September 26, 2017 - Electrofishing Results

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
Lake Powell Fish Report – September 26, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3628

Water Temperature: 70-74 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson

Last week we sampled young fish production in Lake Powell with electrofishing techniques. Windy weather reduced our catch some but we did learn about the general success of most fish species. With lots of submerged brush it was expected that brush-loving fish like bluegill, crappie and largemouth would be the most abundant species sampled. As expected, bluegill were the most abundant species captured. Black crappie had a strong showing in the northern lake and the San Juan. Smallmouth bass were well represented lakewide and largemouth bass catch was steady over the length of the lake. The brushy cover that is still submerged in Lake Powell has been very beneficial in rebuilding the populations of those fish that anglers really appreciate. Striped bass are more of an open water fish even at a young age so they are not captured as well as bass and crappie during the shoreline sampling in September.

Windy conditions over the past week have slowed fishing success considerably. It was not easy to fight the waves and catch fish while the wind was blowing hard. Strong winds reduced water temperature from 77 (last report) to 70 degrees this morning. Catching success dropped during the windy weather. September is going out like a lion with some more wind and rain forecast. As the weather settles down in October, fishing success will rebound once more even with cooler weather. The best fishing in the spring is at a water temperature from 62-72. That is repeated in the fall.

For this week, expect best success by graphing bottom structure looking for striper schools. Shad have been hiding in the backs of canyons protected by brush shelters. Stripers are moving in that direction. Open water boils have slowed considerably. Expect to find striper schools in 40-80 feet toward the backs of canyons. They periodically come up to feed on shad and can be seen pushing shad schools along the canyon wall. Use surface lures to catch them when visibly chasing shad, but the most effective striper lures this week will be spoons. Expect to find schools at a common depth. In past years the best depth to find them has been 60-70 feet. When a school is found, remember the depth and look for them at the same depth in other bays or canyons. When found a striper school will be very willing to chase your spoons.

Smallmouth bass may be easier to find and catch than stripers. They are in shallower water (10-25 ft) holding near the brushy points where tamarisk trees are becoming more visible as the lake level declines. Smallmouth bass are excited about all the tasty little bluegill that we found while electrofishing and are close to their brushy sanctuaries. Bass are running in packs so when one fish is found there may be a bunch more in the same spot. Shad shaped worms are working very well either wacky rigged on a drop shot rig or impaled on a lead head jig. Bass can be caught along the entire shoreline of Lake Powell.

Walleye are starting up again and can be caught in the daytime occasionally while fishing for bass and stripers.


Bluegill hide in the submerged treetops and can be seen in the brush near shore. Find a good sized bluegill and feed it a live night crawler or Berkeley gulp minnow. Youngsters will really enjoy catching sunfish off the back of a houseboat.

Catfish are feeding steadily along the bottom in 10-15 feet of water. They like table scraps and will provide a lot of excitement as they join your party at dusk on the sandy beach.

October is often the best weather to cruise and camp at Lake Powell. Crowds have diminished, water is calm and cool. It might be the best time to camp and fish in 2017.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 September 2017 10:18
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