June 6, 2018 - Striper Slurps Begin

wayne gustaveson

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 6, 2018

Lake Elevation: 3612

Water temperature: 72 - 75 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

Striper Slurps Begin:

Stripers have now completed spawning and they are really hungry! Shad have started to spawn and tiny larval shad are found near the lake’s surface. Stripers are now looking up in search of a school of larval shad. Once located stripers feed carefully on these tiny fish. It takes intense concentration to slurp in these tender morsels that are only a quarter to a half inch long. Stripers line up and feed shoulder to shoulder through the tiny shad gathering. Occasionally a striper gets frustrated and jumps out of the water while the rest of the fish swim just below the surface as they try to find some food.

From the boat this feeding action looks like a mild surface disturbance. Look for the 2 or 3 fish that jump and then join back into the small wave created by the slurping fish. Get in casting range and then throw surface lures well beyond the striper school and work it back through the surface feeding stripers; or use a small white jig or grub and reel it right under the surface; or use a small spoon and reel it through the surfacing stripers.

Of course, as soon as any cast is made the striper school tends to dive for safety. They usually pop back up within a minute but just out of casting range. When they reappear cast again as described above or watch the graph when they dive down again. They usually descend to 25-40 feet and glide right under the boat.

If this sounds confusing that’s because it is. The end result is that a few stripers will be hooked on topwater, and some on shallow grubs and spoons. A few more fish will be caught on spoons fishing in deep water under the boat. There is no one right way to do this. The best method is to be prepared for all circumstances. You will catch fish but not on the same scale as fishing summer striper boils. That comes later. For now chasing slurps is fun and some fish are caught. Perhaps the best slurp lure is a white crappie jig.

Slurps have been found in the main channel at the mouth of Rock Creek and Last Chance and in Dove Canyon. Uplake they were found in Bullfrog Bay, Moki Canyon, the back of Halls Creek and in open water at Buoy 102. The biggest and most consistent slurps are found in the morning.

Back at the fish cleaning station we found one striper with quagga mussels and crayfish in his stomach. The other fish had the grey ooze of decomposing tiny shad.

Smallmouth bass are still the most commonly caught fish and found on various rocky structures over the length of the lake. Best bets include: Plastic jigs, senkos, ned rigs, and shad shaped worms. The most fun is found throwing topwater baits at low light morning and evening.

Bluegill and green sunfish are actively spawning now. They can be seen near blocky rocks or where woody stickups or tumbleweeds are congregated. The water is not as clear as it has been but these sunfish nests can be seen very well in 5-10 feet of water. The nest is a small depression about a foot in diameter with the male bluegill guarding. A small jig with a piece of worm attached can be dropped on the nest. Wait for the male bluegill to pick it up to move it off the nest and then set the hook. These bluegill are some of the brightest colored fish that swim in Lake Powell.

The added bonus while fishing for bluegill is that largemouth bass share the same habitat and can be caught right alongside the bluegill school.

Walleye are still being caught in good numbers over the length of the lake with the northern lake from Escalante, to Bullfrog, to Good Hope Bay being the best spots to try.
 

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