September 26, 2018 - Use worms to catch lots of fish

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
Lake Powell Fish Report – September 26, 2018
Lake Elevation: 3591
Water temperature: 75-78 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson or

Lake Powell continues to drop. Lake elevation today is 3591. That still leaves 11 feet of water in the Castle Rock Cut. If the current rate of decline continues, the Cut will remain open for approximately 5 weeks which would mean that it will be open through most of October. The Cut and Antelope ramp will both close before the HFE (High Flow Experiment) scheduled for November 5th occurs.

Fishing in the southern lake during the past week has been slower than usual with full moon and declining lake levels. Here are the bright spots:
Smallmouth bass continue to cooperate with bass anglers who are using plastic baits and targeting open water reefs. With the lake falling there are some long, narrow rocky points extending from shore and gradually declining to 30 feet or more. Work green plastic grubs or shad shaped worms along the bottom in 15-25 foot range to target the larger bass. Smaller bass will be mixed in but are more common at shallower depths. There are some bass in the backs of canyons and coves. They are usually on the breaking edge where shallow water drops into a deeper channel. Water clarity over the length of the lake has declined considerably with dropping lake levels allowing sand and sediment to mix in the water column with each wind event. Big patches of aquatic weeds are now showing in the backs of many coves. The weed mats are coming out of the water and drying up as the lake drops.

Striped bass schools are found in deeper water (50-75 feet). These fish have been searching for shad but not finding many in the southern lake. When a school is seen try spooning, but if that does not work then drop anchovy bait for a quick catch of lots of fish. When stripers are schooled up with low shad numbers, many in the school do not get fed. Only the quickest fish will get enough shad to eat. Right now about 75% of the schooling stripers are healthy and 25% malnourished. I suggest keeping all stripers to reduce total striper numbers and to increase the opportunity for those remaining fish to find adequate nourishment.

From Bullfrog north, shad numbers are much higher than in the south. Graph and troll to find striper schools and then use spoons to catch a bunch. Spoons resemble shad and stripers really respond well to spoons in these conditions. The target depth is a bit shallower in the north but striper schools can be graphed from 30 to 70 feet. Striper schools may be harder to find now than commonly found this time of year but when a school is graphed these fish respond very well.

We found out last week that the very best way to catch large numbers and a huge variety of fish is to use night crawlers. Tip a plastic grub, spoon or a plain bait hook with a one-inch piece of worm. Drop the bait down to the bottom in 5-25 feet of water and gently jig it up and down. The response is amazing. Expect to catch bluegill, green sunfish, smallmouth bass, walleye and channel catfish in big numbers. A really small hook is best. An ice jig or ice fly has a very small hook but packs a lot of weight for its size. If you want to catch a lot of fish this is the technique for you.


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