Last Chance, San Juan, Rock Creek, Padre Bay Report: May 6th-10th

Made it to Lake Powell again this May 6th-11th for our annual Houseboat Fishing Trip. Our party of 9 fisherman got a lucky break in the weather this year and fished 5 days of glass May 6th-10th this year. We parked our houseboat in the back of Last Chance and the excellent weather allowed our 4 fishing boats to cover the entire southern lake. We fished Last Chance, the San Juan, Padre Bay and Rock Creek. Our group caught 7 species this trip: Smallmouth, Largemouth, Walleye, Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Crappie and Stripers. We would have had the Super Slam if we picked up a catfish and a carp!

The water clarity was remarkable this year, as we were able to sight fish in 30’+ of water. Long casts and light line (8lb fluoro or less) were key to getting bit consistently. Bass & other gamefish were consistently located in big chunk rock areas with lots of shade, islands & secondary points inside the coves. The very backs of coves did not consistently hold larger fish.

Smallmouth numbers and quality this year were by far the best I’ve seen since coming to the Lake since 2002. Large numbers of 1.5-2lb fish, with the largest going over 3lb! Kept our limits of the smaller fish which made for excellent fish fry and fish tacos!

The Smallmouth went ballistic for Yamamoto Soft Baits: Shad Shape Worm, Hula Grubs, Single Tail Grubs, and Senkos. Colors that worked for us were Green Pumpkin, Cinnamon Black & Purple Flake, Watermelon, Natural Shad. Jigs in 1/8, ¼ and 3/8oz, Drop Shotting and Dead Sticking were effective presentations for all the plastics. The Ned Rig was also deployed with lethal effectiveness across all species as well. It’s going to be a staple in the tackle box now! I caught 3 different species on my first 3 casts on that rig up in the SJ (walleye, smallmouth, largemouth). It totally has me “hooked” and “hooked up”!

Largemouth were sporadic, but the ones caught were all healthy, chunky fish and were all released. The largest going 4.5lbs! Caught on the same methods as for the Smallmouth.

Walleye were caught towards evenings in off colored water 16-20’ deep. Nightcrawlers on a Bottom Bouncer & Lindy Rig Combo provided some nice Wallys up to 3lbs. I did actually manage to sight fish walleye in the San Juan in the blazing midday sun. Isolated fish could be spotted sleeping on the tops of large boulders, warming themselves up. When a jig was dropped on them, they got cranky and bit! I’d never seen anything like it!

The highlight for many in our group, was the Bluegill fishing. We caught many big bulls that approached ¾ lb or larger. By far the best Bluegill fishing I’ve ever seen at Lake Powell since 2007. Caught them on 1/32 oz crappie jigs tipped with a little bit of real nightcrawler or Gulp crawler. We were able to sight fish these among the large boulder fields in 20’ of water. The Gills would usually come out to mob a Senko cast out for Smallmouth and when they were spotted, we anchor locked the trolling motor and broke out the ultra-lights we had at the ready with the crappie jigs. Bright colors worked best. Watching your bait disappear when it got mobbed was a real kicker!

Stripers – Picked up relatively few this year at the usual spot at Mile 25, only about a dozen on anchovies before the school dispersed. Found schools in the back of Last Chance (last cove on the right) in the dirty water that were staging for the spawn in about 20’ of water where we caught a few on chrome and blue Rattle Traps and on white bucktails before they became completely unamused by all of our offerings. This spawning school should bust loose any day for some lucky angler who times it right!

Fishing was absolutely AMAZING this year, and really hope that I can make it back, even for a quick weekend trip before it gets too hot!
Thanks Wayne and the Wordlings for all the advice and tips, it really paid off! It makes this forum the best in the West, hands down!

-Tony D.
Aka ThunderMullet

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Thanks PBH! The wife told me last year that "I worked hard and deserved a bigger boat", so I pulled the trigger before she changed her mind! :)
I used to have a Ranger 620VS (also an amazing fishing machine for Lake Powell). I got bit by the blue water bug pretty bad and wanted a boat with both inshore and offshore capability and the 2510 had it. I've chased bluegills and bluefin in it. It's pretty cool being able to have a rig to bed fish bass and also capable of making a 25 mile offshore run :)

Hi Basshound - Jeff Bezos has your fish mask :) Amazon has everything!

-Tony D


Lake Bum

Well-Known Member
4.5 lb Largemouth? I am soooooo jealous! I've fished Powell my entire life, and my best LM is still just a shade over 5 lbs, with a 13.5 striper in the bag also. Love the big Largemouths......wish Powell was a better host environment for them :cool: