March 18, 2020 - Covid-19 Crisis

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
March 18, 2020
Lake Elevation 3601
Water Temperature 52-56

Lake Powell is still open despite all the closures that are occurring around the world. The Glen Canyon Visitors center is closed but NPS personnel are available and answering questions outside the Visitors Center. Launch ramps and the Fish Cleaning Station are open and operating. Entrance fees have been discontinued, launch your boat and then go fishing. AIS technicians are still checking boats as they leave the lake to ensure that no quagga mussels are hiding on departing boats.

Water temperature is still in the low 50s. That means fishing is slow and challenging. The good news is that anglers are catching more fish this week than last week. Bass are turning on. In Good Hope Bay, anglers found both large and smallmouth bass near the backs of canyons in 20 feet of water. Yamamoto plastic grubs impaled on a ¼-ounce jig head, dropped to the bottom and worked slowly up and down, enticed bass to softly hit the lure. More bass were caught in canyons on the sunny side of the bay (where water was slightly warmer) than on the shady side. This pattern should work lakewide if you find the warmest water available and focus on softly bouncing plastic grubs around rocky structure at the 20-foot depth. Fishing results were better in Good Hope Bay than in Cedar and Knowles Canyons. Anglers did capture some really nice largemouth bass in Cedar and Knowles but the catch rate was a bit better uplake.
Tessa Mikesell

In the southern lake, good reports came from Navajo, Gunsight and Padre Canyon. Casting a red rattletrap into shallow water at the backs of the canyons enticed largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and striped bass. The standard now is to find shallow warm water with a depth of about 20 feet to have a successful fishing trip. Warmer water is key. Keep moving and trying different spots until the fish cooperate.

Alex Yamamoto

Striped bass are really fat, healthy and happy! There are still shad schools hiding in secret spots in the canyons. Stripers are moving into shallow water and looking for shad. Anchovies work really well when stripers are hungry, but they do not work well for fat fish. I am sorry to report that during March, anchovies will not be the go-to bait and the main channel is not harboring a ton of stripers. Right now, it is best to go to the back of the canyon. The best technique is to cast or troll rattle traps in shallow water. There are still some active striper schools in the 20-40 foot zone in the backs of canyons. These fish are not stationary, but likely to move quickly when a boat hovers over them. Spoons still work, but the school tends to move away quickly. Have an arsenal of equipment with spoons, deep diving crankbaits, and shallow rattletraps. As a group of fish swims under the boat, react quickly with a variety of techniques. On my last trip, stripers were holding at 20 feet. We trolled over these schools and usually caught a fish or two. Then we quickly changed to casting and spooning as the trolled fish was slowly brought to the boat. Remember that stripers are schooling fish and react to feeding by a schoolmate. If one fish is eating, the others look for their portion of food. Striper fishing will improve with warmer weather. April is going to be a great time to be at Lake Powell.
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