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Tips and gear for 1st trip

Bigbassman

Active Member
Hello all! I’m an avid fisherman in Colorado, and I love targeting walleye, bass, cats and panfish. The family and I will be heading out to Wahweap for our 1st time ever, at the end of May. We have a rental Houseboat and a rental powerboat for the week.

I’ve been reading these forums for a while, and I love the tips and techniques listed for chasing stripers, but I thought I’d post here and see if I could get some specific input on some questions:

1)As someone new to fishing Powell, I wonder what gear setup you experts think would be worth investing in. Any recs for a solid rod/reel for jigging? I have some excellent spinning setups that I use for chasing walleye from shore, but I’m worried they’re not stout enough for fishing deep jigs.

2)Would it be worth getting set up for trolling on the rental powerboat? What gear would be minimal for trolling?

3)I have a Garmin chart plotter I use for ice fishing (UHD-73Cv). Does anyone know if/how I could get a transducer setup for use temporarily on the rental powerboat? Like a temporary mount?

I know those are a wide range of questions, but I’m sure there are guys with different areas of expertise on this forum! Thanks in advance, and I’m so glad I found this group. And maybe this thread will turn into a discussion for various Powell newbie questions.
 

Jwc

Well-Known Member
Hey man ...
I will answer your 1st question as it pertains to my favorite set ups... I’ll let the trolling/tronics guys answer the other ones, since I am not any sort of expert on that
My favorite set ups for jigging/flutter spoons :

Spinning : 7’ medium heavy, fast action , St Croix mojo inshore rod. Reel: van staal VR-50 spinning reel, spooled with 30 pound suffix 832 braid, attached to a long 12 lb fluoro leader via FG knot ..

Casting : 7’ medium heavy, fast action , St Croix premier casting rod. Reel: shimano curado , 7:1 ,
30lb suffix 832 braid , 17lb fluoro leader via FG knot..
Specific nerd stuff I know .. just what I have confidence in using...a million set ups will work , I like St Croix because they stand behind their product and will replace your rod no questions asked with just a picture taken and emailed.
I like Van Stall because they are bomb proof and the first spinning reel I’ve found that lasts me more than 2 years without getting clapped out ..
suffix 832 braid is the most abrasion resist line on the market at that price point , will stand up to the quagga pretty good
An FG knot because you can cast it through the guides
Shimano casting reels because they are the best for the price and seem to last ok.
Fast action because I want a rod that loads fast fishing with spoons , since most bites are on the fall , ( I’m a flutter spoon guy, so I do more casting /yo/yo deal than the vertical jiggin folks )
My favorite spoon is a 5 inch Nichols flutter spoon ( made in 🇺🇸!) in any flash or Shad color
Any way hope this helps
Also Bass and walleye should be pretty spooled up late May ! Good luck
Jonny
 
Last edited:

Bigbassman

Active Member
Hey man ...
I will answer your 1st question as it pertains to my favorite set ups... I’ll let the trolling/tronics guys answer the other ones, since I am not any sort of expert on that
My favorite set ups for jigging/flutter spoons :

Spinning : 7’ medium heavy, fast action , St Croix mojo inshore rod. Reel: van staal VR-50 spinning reel, spooled with 30 pound suffix 832 braid, attached to a long 12 lb fluoro leader via FG knot ..

Casting : 7’ medium heavy, fast action , St Croix premier casting rod. Reel: shimano curado , 7:1 ,
30lb suffix 832 braid , 17lb fluoro leader via FG knot..
Specific nerd stuff I know .. just what I have confidence in using...a million set ups will work , I like St Croix because they stand behind their product and will replace your rod no questions asked with just a picture taken and emailed.
I like Van Stall because they are bomb proof and the first spinning reel I’ve found that lasts me more than 2 years without getting clapped out ..
suffix 832 braid is the most abrasion resist line on the market at that price point , will stand up to the quagga pretty good
An FG knot because you can cast it through the guides
Shimano casting reels because they are the best for the price and seem to last ok.
Fast action because I want a rod that loads fast fishing with spoons , since most bites are on the fall , ( I’m a flutter spoon guy, so I do more casting /yo/yo deal than the vertical jiggin folks )
My favorite spoon is a 5 inch Nichols flutter spoon ( made in 🇺🇸!) in any flash or Shad color
Any way hope this helps
Also Bass and walleye should be pretty spooled up late May ! Good luck
Jonny
Thank you, Jonny! That’s some great info on rods and reels. And the 30lb braid with fluoro leaders is definitely what I’m planning. It sounds very similar to my spinning setup I use for salt water reef casting, where you need some finesse but still something that can stand up to a 15-20lb trevally if you hook into one. I’ll look into the 5 inch Nichols spoon. That sounds awesome. Any specific depths or structure you are fishing them over? Finding stripers that hit them on the drop has to be exciting!

For Walleye out here in CO:
I usually target them in coves along steep shore drop offs at dusk. Using jerks or paddle tails. Hoping I can find some similar patterns in Powell, too.
 

Havalina

Well-Known Member
On the trolling front, I would just flat line with deep divers off the points. Everything that you basically want to throw here works. If this is a rough shad year you can always use anchovies. I would suggest that you take ice with you on the fishing boat and cut the gills immediately and toss the fish on it.

The spawn might be over when you get here, but if it is still going. Read Wayne's fishing tips page and the he recently posted on how to find a spawning site. You are going to love Powell for fishing, it is the only lake that I have ever fished that if you target one species. You will catch six other species.

Have fun this spring.
 

Jwc

Well-Known Member
Thank you, Jonny! That’s some great info on rods and reels. And the 30lb braid with fluoro leaders is definitely what I’m planning. It sounds very similar to my spinning setup I use for salt water reef casting, where you need some finesse but still something that can stand up to a 15-20lb trevally if you hook into one. I’ll look into the 5 inch Nichols spoon. That sounds awesome. Any specific depths or structure you are fishing them over? Finding stripers that hit them on the drop has to be exciting!

For Walleye out here in CO:
I usually target them in coves along steep shore drop offs at dusk. Using jerks or paddle tails. Hoping I can find some similar patterns in Powell, too.
Heck yeah ! Sounds like you are already dialed !! Yeah I gear up with saltwater in mind as well because that is my number one passion .. casting off the beach !!!!

I fish north lake , dirtier water than Wahweap, but I think your right on with throwing those baits at powell , on that same type of structure, I like secondary points or 45 degree banks with small to medium size rock( good crawdad hiding spots ) in the late spring. Or any thing getting blasted hard by the wind. Jerkbaits are my spring favorite and really tear up the bass and walleyes !! I think you will get some great advice from folks on this site about fishing deep, I fish shallow a lot because old habits are hard to break and it’s what I like to do...low light periods in the spring I catch a bunch of bass and walleyes In under 15 feet of water. But again I’m not sure if that goes for south lake because I hear it’s way clear , never been down there.
I mostly fish the spoons for bass and walleyes, but I do end up catching quite a few stripers as well accidentally. If I want to fish for stripers I just drive around till I graph a school and start fan casting with a flutter, it is not the most efficient way to load the boat but it’s what I enjoy. I’m sure the many striper experts on this sight will chime in. Fishing the flutters for bass and walleye I try and find a primary or secondary point with a Channel swing or medium depth water close by , if I know the spot I will just start casting, if I’m trying some version of a milk run / new spot I will take a couple zig zags to see if there is bait on it. If you are looking for stripers , I would say start graphing shallow and work out till you find bait ball or striper school and start rippin.. if you can’t find em start trolling a medium /deep diver of your choice until you do. I’ll let the experts tell you how to fish for the stripers tho .. since I’m more of a bass guy... cheers good luck out there.. also If you want to catch a 100 small mouths in a few hours let May is the time and a 4 inch green pumpkin senko on a 1/8 or 5/16th ounce round or shakey head will do that handily. Any kind of structure break , rock pile or rock slide Or point will do. Throw that whopper plopper too.. powell bass lose their minds for that thing any time water is above 60

rad !!
Jonny
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Bigbassman

Active Member
On the trolling front, I would just flat line with deep divers off the points. Everything that you basically want to throw here works. If this is a rough shad year you can always use anchovies. I would suggest that you take ice with you on the fishing boat and cut the gills immediately and toss the fish on it.

The spawn might be over when you get here, but if it is still going. Read Wayne's fishing tips page and the he recently posted on how to find a spawning site. You are going to love Powell for fishing, it is the only lake that I have ever fished that if you target one species. You will catch six other species.

Have fun this spring.
Thank you, Havalina! So as someone new to trolling (don’t own a boat), flat line means just towing lures behind the boat, without added weights or downriggers? If so, what types of lure would you recommend for flat line trolling?

Great info on bringing ice on the powerboat, I’ll definitely plan on it. Need to buy a good day cooler to bring. For house boating guys, how do you keep a good supply of ice during the week? Just head back to the marina each day? Sorry if that’s a silly question, but I’ve never been out on big water like Powell for a week!
 

Bigbassman

Active Member
Hell yeah ! Sounds like you are already dialed !! Yeah I gear up with saltwater in mind as well because that is my number one passion .. casting off the beach !!!!

I fish north lake , dirtier water than Wahweap, but I think your right on with throwing those baits at powell , on that same type of structure, I like secondary points or 45 degree banks with small to medium size rock( good crawdad hiding spots ) in the late spring. Or any thing getting blasted hard by the wind. Jerkbaits are my spring favorite and really tear up the bass and walleyes !! I think you will get some great advice from folks on this site about fishing deep, I fish shallow a lot because old habits are hard to break and it’s what I like to do...low light periods in the spring I catch a bunch of bass and walleyes In under 15 feet of water. But again I’m not sure if that goes for south lake because I hear it’s way clear , never been down there.
I mostly fish the spoons for bass and walleyes, but I do end up catching quite a few stripers as well accidentally. If I want to fish for stripers I just drive around till I graph a school and start fan casting with a flutter, it is not the most efficient way to load the boat but it’s what I enjoy. I’m sure the many striper experts on this sight will chime in. Fishing the flutters for bass and walleye I try and find a primary or secondary point with a Channel swing or medium depth water close by , if I know the spot I will just start casting, if I’m trying some version of a milk run / new spot I will take a couple zig zags to see if there is bait on it. If you are looking for stripers , I would say start graphing shallow and work out till you find bait ball or striper school and start rippin.. if you can’t find em start trolling a medium /deep diver of your choice until you do. I’ll let the experts tell you how to fish for the stripers tho .. since I’m more of a bass guy... cheers good luck out there.. also If you want to catch a 100 small mouths in a few hours let May is the time and a 4 inch green pumpkin senko on a 1/8 or 5/16th ounce round or shakey head will do that handily. Any kind of structure break , rock pile or rock slide Or point will do. Throw that whopper plopper too.. powell bass lose their minds for that thing any time water is above 60

rad !!
Jonny
Thanks again, Jonny! More great info. I’ve only fished senkos weightless, so that’s a great idea to try on a round or shakey head. I’ll have to give that a try. I’ve also seen that Ned rigs can be deadly out there, so I’m bringing those. For soft plastics, I usually fish them on reels spooled with straight 12-15lb fluoro (no braid), I find I get better feel on the drop. But I might try them on braid with fluoro leader this trip.
Whopper ploppers will be coming with me, too! And black jitterbugs for some night top water action (one of my favorites).
 
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Havalina

Well-Known Member
Go to the home page and then to Waynes fishing tips. I first stared fishing Powell four years ago, and the first year caught only a couple of fish.
My second year after reading about every post on this site my success rate jumped dramatically. Now, four years later a good trip is going home with 100+ lbs of fillets after a weeks worth of fishing.

Literally, the best thing you can do is read Waynes fishing tips, and the go through and read all of the fishing reports. Three years ago I talked with two Vietnam vets at the courtesy dock at bullfrog in April. They had over 100 walleye from dropshotting during the spawn. There is so much experience on this site, that if you go through and read it all. You virtually have to try not to catch fish when you are out on the water.

Do not neglect the catfish at the back of your houseboat. You can bring them in the first day by tossing a bag of anchovies off the back. By flat lining, I mean running out at least 150 feet with a deep diver lure.

You will have a blast, enjoy your trip.
 

Bigbassman

Active Member
Sounds like you are ready to go for your first Powell trip. I start doing fish reports in March. Fish are much easier to catch in May, so you have picked the right time.
Thanks, Wayne! Can’t wait to get out there in May. I really love this forum, and thanks for all you do for the Powell community. Looking forward to reports in March.

One new question for the experts: any recommendations for safety gear to bring out on the powerboat each day? I have my GPS graph (Garmin) that I’ll bring, but any recommendations on other safety items? Do cell phones get signal out there?
 

Bigbassman

Active Member
Go to the home page and then to Waynes fishing tips. I first stared fishing Powell four years ago, and the first year caught only a couple of fish.
My second year after reading about every post on this site my success rate jumped dramatically. Now, four years later a good trip is going home with 100+ lbs of fillets after a weeks worth of fishing.

Literally, the best thing you can do is read Waynes fishing tips, and the go through and read all of the fishing reports. Three years ago I talked with two Vietnam vets at the courtesy dock at bullfrog in April. They had over 100 walleye from dropshotting during the spawn. There is so much experience on this site, that if you go through and read it all. You virtually have to try not to catch fish when you are out on the water.

Do not neglect the catfish at the back of your houseboat. You can bring them in the first day by tossing a bag of anchovies off the back. By flat lining, I mean running out at least 150 feet with a deep diver lure.

You will have a blast, enjoy your trip.
Great idea, Havalina — over the next few months I’m going to read as much as I can on the forum. This is such a great resource to have!
And YES — I have read all about catfish off the houseboat, and I can’t wait to give it a try! Hopefully the marina sells anchovies and night crawlers to bring with us. And we’ll have hotdogs, too. It sounds amazing after a long day out in the water to sit with a cold one and catch catfish under the moonlight.
 

stickbow shooter

Well-Known Member
Great idea, Havalina — over the next few months I’m going to read as much as I can on the forum. This is such a great resource to have!
And YES — I have read all about catfish off the houseboat, and I can’t wait to give it a try! Hopefully the marina sells anchovies and night crawlers to bring with us. And we’ll have hotdogs, too. It sounds amazing after a long day out in the water to sit with a cold one and catch catfish under the moonlight.
If you want anchovies and worms you will save a lot of money if you buy them at Wal-Mart Mart , Stix in Page or Pilot gas station in Green Haven.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Bigbassman

Active Member
Thanks, Stickbow — I’ll plan on finding anchovy’s and works at Walmart, etc. Probably going to load up on ice there, too.

Another question: anyone have experience with using box anchors on Powell? With our rental 19’ powerboat, I’m thinking to maybe bring one for anchoring at fishing spots and swimming holes.
 

BartsPlace

Moderator
Staff member
Another question: anyone have experience with using box anchors on Powell? With our rental 19’ powerboat, I’m thinking to maybe bring one for anchoring at fishing spots and swimming holes.

Your rental should come with an anchor. As far as anchoring goes at Lake Powell, most anchoring is done to the shoreline. I personally carry a stake for that purpose (or tie to a tree or big rock). The lake bottom can be a very long way down. It will typically be similar to what is above the water line (sandstone) - and can be difficult to get a good set. I only mention this because there seems to be a common thought among new Lake Powell'ers that they can throw an anchor over the side of the boat and stay in one place. It's not really that easy. :)

As far as Box versus Danforth (or any other), it has been discussed in many places.

Hope that helps!
 

TR.

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Wayne! Can’t wait to get out there in May. I really love this forum, and thanks for all you do for the Powell community. Looking forward to reports in March.

One new question for the experts: any recommendations for safety gear to bring out on the powerboat each day? I have my GPS graph (Garmin) that I’ll bring, but any recommendations on other safety items? Do cell phones get signal out there?
Don’t count in cell phones. Keep an eye as you travel and if you see service remember the spot. There are known cell areas both north and south but a lot more dead spots. Rental boat should come with radio. I would have the minimum safety equipment for your inevitable check. I am also a big fan of a unbreakable map in the boat and if you get turned around find a bouy, and then you can run a mile to the next one and see what direction you are going based on the numbers. I know it sounds silly but it happens. Going north I have taken the escalante arm more than once lol. I personally carry enough snacks, water and clothing in case I need to spend a night out due to engine failure. I do have beer with me but it is just to trade for a tow somewhere ;). Beware the winds and don’t be afraid to hunker down outside the channel for an hour. Storms pass through fast and it doesn’t make sense to buck the waves when you can wait it out. One of the most awesome places in the world, just be prepared. Like Bart said, snow stakes are awesome anchors for your 19’.

TR
 

Bigbassman

Active Member
Your rental should come with an anchor. As far as anchoring goes at Lake Powell, most anchoring is done to the shoreline. I personally carry a stake for that purpose (or tie to a tree or big rock). The lake bottom can be a very long way down. It will typically be similar to what is above the water line (sandstone) - and can be difficult to get a good set. I only mention this because there seems to be a common thought among new Lake Powell'ers that they can throw an anchor over the side of the boat and stay in one place. It's not really that easy. :)

As far as Box versus Danforth (or any other), it has been discussed in many places.

Hope that helps!
Thanks, Bart— good info. I’m going to look into a shore stake for the 19’ powerboat. Seems like the best way to anchor to different shores on excursion days.

And it seems I may skip bringing a box anchor. Makes sense that they’re not very useful in those depths and with sandstone bottoms. So for fishing, I guess most people are just drifting or trolling, right?
 

Bigbassman

Active Member
Don’t count in cell phones. Keep an eye as you travel and if you see service remember the spot. There are known cell areas both north and south but a lot more dead spots. Rental boat should come with radio. I would have the minimum safety equipment for your inevitable check. I am also a big fan of a unbreakable map in the boat and if you get turned around find a bouy, and then you can run a mile to the next one and see what direction you are going based on the numbers. I know it sounds silly but it happens. Going north I have taken the escalante arm more than once lol. I personally carry enough snacks, water and clothing in case I need to spend a night out due to engine failure. I do have beer with me but it is just to trade for a tow somewhere ;). Beware the winds and don’t be afraid to hunker down outside the channel for an hour. Storms pass through fast and it doesn’t make sense to buck the waves when you can wait it out. One of the most awesome places in the world, just be prepared. Like Bart said, snow stakes are awesome anchors for your 19’.

TR
Thanks, TR! Great hints. I’ll look into a good map to bring, and great to know about buoy numbers. Yep, both boats have radios.

Great point about storms— no need to push our luck. If we’re in the powerboat, I’ll plan to pull into a safe cove to let them pass. Do you recommend staking the powerboat to a protected shore during windy periods?

Thanks again for the hints. A lot of this stuff just comes with experience, I can see!
 

Boudreaux

Well-Known Member
As to your question about ice: it’s difficult to be a Cooler Nazi with a varied group on a houseboat, but that’s your best bet to have ice on day 4 without a trip to the expensive marina ice. (a confession:I am a Cooler Nazi. On the other hand, I have had ice cream on day 15 of a Grand Canyon raft trip in 115 F August temps that was frozen too hard to scoop out)
Level 1: transport your cooler in the back of your pickup in the sun, dump $50 of cubed ice in it, then 2 cases of ambient temp beer and soda. Expect warm beer on day 2.
Level 2: pre-chill coolers overnight with block ice or frozen water jugs. Toss that before adding block ice (not cubed!) Everything that goes in (food, beverage) is frozen or pre-chilled. Separate coolers for frozen food, iced food, beverages. And one cooler full of block ice. (This is your Morgue Cooler. Duct tape around the lid. No one opens it until the other ice is gone). Layer cardboard between ice and contents. Cover coolers with wet towels and rewet them several times/day. Move coolers out of the sun as the sun moves.
Level 3: level 2 + take coolers to pre-chill with 2” warm water in the bottom to a sub-zero industrial freezer. Freeze 2” of solid ice in the bottom. (Warm Water freezes clear with no bubbles). Add block ice and some dry ice to each cooler. Have a designated Cooler Nazi. No one opens a cooler except the Cooler Nazi. Beverages and food for the day are distributed to Day Coolers/ refrigerator in the cool of the AM, then the coolers are off limits (except for the day coolers).
You will have ice for a 7-10 days with Level 3, ice for 4-5 days with Level 2, ice for less than 24 hours regardless of the brand of cooler with Level 1.
Don’t rely on the houseboat refrigerator/freezer to work like the one at home. Pre-chill stuff to go in there. Sometimes they quit working altogether. Cooler Nazis and cooler management are more reliable.
 

TR.

Well-Known Member
Thanks, TR! Great hints. I’ll look into a good map to bring, and great to know about buoy numbers. Yep, both boats have radios.

Great point about storms— no need to push our luck. If we’re in the powerboat, I’ll plan to pull into a safe cove to let them pass. Do you recommend staking the powerboat to a protected shore during windy periods?

Thanks again for the hints. A lot of this stuff just comes with experience, I can see!
I usually find a sheltered canyon and fish when the main lake whips up but I do try to be back at camp for a big afternoon or evening blow. I personally use a sandstake for the bow and then a sandstake from either stern line at a minimum 45 degree angle. Or I use big boulders. Three point or the boat can turn sideways and wash up on the beach, even if you think you are really protected from the wind, it finds a way to mess with you, seemingly changing direction at whim. It is the first thing I do when I hit camp, make sure I have anchorage I feel comfortable with. It is hard to get that done with the wind blowing 30...or 40..or 50 lol.
 

Bigbassman

Active Member
As to your question about ice: it’s difficult to be a Cooler Nazi with a varied group on a houseboat, but that’s your best bet to have ice on day 4 without a trip to the expensive marina ice. (a confession:I am a Cooler Nazi. On the other hand, I have had ice cream on day 15 of a Grand Canyon raft trip in 115 F August temps that was frozen too hard to scoop out)
Level 1: transport your cooler in the back of your pickup in the sun, dump $50 of cubed ice in it, then 2 cases of ambient temp beer and soda. Expect warm beer on day 2.
Level 2: pre-chill coolers overnight with block ice or frozen water jugs. Toss that before adding block ice (not cubed!) Everything that goes in (food, beverage) is frozen or pre-chilled. Separate coolers for frozen food, iced food, beverages. And one cooler full of block ice. (This is your Morgue Cooler. Duct tape around the lid. No one opens it until the other ice is gone). Layer cardboard between ice and contents. Cover coolers with wet towels and rewet them several times/day. Move coolers out of the sun as the sun moves.
Level 3: level 2 + take coolers to pre-chill with 2” warm water in the bottom to a sub-zero industrial freezer. Freeze 2” of solid ice in the bottom. (Warm Water freezes clear with no bubbles). Add block ice and some dry ice to each cooler. Have a designated Cooler Nazi. No one opens a cooler except the Cooler Nazi. Beverages and food for the day are distributed to Day Coolers/ refrigerator in the cool of the AM, then the coolers are off limits (except for the day coolers).
You will have ice for a 7-10 days with Level 3, ice for 4-5 days with Level 2, ice for less than 24 hours regardless of the brand of cooler with Level 1.
Don’t rely on the houseboat refrigerator/freezer to work like the one at home. Pre-chill stuff to go in there. Sometimes they quit working altogether. Cooler Nazis and cooler management are more reliable.
Wow, great detailed info. Thank you, Boudreaux! I spoke to the Wahweap marina, and they said our houseboat has a big chest cooler or deep freeze (not sure though). Hopefully that will be useful for keeping the ice over 5 days? Anyone know more about the rental houseboat ice situation?
 
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