May 27, 2020 - Business as Usual

wayne gustaveson

Staff member
May 27, 2020
Lake Elevation 3604
Water Temperature 65-72 F

The Memorial Day Holiday was the busiest weekend that I have witnessed in my long tenure at Lake Powell. All boat parking lots were full and then overflowing. It was obvious that many boaters came from far away to finally get back on the water after being sheltered at home for so long. Now the Holiday weekend has passed. Boat use is similar to the last week of May in other years. The lake is still busy but not overwhelmed. Life is back to normal.

Fishing is still productive. Smallmouth Bass are the primary species caught lakewide. Bass catch rate has dropped recently with all the boats cruising the lake. Now it is best to find a cove without other fishing, wakeboard or party boats. Look for quiet coves or canyons and then fish with the same techniques as last week to catch hungry bass. It is likely that the number of quiet coves increases as distance from Wahweap or Bullfrog Marina increases. Fishing is also better very early and very late each day.

The best bass lures were plastic baits fished along the rocky bottom in 10-30 feet of water. Ned Rigs, double and single tail plastic grubs, Senkos, and many other plastic baits. Crankbaits are working as well. The excitement level really ramps up when bass start hitting topwater lures like, whopper ploppers, poppers and stick baits while “walking the dog”. In summary, bass fishing is still good with a wide variety of lures and techniques.

Walleye are still active. Numbers caught seem less than other years but the rising water covering some grass and weeds on the shoreline will increase trolling success for walleye. Plastic grubs tipped with a piece of night crawler are another effective walleye technique. These fish are big and fat this year.

I recommend taking worms along on your next trip. Bluegill schools are getting active and easy to see in shallow coves with a weedy shoreline being inundated by rising lake water. Use a tiny ice fly or a worm below a bobber to catch some nice chunky sunfish. The kids will love it!
Stripers are getting closer to spawning. My guess is they are about a week or two out. They spawn at night after a rapid rise in water surface temperature. Catch a reluctant striper or two during the day and then return to that spot at night to find the whole school energized and ready to eat. Use a white buck tail jig (1/2 ounce). It looks like a fish and the single hook makes it easier to unhook and cast quickly back to the spawning school. Spawning stripers are super aggressive with large females (up to 20 pounds or better) mixed in with the 3-pound male stripers preparing for the spawning ritual. Spawning schools seem much like striper boils as they aggressively eat most lures in shallow water. It would be wise to have a rod rigged with 15-pound test line and a single tail grub, ready for action when that spawning school erupts. I predict someone is going to find a spawning school this year. I wait impatiently for that report!