March 25, 2020 - Lake Record Channel Catfish

wayne gustaveson

Staff member
March 25, 2020
Lake Elevation 3601
Water Temperature 52-57

The last day of winter has passed and it is officially springtime. Unfortunately, the water temperature is still cold and fishing remains a bit challenging. Here is a ray of sunshine report from last week. A new record for the biggest Channel Catfish caught in Lake Powell now exists. The old record was from 1966 with a big catfish caught in the Colorado River upstream from Hite. This record was never complete, since Lake Powell did not include the Colorado River above Hite in 1966. Further, the name of the angler who caught the fish is missing. The ghost angler who caught a big catfish in the Colorado River is no longer the Lake Record holder. Here is the story of the new record Channel Catfish caught by and written by Bruce Fenton from Cody Wyoming:

“Each year we come to Lake Powell for an early spring fishing trip, mostly fishing for Striped Bass, and Smallmouth Bass but really anything we can catch. This year was a little tougher than past years where we struggled the first two days catching anything, except an occasional Smallmouth Bass. On Wednesday, again coming back to the docks a little discouraged, I walked back up to the truck. I saw a man standing by his truck and trailer loaded with what looked like some fishing Skidoo’s. I was as much interested in his skidoo’s as I was to find out how and where to catch some fish. I went over to talk to him hoping he might give me a little advice on where to fish. He introduced himself as Bob Reed, with Up Lake Adventures. He was a fishing guide and proceeded to give me suggestions on where to fish. He then pulled out his tackle box and gave me a handful of jigs for Smallmouth Bass and suggestions on how to fish for them. He also gave me some jigging spoons that work for Stripers and showed me how to use them. Bob was awesome, very friendly and helpful. I was excited to use his lures. We went out the next morning where we had been fishing the last few days. We went into the very back of the bay where he told us to go, and could see a school of Stripers about 30 feet down. We dropped spoons and began jigging on them. My friend Denny caught a Striper on one of the spoons he gave us. Then I hooked a heavy fish, nothing like the Stripers. He fought near the bottom for a very long time. When he finally came to the surface, the excitement of the size of the huge fish was overwhelming, but the bigger shock was that it was a big Catfish – not a Striper. We really did not know what we had until we saw Bob back at the dock. We showed him the Catfish. Bob called Wayne Gustaveson and he met us at the fish cleaning station with his certified scale. Wayne weighed the big catfish at 18.45 pounds. He told us it would be a new Lake Powell record for the largest Channel Catfish ever caught in Lake Powell.

It is always fun to go fishing at Lake Powell. It has become an annual thing for us. I have to give Bob Reed a great deal of credit for his willingness to share his jigs, spoons and knowledge, but even more for his friendship and kindness. We had never before met but he gave us the information and fishing equipment needed to have a successful fishing trip. What a great man! We are lucky to have people like that around. We also look at every year before we go to Lake Powell. His fish reports are very helpful. It helps us to know when to go and what is happening. These guys are the Best!” ~Bruce Fenton~

Beside that BIG catfish report, the week of fishing was slow. Conditions improved as the water temperature increased on March 24th in the afternoon. There were many reports of stripers hitting bright colored, trolled lures (10-foot deep runners) in the backs of a number of canyons in the southern lake. For now, remember that stripers and bass are shallow and susceptible to trolling and casting in 3-30 feet of water in the backs of the canyons. Oh! and it is possible to catch a big catfish anywhere.






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