September 3, 2018 Water Cooling - Fishing Warming

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
Lake Powell Fish Report – September 3, 2018

Lake Elevation: 3596

Water temperature: 76 - 80 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson or

The air temperature is cooling down now that September is here. Water temperature is following suit. That cooling makes it easier for stripers to stay near the surface and boil on a shad school. The surface feeding activity that was confined to the northern half of the lake is now a thing of the past. Boils are now reported from Wahweap to the Good Hope Bay.

This week expect to see some surface activity in the southern lake from Wahweap to Rainbow Bridge. There were recent reports of boiling stripers in Ice Cream Canyon (Wahweap Bay), Padre Bay and the mouth of Rock Creek. Generally, this means that it is possible to find surface feeding fish anywhere and at any time of day. Unfortunately, the surface action only last for a short time. Throw topwater lures into the boiling fish as long as they stay up. A good school may boil for 10-15 minutes which means you can catch 10 or more from that single event. More often they only stay up for 5 minutes or less.

Do not be discouraged when they go down quickly. Treat the surface activity as a marker buoy. Head to the spot and watch the graph intently. These surfacing stripers are searching for shad to eat and not finding that many in the southern lake. When they go down they are still searching for food. Find the school on the graph and drop spoons to the hungry fish and get ready for some incredible fish-catching action. Spoons resemble shad that stripers are searching for so they respond quickly to your bait. The striper school follows any fish with a shad [or spoon] in its mouth so they will stay under the boat as long as the spoons keep dropping. The action can be as intense as fishing a surface boil. Watch the graph for the visual effect that surface fishing offers. Unhook the fish quickly, immediately drop the spoon back down to find another hungry fish.

Spoons that work well include Kastmasters, Fle Fly, Real Image, and Colt Sniper. These long thin spoons are “slab spoons” which all work well for hungry stripers. If the striper school is holding at 30 feet, drop the spoon to 40 feet and then reel it up through the feeding fish. If no fish hit the lure after coming up 20 feet then drop again to 40 feet. Try to keep the spoon in the school as long as possible so the fish can see it and quickly get to it. Spooning is the best way to catch a bunch a stripers in a very short time.

Smallmouth bass are observing the feeding stripers and get very excited about their feeding behavior. If shad, spoons, crank baits, or surface lures come near, smallmouth bass will join in on the action. Bass fishing is excellent right now as water temperature drops and stripers drive shad toward the shoreline.

Do not be surprised if walleye, largemouth bass, sunfish and bluegill are caught at the same time all the smallmouth and striper activity is occurring. The summer boating crowds are now declining. Water and air temperature are falling.

The lake is now heading to excellent fishing success such as that seen in April and May. The best time to fish in the Fall is from September 15th to October 15th. The fun times are right around the corner. Come and join in on the fun.


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