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July 21, 2021 Hot weather and ramp condiitons

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
July 21, 2021
Lake Elevation 3555
Water Temperature 84-88F

Lake Powell is now at 3555 MSL which is equal to the lowest water level since 2005. All launching ramps are struggling to remain open. Wahweap Ramp is functioning with metal grates at the bottom of the cement ramp. Use four-wheel drive to safely launch and retrieve boats at all ramps in Lake Powell at these low water levels. The National Park Service is working on maintaining and improving launching conditions where ever possible during these unusual times.

We launched just before dawn for my weekly fishing trip and went uplake hoping to find surface feeding stripers. Water was calm since we were the first boat out of Wahweap Marina. The trip uplake was calm and quiet. Unfortunately, it was too calm with no striper schools visible from Wahweap to Rock Creek. We finally saw one slurping school at the mouth of Rock Creek but it was up for a few seconds and then gone. We did not catch any fish on surface lures this trip.

With no surface activity we changed tactics to trolling for stripers. I tried various shallow running crank baits without success. The only trolling success was with a deep diving lure that ran at 15-18 feet. We did catch two stripers and four small bass on the deep running lure but fishing was not fast. With water temperature ranging from 84 to 88 F most sport fish are holding in deeper, cooler water. Adult stripers cannot survive in warm surface water for more than a few minutes. But, I was very stubborn and kept hoping for surface action. I should have changed tactics and used bait in deeper water. As I read the daily fish reports on Wayneswords.net the best striper fishing option now is to use bait in the southern lake and to use spoons to catch stripers in 40 feet of water in the northern lake. If I had seen a school of deep stripers on the graph I would have dropped a Kastmaster spoon down under the school and then speed-reeled up through the school to catch many stripers. Speed reeling with spoons is working well in the northern lake. Watch for surfacing feeding yearling stripers feeding on top. It is very likely that the adult stripers will be in cooler water below the surface juvenile feeding fish.

Bass fishing was slow but steady with plastic grubs and shad shaped worms fished slowly along the bottom in 10-20 feet of water. The best areas were the shelf tops right at the edge of the drop offs. Points, reefs and small pockets along the bank also produced some fish. There are plenty of small bass all along the rocky shoreline habitat. Also look for isolated coves and small canyons. Bass will congregate around rocky structure. Pound the shoreline searching for bass. Usually catching one bass leads to more fish as many bass are likely to be in the same vicinity. Shade is helpful in the warm water. Just as we like to feel cooler in shade while fishing under the hot sun, bass will hold in shady water while searching for crayfish or bait fish along the shoreline.

It is still possible to catch a few random walleye while trolling and casting for bass and stripers. The best walleye technique is to fish shallow slopes and flats at first light in the morning or last light at night. Walleye like shad and search for them in low light situations. They have very sensitive eyes and can see better in muddy water than most other fish in Lake Powell. If targeting walleye, it is wise to add a piece of live worm to a plastic bass bait and work that along a flat bench in about 15 feet of water. If one walleye is randomly caught while bass fishing, it is likely that more walleye may be holding in that same spot. Try another cast or two in the same location to catch more walleye.

The weather is hot but fishing at Lake Powell is always exciting.

JeffK and family caught the fish in these pictures on bait in the same canyon where I trolled and cast with little success!
 

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