May 9, 2018 - Grand Slam Fishing

Not open for further replies.

wayne gustaveson

Staff member
Lake Powell Fish Report – May 9, 2018
Lake Elevation: 3609
Water temperature: 63-70 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson or

Lake Powell has stabilized with just a bit more water flowing in than going out. Without a large muddy inflow, the crystal clear water remains in more than half of the lake. In the main channel and half way back in most canyons, the visibility is close to 25 feet. There is a mudline in the main channel right at Castle Butte (Red Canyon – Buoy 124). Some side canyons have clear water despite the milk chocolate color in the main channel. Clear water is unusual in May and is caused by a combination of factors. Quagga mussels are the biggest culprit as they constantly siphon and filter lake water on a regular basis. Lower than normal spring water temperatures slowed down plankton production. Lack of rapidly rising water has prevented sand bank sloughing that muddies the water each spring. For now the water is clear except in the backs of some canyons.

This week expect to find many different species of cooperative fish. Many anglers are reporting catching largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, green sunfish, walleye, stripers, and catfish on a single trip. This is the Lake Powell Grand Slam! The best technique is to use a single tail plastic grub on a leadhead jig. Adding a piece of live worm or a gulp minnow for scent seems to entice more walleye and sunfish to participate in your fishing excursion.

The best place to fish is half way back in the side canyons where water color changes from clear to slightly stained. Look for large boulder rocks or rocky coves with lots of structure and habitat in about 25 feet of water. It seems that there are more active fish grouped up in the “hot spot” for each canyon than in the back or at the mouth. Catch the first fish and then concentrate on that spot to find more.
Smallmouth bass are the fish species most caught this week. Again, try a variety of habitats in your chosen location. Once a smallmouth is caught work that area over hard to catch many more. Reports this week indicated that slick rock outcroppings held more fish than isolated rock slides in the channel. After the spawn in over bass will move to the rock slides but during spawning season look for shallow areas where nest building is detected.

Largemouth bass follow the same pattern but they like to be near a tree or submerged bush. If they can’t find that, bass will use a rock for protective cover. We found a 3 pound largemouth guarding a nest under an overhanging rock. We could see his snout peeking out from under the rock and dropped numerous jigs to the spot. Mister Bass swept away the grub numerous times before finally picking it up and then joining us in the boat. We admired him for a moment and then put him back to protect the kids.
Stripers are still in prespawn mode and active at night and early morning. They are harder to find during the day. Bait fishing is not as successful as normally found in May because the majority of striped bass are in spawning condition which means they are less likely to be in the normal main channel bait fishing spots. These stripers eat plankton and wait for the spawning trigger which is getting closer now with the hot weather experienced this week. Stripers can be caught trolling in stained water over the length of the lake. Use medium to deep running lures that get down to 15 feet for best success.

Bluegill = Newcomer to the front stage at Lake Powell

We have a new fish entering the picture in big numbers this year. Bluegill are bigger and much more numerous than ever before. Large schools have been reported this week hanging out behind the floating rest room in Good Hope Bay. They can be caught using a small hook with a piece of worm. We were able to see bluegill schools in clear water and enjoyed watching them interact with our small jigs and worms. The big males with the bright orange chest are impressive to catch.
Walleye can be caught bottom bouncing or dragging a plastic jig with attached night crawler along the bottom in 20-40 feet of water. The next three weeks will be the best time to fish for and catch walleye over the length of the lake. Fifty walleye were caught using these angling techniques and then tagged in Good Hope Bay this week as part of a migration study to learn more about fish movement in the upper lake.

Bob Lemons

Lake water is clear but a wide variety of fish are still being caught in good numbers. The secret is to find one of the thousands of “honey holes” or locations where the schools reside and then fish that spot on a regular basis.
Last edited:
Not open for further replies.