September 5, 2017 - Gearing up for Fall Fishing

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
Lake Powell Fish Report – September 5, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3630.5

Water Temperature: 81-85 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Powell was busy over the Labor Day weekend. Weather was warm and winds were calm. Many enjoyed camping in the warm and beautiful summer conditions. There will be another week or two of warm weather and then the cooler fall weather will arrive. Right now the lake is capped with 80F+ water temperature which is a bit warm for really good fishing. In the spring time the best fishing occurs when the water warms into the 60s. Right now we are waiting for the temperature to drop into the 70s. When that happens here is what to expect.


Striped Bass:
Small stripers are accustomed to feeding in really warm water. The quick boils seen this weekend featured 8-13 inch stripers. Older stripers that have boiled the last 2 months have done very well. They are two inches longer, fat and strong. Few reports about larger stripers feeding on top were received this week which means that the bigger fish were too hot to boil, or the lake was too busy or shad were moving away from main channel spots that were hot fishing a week ago. It really does not matter why there were less boils because there are still huge schools of shad in the backs of the canyons. Stripers will now move out of the main channel and work toward the backs of the canyon. The next boil period will likely erupt as soon as stripers make the transition to searching the canyons instead of the man channel and find shad in side canyons lakewide. I predict that fall top water fishing will begin mid September and boils will be large and long lasting. Expect boils to be near shore instead of in the middle of the channel. Look for giant splashes in the backs of canyons.

It has been difficult to see stripers on the graph recently because the schools are wide spread chasing individual shad near the surface. When the schools become tighter and are found in shallower water it will be easier to identify a striper school. In the fall always have a top water lure ready to cast but when the school is seen on the fish finder catching fish is easiest when using a spoon.

Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are found in deeper water when the surface water is so warm. Recently the best technique has been to visibly locate a submerged brushy reef near shore. Move to the breaking edge of the reef and fish on the next drop off where water depth is 15-30 feet deep. Smallmouth are grouped in schools in the deeper water. It is possible to see these groups of fish holding near the bottom. Once over the school drop plastic grubs on lead head jigs or dropshot rigged shad shaped worms into the school. Right now bass fishing is a lot like striper fishing where bass can be located on the graph rather than just looking for the right structure and bottom depth.


I have found the best bass schools by trolling a mid depth crankbait along the breaking edge of the reef. When a bass is caught check for curious followers and cast plastic grubs to them as they chase the hooked fish right up to the boat. Bass fishing has been quite good using this method. Catch bass until they leave the spot or the boat drifts away, and then troll again to find another hungry group.

Bluegill: Adult bluegill have grown quite large and are found in deepest brushy water available. With the lake going down those brush piles are getting shallower and are visible in the clear water. Drop meal worms or Gulp minnows down to the tops of the brush to catch some very colorful, feisty fish.

Channel catfish: Catfish are active in the evening near camp. Use some leftovers from dinner right behind the houseboat on a sandy beach about 10-15 feet deep. Catfish really like the murky water near the end of the canyon where good campsites are found.

Fishing is still really good at the lake but will get even better in the weeks to come.
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