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July 1, 2020 - Lots of options!

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
July 1, 2020
Lake Elevation 3610
Water Temperature 75-79 F

The lake is still busy, but not quite as overwhelming as it was last week. There will be a large 4th of July crowd enjoying the warm water for swimming, surfing and skiing. We must factor in all of these events and see what that means for catching fish.

On my weekly fishing trip, we got out early and found a few slurps with very small stripers chasing tiny shad. Casting to the slurps only caused the small stripers to dive into deeper water. Since that was not working, we tried trolling shallow running rattletraps. We got the first hit where the slurping stripers had riffled the surface and caught the first striper. It was a nice 2.5-pound adult striper. We trolled more and caught a couple of tiny smallmouth bass, but that was it. No more stripers. We then ventured uplake trolling in Padre Bay, West Canyon, Dove Canyon and the main channel with no takers. Next, we tried Last Chance by trolling, casting and spooning in a few of the canyons near the back. After an hour of trolling, we caught a smallmouth bass and a 12” walleye. In summary – Fishing is still slow. The stomachs of the striper and walleye only contained small shad. Sport fish are eating small shad making it hard to catch them on regular size lures.

Fishing mid lake is better if you know fish foraging habits. They feed best during the morning and evening twilight. Get out EARLY – before the sun rises. Try again at sunset. The best spots for slurping stripers are MM 40, 42, and 44 near Dangling Rope, San Juan from Cha to Piute Bay, Iceberg Canyon, Slick Rock and Good Hope Bay. Most of the reports are for slurping stripers. There was one boil report of stripers trapping larger shad against a wall near the Rincon. It only took a few minutes to catch a dozen big stripers before the school disappeared.

Bait fishing for stripers is working with good reports of 20-30 adult stripers caught mid-day near the dam.

Smallmouth are still the best fish to target. They are dependable but the catch rate has dropped off with fewer fish caught than reported in May.

It is summer time and the lake is busy. Fishing success will increase, as shad grow bigger. BOIL SEASON is right around the corner. Last year boils started during the last week of July. Expect the same time frame in 2020.

Surprisingly, the most consistent fishing method found this week was bottom bouncing for walleye. Fish a flat lake bottom about 20 feet deep by slowly dragging a bottom-bouncing rig with a night crawler on the hook. Fishing with this technique is usually slower than casting to the bank, but right now, the results are better than striper or bass fishing.

Another option is to use a tiny ice fly with a piece of small worm in a shallow brushy cove. Lots of Bluegill are visible and are eager to make the day for children camping on shore. Fishing is slow, but there are still lots of options at Lake Powell.
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