May 30, 2018- Bluegill Prizes Awarded This Week

wayne gustaveson

Staff member
Lake Powell Fish Report – May 30, 2018

Lake Elevation: 3611

Water temperature: 67-74 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson or

Lake Powell continues to rise with inflow doubling outflow right now. Rising water is having a positive effect on fishing success. Bass, crappie, bluegill and sunfish all search for brushy structure. We hope the lake level continues to rise and reaches the next plateau where a significant amount of submerged cover is created.

The most commonly caught fish right now are smallmouth bass. They love rocks! Look for them on shallow rocky points stretching out perpendicularly from the shoreline or on a rocky point where a ridge enters the water. Bass have recently occupied another habitat which is a small isolated rock slide in the main channel or main canyon. Look for a rock slide less than 100 yards in width with steep cliffs on either side. Bass congregate in the rocky cover with the small fish anywhere from 5-15 feet deep. Larger bass are deeper in the 20-30 foot strata. Bass are eating crayfish and small sunfish. The best bottom contact baits are plastic jigs, senkos, ned rigs, shad shaped worms and chatterbaits. Square bill crankbaits are working as well. The most fun is found throwing topwater baits at low light morning and evening.

Bluegill and sunfish are biting well and are found in the same rocky habitat shared with smallmouth bass. The slight difference is bluegill will be on a quick drop off near shore where boulders are piled up to provide the habitat needed. If tumbleweeds have floated in and sunk near the boulders that structure is even better. Water clarity is only 15 feet this week but that is enough to allow visual sightings of sunfish schools hanging out near shore. Once sighted these tasty fish are easy to catch if you are prepared with a live worm. Green sunfish have a large mouth for their size and really like worms. Bluegill have a small mouth so it is important to downsize the hook to a trout size of number 8 or smaller. We caught lots of sunfish on a worm under a bobber, and on a small plastic bluegill jig on a 1/16th ounce jig head. Then we tried a tiny ice jig with a ¼ inch worm attached and caught sunfish like crazy.

Bluegill Habitat

Remember that Utah Wildlife and BYU are collecting sunfish this week at the fish cleaning stations at Wahweap and Bullfrog. If you catch a sunfish, please keep it and bring it to the cleaning station where it will be used to understand sunfish food habits and how important quagga mussels are in their diet. Please remember where the sunfish were caught and let us know that detail when the fish is turned in. You can fillet bluegill and keep the meat. The carcass and stomach is enough for the study. If you bring in a sunfish you will be entered in a fishing contest where fishing tackle is awarded to the lucky winner in a prize drawing. The Prize Drawing will take place after June 2, 2018 and prizes will be mailed to winners.

Walleye are caught on bottom bouncers with worms, on plastic baits retrieved close to the bottom, and on lures trolled across rocky points. The number of walleye caught per hour increases as you head north. Walleye are caught randomly in the southern lake but can be caught in large numbers in the north. Walleye fishing will remain good over the next 3 weeks.

Striped bass are in the final stages of spawning. They are randomly caught along main channel walls and in side canyons by bait fishermen, but the hotspots tend to move around each day. Random stripers are caught while trolling the shoreline particularly where water is murky toward the back of the canyon. Yearling fish that eat plankton near the surface can be caught while trolling and casting. Stripers will come back to the surface in mid June when spawning is done and as larval shad are found near the surface. Stripers that are missing in action now will be back in large numbers as they slurp the tiny shad near the surface. Look for striper slurps to start mid June.

On the fish report trip this week we caught 36 bluegill and sunfish, 1 striper, 1 walleye, and 40 smallmouth bass. The Lake Powell Slam is a great goal to shoot for this week!