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Wahweap Bass - June 9-10 - Ed Gerdemann

Edward Gerdemann

Well-Known Member
If you're going to fish Wahweap Bay this summer, you'd better do it early in the day or, perhaps, at night - that is if you don't want to be knocked around all day by power boat wakes. That's certainly what I discovered last week on my first fishing trip of the year. My fishing partner this trip was fellow Greenehaven resident Neil Salmi. This is the second time we've fished together, the first being last fall, and I hope it will be many more times. This was my first trip of the season. When launching my boat on Wednesday I discovered my steering was very stiff, so much so I did not feel comfortable running up lake which led me to decide to stay in Wahweap Bay. On Wednesday we fished from 5 a.m. until around 10:30 before the boat traffic just got too intense. Thursday we had to get off the lake by 8:45 due to a combination of wind and wakes which made it literally impossible to hold the boat.

It was probably a good thing I had that steering problem Wednesday, however, because if I'd have run up lake I'm not sure I would have made it back through Maytag Straights. Given how rough Wahweap Bay was I could only imagine how much worse the straights would have been. I'm afraid they may be off limits for me until boat traffic dies down in the fall or until my new bigger boat is delivered.

Despite these handicaps the fishing wasn't too bad as we caught approximately 65 smallmouths, one largemouth, one striper and three walleyes combined over both days. We fished the area in Wahweap just above the junction of the main channel on both sides of the lake. We found the pattern pretty much the same on both days except on Thursday we caught a few deep fish between 20 and 25 feet. Wednesday the deepest fish we took was about 18 feet with a majority caught at 12 feet and less. We caught most our fish in drop shot Yamamoto Shad Shaped worms, my staple Lake Powell smallmouth bait, however I did catch one bass on a weightless Senko and Neil caught a walleye on a spoon. Given how shallow most the fish were I wish I'd have fished that Senko more as it tends to catch somewhat larger average fish. As usual, the best presentation was slow. We took about equal numbers of fish on the initial drop and on the slow drag. It paid to pause and deadstick for a few seconds between drags. Most of our hits were very light pressure bites, however we did have a few aggressive takes.

We caught a lot of small fish, but we caught a fair number 12 inches and larger. My best bass was somewhere around 2 1/2 pounds. I do think the average size fish was a bit larger on Thursday, however I caught my biggest bass Wednesday. Although we had occasional flurries of multiple strikes, most of the time we would get a hit here and there. It paid to cover a lot of water.

While I don't like to do this on a fishing report, I feel I must address the issue of boat wakes. Most of our problems were caused by boats designed for wake boarding which are designed to put out a large wake. Unfortunately some of these boats produce wakes large enough to be dangerous. There were several situations where if I had not been able to turn my bow into the wake I fear we would have been capsized. My boat is not huge, but it's not all that small either being a 17-footer with a fairly deep V hull. I think there's something terribly wrong here when a person fishing out of a boat this size feels threatened due to the size of the power boat wakes. Overall there was about a continual three-foot swell on the bay in addition to the fresh wakes. This swell even carried through the area around the launch ramp making driving the boat onto the trailer an interesting experience.

I'm not sure what the solution for this is short of a rain of biblical proportions. One thing I believe needs to be done immediately which would help some would be extending the no-wake zone at the Wahweap mouth an extra half-mile back towards the marina. That is a narrow area of the bay, and when multiple boats come through there at the same time it creates a dangerous situation. My libertarian tendencies do not like the idea of banning certain types of watercraft from the lake and ruining someone else's fun, but this is a matter of safety. Unless something is done I believe it's only a matter of time when someone in a small boat or kayak is capsized and drowned. If that happens you can bet that will bring on a lawsuit which eventually could lead to all power boats being banned from the lake. Most of you probably don't believe that could happen, but you have to remember those running our government today don't like power boats, or more accurately those who participate on the activity, and boating in general and are just looking for an excuse to take away something that we all enjoy. Before that happens we need to find a way to make the lake safer.

IMG_0806.jpgIMG_0813.jpg
 

Bill Sampson

Well-Known Member
If you're going to fish Wahweap Bay this summer, you'd better do it early in the day or, perhaps, at night - that is if you don't want to be knocked around all day by power boat wakes. That's certainly what I discovered last week on my first fishing trip of the year. My fishing partner this trip was fellow Greenehaven resident Neil Salmi. This is the second time we've fished together, the first being last fall, and I hope it will be many more times. This was my first trip of the season. When launching my boat on Wednesday I discovered my steering was very stiff, so much so I did not feel comfortable running up lake which led me to decide to stay in Wahweap Bay. On Wednesday we fished from 5 a.m. until around 10:30 before the boat traffic just got too intense. Thursday we had to get off the lake by 8:45 due to a combination of wind and wakes which made it literally impossible to hold the boat.

It was probably a good thing I had that steering problem Wednesday, however, because if I'd have run up lake I'm not sure I would have made it back through Maytag Straights. Given how rough Wahweap Bay was I could only imagine how much worse the straights would have been. I'm afraid they may be off limits for me until boat traffic dies down in the fall or until my new bigger boat is delivered.

Despite these handicaps the fishing wasn't too bad as we caught approximately 65 smallmouths, one largemouth, one striper and three walleyes combined over both days. We fished the area in Wahweap just above the junction of the main channel on both sides of the lake. We found the pattern pretty much the same on both days except on Thursday we caught a few deep fish between 20 and 25 feet. Wednesday the deepest fish we took was about 18 feet with a majority caught at 12 feet and less. We caught most our fish in drop shot Yamamoto Shad Shaped worms, my staple Lake Powell smallmouth bait, however I did catch one bass on a weightless Senko and Neil caught a walleye on a spoon. Given how shallow most the fish were I wish I'd have fished that Senko more as it tends to catch somewhat larger average fish. As usual, the best presentation was slow. We took about equal numbers of fish on the initial drop and on the slow drag. It paid to pause and deadstick for a few seconds between drags. Most of our hits were very light pressure bites, however we did have a few aggressive takes.

We caught a lot of small fish, but we caught a fair number 12 inches and larger. My best bass was somewhere around 2 1/2 pounds. I do think the average size fish was a bit larger on Thursday, however I caught my biggest bass Wednesday. Although we had occasional flurries of multiple strikes, most of the time we would get a hit here and there. It paid to cover a lot of water.

While I don't like to do this on a fishing report, I feel I must address the issue of boat wakes. Most of our problems were caused by boats designed for wake boarding which are designed to put out a large wake. Unfortunately some of these boats produce wakes large enough to be dangerous. There were several situations where if I had not been able to turn my bow into the wake I fear we would have been capsized. My boat is not huge, but it's not all that small either being a 17-footer with a fairly deep V hull. I think there's something terribly wrong here when a person fishing out of a boat this size feels threatened due to the size of the power boat wakes. Overall there was about a continual three-foot swell on the bay in addition to the fresh wakes. This swell even carried through the area around the launch ramp making driving the boat onto the trailer an interesting experience.

I'm not sure what the solution for this is short of a rain of biblical proportions. One thing I believe needs to be done immediately which would help some would be extending the no-wake zone at the Wahweap mouth an extra half-mile back towards the marina. That is a narrow area of the bay, and when multiple boats come through there at the same time it creates a dangerous situation. My libertarian tendencies do not like the idea of banning certain types of watercraft from the lake and ruining someone else's fun, but this is a matter of safety. Unless something is done I believe it's only a matter of time when someone in a small boat or kayak is capsized and drowned. If that happens you can bet that will bring on a lawsuit which eventually could lead to all power boats being banned from the lake. Most of you probably don't believe that could happen, but you have to remember those running our government today don't like power boats, or more accurately those who participate on the activity, and boating in general and are just looking for an excuse to take away something that we all enjoy. Before that happens we need to find a way to make the lake safer.

View attachment 13537View attachment 13538
Well stated Ed.
 

BrianID

Well-Known Member
I also like those Yamamoto shad shaped worms on drop shot. The wake boats do put out a dangerous wake. I thought the waves were bad around Halls Friday morning, I can only imagine how rough it would have been on spots in the Southern part of the lake.
 

Meatwagon

Well-Known Member
Glad to hear you were able to get into some fish. I think probably the best solution to the wakes is to stay close, get out early to avoid the crowds until they subside this fall. When we were there in May they were surfing the whole length from the dam to Gunsite.
 
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