good fishing close by, you'll be close to a fuel dock and store and should have cell service


Well-Known Member
I would look for a spot in Hall's Bay if it's not too busy, there's good fishing close by, you'll be close to a fuel dock and store and should have cell service
I think the key to this suggestion is “if it’s not too busy”. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it not busy. It’s our last chi
Once due to the sheer volume of traffic. We’ll stay on the buoy before we would do Halls. IMHO, it’s not that scenic either. I say it’s worth a few miles to just experience some of the more majestic cliff walls. If you want to stay close to the marina, there are a handful of canyons from Moki to Cedar (2 to 10) north of Bullfrog where you can anchor.