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Southern Bass Oct. 10-11 - Ed Gerdemann

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Edward Gerdemann

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I've always contended the ideal fishing day consisted of overcast skies, mild temperatures and relatively low winds. Add an approaching storm front and conditions are just about perfect. By those standards last Wednesday was about as perfect a fishing day as one could get - and the results long time fishing partner Dale Marenda and I had proved it.

Fishing both the north and south sides of the main channel just up lake from the mouth of Warm Creek, we managed to take 75 smallmouths in less than seven hours. Most of the fish we took were holding on the tops of the shelves in five to 15 feet of water, however we also caught some off the sides of the shelves at 17-22 feet. In fact, Dale had significant success later in the day fishing directly below the boat at that depth range. The word to the wise is although there are many smallmouths up shallow, it still pays to fish deeper off the edges of the reefs and shelves to maximize your catching.

Dale mostly used a drop shot setup, however I had considerable success early fishing weightless wacky-rigged Senkos - a pattern that has worked very well for me this year. As has been the pattern on earlier trips this fall, however, after mid-morning the drop shot with the Yamamoto Shad Shaped Worm out fished the weightless Senko. This has certainly been the pattern since mid-September.

As good as Wednesday's fishing was, Thursday's outing was sort of a disappointment. First, we woke up to a steady, moderately heavy early morning rain. Both Dale and I commented that when we were younger we would have put on the rain gear and headed out as there was no thunder or lightning, however at our ages (I'm 65 and Dale is a very young 91) we simply don't enjoy fishing under those conditions. When the rain stopped and I was convinced the front had moved through, we headed for the launch ramp motoring out at around 11:30. Because our day was abbreviated we decided to stay in Wahweap Bay heading for the shelves just above the junction with the main channel.

It was still overcast when we started fishing, but within a very short time we had landed eight nice smallmouths. These fish were hanging near irregular features on the shelf at five to 10 feet. At around 12:45 the sun popped out and the action simply stopped. Over the next hour and a half or so we picked up a few more fish, but the action was very slow. I decided to move out to the edge of the shelf where once again we found some fish in that 17 to 22-foot range. Fishing mostly directly below the boat, we managed to take a few more fish. I also had some luck making underhand pitches parallel to the edge of the shelf and playing out the line. We finished the afternoon taking 24 smallmouths and one largemouth making a 1 1/2 day total of 100 bass. We caught no walleyes, stripers or catfish.

Although I caught three bass, including the lone largemouth, on a weightless Senko, the drop shot with the Shad Shaped Worm proved the best presentation. As I have discovered over the last 17 plus years, drop shot fishing is the most consistent way to catch Lake Powell smallmouth. On given days other techniques might work better, but day in and day out drop shotting is the best.

I have one more trip for this season scheduled for next week. Hopefully I'll find close to those perfect conditions and some cooperative bass.


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Littlesaltwash

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Great report! One of my go to baits now is the 901 senko after reading your previous trip reports.
 
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Edward Gerdemann

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Great report! One of my go to baits now is the 901 senko after reading your previous trip reports.

That 901 color has been very effective for me for well over a decade in the Shad Shaped Worm. It's proving its worth again in the Senkos. I actually think any reasonable color will work on Lake Powell. The solid greens, clear and translucent gray colors all produce. As in all fishing, the key is to get the lure in front of the fish in a manner they want - location and presentation are always the keys to successful fishing. The lure and, especially, the lure's color are secondary items in the grand scheme of things. On Lake Powell, for instance, I believe using fluorocarbon line or at least a fluorocarbon leader is a major key to fishing success. I believe if the fish can't see the line the chances for success improve.

Are there days when it doesn't matter what kind of line you use? You bet! However, before I ever leave the ramp I want to know I've eliminated as many potential problems as possible, and line visibility is always a potential problem on any relatively clear lake. I can fish with more confidence knowing I've eliminated line visibility as an issue, and those who fish with confidence catch more fish! :D

Ed Gerdemann
 
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