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October 6, 2020 - Fishing and travel improving

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
October 7, 2020
Lake Elevation 3595
Water Temperature 72-74 F

October is here, so it is time to dig out the spoons and fish deep for stripers. Shad schools hide in brush or shallow muddy water in the summer. When the nights start to cool off, shad schools flee to deeper water where the temperature is more stable. Shad can handle deep cool water, but struggle when there is quick change in temperature on the surface every night. Shad form giant schools to protect themselves from predation. Not sure how they chose which fish have to be on the outside of the school?

Lakewide, stripers are holding at a depth of 40-80 feet. One good technique is to start in the back of a canyon at a depth of 20-40 feet. Search with the graph for big shad balls. Shad show up as a huge ball of fish while, stripers appear more often as lines of fish. Stripers are usually deeper than shad. The best fishing technique is to drop 1.5 ounce jigging spoons down to the bottom just under the striper school. One striper grabbing the spoon energizes the whole school. It is easy to catch many stripers in a short time. Jigging by 2-3 anglers in a boat increases the striper energy level. When one fish is hooked, more fish show up under the boat. Try to stay with the school as they congregate under the boat. Spot lock electric motors hold the boat and the fish school together and increase the catch rate. This is the best technique over the length of the lake.

In the southern lake, there are not as many shad as found in the north. Striper schools still hunt and feed as a group looking for any forage available. Without shad as a consistent food source, hungry stripers look for the next best option = BAIT. Anchovies work every year as a consistent fish catching mechanism. Usually they work better in the spring before the shad spawn. This year, with fewer shad than normal in the southern lake, bait fishing has worked consistently all summer long. Now, as temperatures fall, bait fishing success is picking up, particularly after dark.

I previously reported a trolling and spooning spot in a major southern canyon on a large sandstone cliff, on the left side near the back of the canyon. Trolling and casting worked very well in the late evening. It was not as good this week except for those that used bait to quickly catch many fish. Find a deep spot holding shad balls. If casting, trolling, and spooning quit working then switch over to bait to catch more fish.

Smallmouth bass are hitting plastic baits and surface lures lakewide. Early morning and late evening are best. During the day, bass are hanging out in 15-30 feet of water near rockslides and in brushy coves and occasional weed bed. The San Juan Arm has been great recently with bass eager to hit plastic grubs and surface lures. Some of the best spots for bass are Cha Bay, Wilson Creek, and Piute Bay. If you want to go all the way into the Great Bend it provides great fishing success for both bass and stripers. Try trolling in the narrow canyon channel. Do not be surprised to catch a crappie.

Some many choices and places to go! Fishermen just have to love Lake Powell.
IMG_0419.JPGCarson Ridd with a nice smallmouth bass

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