That time of the year again...Forecast for the DAM fishing in April?

Discussion in 'Lake Powell Fishing' started by RWA007, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. RWA007

    RWA007 New Member

    Hi Wayne,

    I'm actually a prior member/user of this board but I hadn't logged on since last year at some time and I couldn't get my credentials to be reset (or even found!) so I created a new account.

    We enjoyed the fishing at the dam last year (2015) and we have been doing this (when it's ON) for about 15 years now. We learned a few years back that when you say the fishing won't be that good at the dam...that means it really won't be that good at the dam! So we avoid those years.

    What is the forecast for this year based on the biology of the lake and all the other factors that go into the equation?


  2. Squirrel

    Squirrel Well-Known Member

    Randy, Wayne is on Maui right now and won't be back for another week. You may or may not hear from him. Sq
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  3. RWA007

    RWA007 New Member

    Thanks Squirrel! I'll wait for him to get back from vacation! We are hoping the fishing will be good at the dam again this year!
  4. wayne gustaveson

    wayne gustaveson Administrator Staff Member

    Striper fishing will be mixed this year with 2 populations of fish - one group in the back of the canyon and one near the dam (main channel). I am going to chase the fish in the canyons but it would be just as good to go to the channel and use bait. One of the best bait fishing locations this spring was the mouth of Warm Creek which I call Warm Creek Wall. I should know by the end of February or first week of March if stripers and I think alike. Sometimes I get too scientific for them so I often do a double take and actually check to see if they are performing as expected.

    I promise to make my first regular fish report during the first week of March and let you know if the stripers are heading for the dam or staying in the canyons.

    Right now my bet is striper fishing at the dam will be good in March and April. Wait for confirmation after I get on the water more in the warmer weeks of February.

    Looking back I learned this strange spring striper behavior the hard way. In the early 1990s we had 2 amazing spring fishing events in two consecutive years. Fishing at the dam was incredible from March to early May. The next year we geared up to take advantage of the big schools of stripers that were harvested near the dam by working with the manager of Wahweap Marina to run a contest rewarding the person who was able to catch the largest bag of stripers in a single day. I convinced the manager to have a scale set up at the marina on a daily basis so we could weigh 100 pounds of fish or whatever the catch was that day. We had some good prizes donated and the contest was ready to kickoff. My reward would be to harvest as many fish as possible while the rapidly reproducing striped bass were hot to catch at the dam. The marina's reward was to increase their customer count when anglers came in to weigh fish. It was a Win-Win situation.

    The contest started and the fish did not show up. We waited a week or so for the tardy stripers to show up without success. We finally took down the signs and quietly walked away from the biggest catch striper contest. To my knowledge there were only 2 stripers caught near the dam that spring.

    It is better to be educated and predict what will happen based on science, rather than to learn by experience that sometimes you really don't know what the fish will do.

    I learned from that experience that when shad were abundant in the backs of canyons that stripers would not leave to seek deep water in the channel. When no shad are in the backs of canyons adult stripers leave as water warms to find cool deep water where they use less energy while searching for food. Hey there's an anchovy - time to eat.

    2017 is a mixed year. There were shad in the fall but stripers worked them over pretty hard. Are there enough left to keep stripers from moving to deep water? I need to know that. I will have an answer by the first week of March.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
  5. RWA007

    RWA007 New Member

    Thanks Wayne! We are going to go ahead and plan on the trip but will be watching and listening anxiously before we actually head out! Thanks again and look forward to your future report!