When does the fishing typically get "good" in early spring?

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CHRIS MCBETH

Well-Known Member
I recently lost my job of 13 years and was kicking around the idea of spending some time at the lake fishing off the grid.

Is there a time in Spring (and reliable location) at Powell when the fishing really get's good?

I realize this is a very open-ended question, I'm really looking for a generalized answer based on years of experience to say the fishing typically starts to really get good in the first few weeks of xxxx and you'll want to look in the X bay, Y bay, or Z bay.

I have a nice boat, no fish finder, and no experience fishing with bait. Most of my experience is trolling or casting with spoons, jigs, and surface lures.

My wife and I went out last October with Captain McNabb and caught 5 keepers, but even he told us that was probably the worst day they'd ever seen, so I'm hoping the fishing this spring is far more productive.

Mike told us he's had groups that caught over 100 fish in a single day in the middle to end of March, and all the way through May/June.

I would sure love to have a day like that, and feed my family for a month!

Any assistance is appreciated.
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
Sorry for your job loss. I have been there myself. Hopefully you will find your next career soon.

In regard to spring fishing, it usually really heats up the week after I am there.........

On a somewhat more serious note, I was in a similar position two years ago. One job ended on 3/30. Next one started on 5/1. I spent two weeks fishing in Colorado, and one week in Powell. I casted enough (with a few fish caught in between) that I got tennis elbow (or, as my wife will say with no sympathy, "fishing elbow").

We were at Powell the 2nd week of April, focused on the North end of the lake. Two of us went, and we never had 100 fish days, but we did well. Then came home, and read reports the following week about how the fishing really caught fire after we left.........
 

Meatwagon

Well-Known Member
In some ways Powell is like nowhere else, and in other ways it is like most lakes that have fish. fish get more active as the water starts to get warm, that can be early to late March and continues to improve as the weather and temperature improve clear into may and June. watch the weather and read the fishing reports from those on the forum and if you hit just right and find the fish you to will have a fantastic time maybe even a 100 fish day, but let me warn you it is nonstop catching to reach a 100 fish day .
 

CHRIS MCBETH

Well-Known Member
I have no illusions as to my ability to catch 100 by myself. Im not even sure I'd want to because it would be so much work cleaning them all! McNabb had 5 guys on his boat and that was their collective haul. I think realistically I could handle about 20, and then spend 2 hours cleaning them.

From what it sounds like after reading through a bunch of archived reports you can catch all year round, but the going gets much easier once the waters warm up and the fish start presenting themselves in boils. It appears April/May are the best, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

The Lone Rock boil those guys got on last week sounded pretty exciting (in Wayne's most recent report), but it also sounds like that's pretty much lucky to be in the right place at the right time and you need good equipment to locate the fish once they move around.

What's your opinion on having a really good fish finder with Side-Imaging, vs. traditional Down Imaging? It seems like that could be useful in finding them, but honestly a lot of reading on that subject (and having watched professional fishing guides) it seems like fish finders don't really do much for you if you know what you're doing in the first place.
 

KYKevin

Well-Known Member
Not an expert, but fishing for anything but Striper's, can be up and down, with the water temp's, in March, and April, depending on how much wind we have, it can get really good, with a few warm day's, and then the wind blow's, and run's them back to deep water. But I allway's can count on the third week of April, and there's never any guarantee's, with fishing, but if I were going to pick a time, without watching for a high front, and 58 to 62 degree water, then I would plan for the third week of April. Like I have for the last 21 year's. And it is a real good chance, if you have three or four people, who know a little about fishing, to do that 100 fish day, or night, right now, for Striper's.
The Small, and large mouth bass, Crappie, bluegill, Walleye's, and catfish, can for sure get a boat of people, 100+ fish days, when the water temp's are right. I expect those kind of number's, last week of April. and first two weeks of may, difference is, most year's, your run off, is raising the lake, past a lot of established spawning fish, so it is a little differrent fishing, But my favorite, a lot of site fishing, when the run off is not coming up to fast, can be best of the year.
But if your layed off, it's a while yet, before March and April. It's all to do with time, and money, if you have the money, then watch the weather, and high front's, if you can only go, a certain amount of time, then make it the third week of April, and into May. You dont need a fish finder, near as much, because most of these fish come into the bank, by the third week of April, and are there for two or three more week's, until there through doing there spawn.

If it's Striper's your after, go hit the dock's now, and put the time in from 6 p.m. til they quit biting, and you can feed those family, you were talking about, And there's hardly any one there, during the week day's.
What ever you decide, have a good one.
KyKevin
 

CHRIS MCBETH

Well-Known Member
KyKevin, great info. Thanks. When you say hit the docks right now... do you literally mean fishing at the dock at 6pm? What would you suggest using on the end of the line? E.g. Bait, or lures?
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
After many late April trips with varying degrees of success, I have changed my favorite time to mid-May. It just seems more stabilized. I always try to get to mm27 at least with at least one day trying to fish San Juan if weather permits. Troll Neanderthal, fish all three canyons of Rock Creek, troll Grotto,Mt.Sheep, around all the islands and coves of Oak Bay then San Juan. Tent camping in Oak Bay gives you a good base to reach great fishing. Watch for the WIND!!!
 

KYKevin

Well-Known Member
Chris, I put my light out, as soon as it get's dark, and start fishing. I use a carolina rig, on one pole, and a jig, on the other. I like Mackeral, anchovie, or sardine. I chum often, and allway's buy plenty of bait, for night fishing, I use half of it chuming. If the bite is light, go with a lighter jig, if there biting good, it wont matter. Same with the line, if there biting good, you can use braid, or heavy line, if not, go with light stuff.
If you want to call me, and talk fishin, I have plenty of time, and love to talk fishin.

435 687 9259
Have a good one.
 

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
You have been given good advice. 3rd week of April is often the beginning of the bass spawn followed quickly by a weather front that makes me stay home for a few days before water warms again and bass and crappie begin biting and spawning once more.

May is the best spring month for all species. Walleye really take off then and can be caught in Good Hope Bay in huge numbers. They keep better in the freezer than stripers so make sure to vacuum pack all fish that go into storage.

Striper trolling is good in May in the backs of canyons while bait fishing is best in the main channel.

Spooning for stripers is the best way to catch fish now IF you have a graph. You have to see the school to know where to drop your spoons. Then you can have a 100 fish day. With bait fishing a graph is nice but you can catch fish by going to the standard areas like the dam, power plant intake, Mike McNabb's favorite spot, etc.

Perhaps the best way to know where to go and what to do is to read the anglers corner reports as they come in. My weekly reports generalize fishing success over the lake but are usually more about the southern lake than the north because I live in the south. For instance, this spring I will let you know early on if bait fishing is working at the dam or if trolling in the backs of canyons is best in May. I give patterns to look for and sometimes specific spots but I have to be careful not to send everyone to the same cove because the 20th boat that arrives will not have the same success as the first boat that fished there.

Good luck in your proposed fishing adventure. Check in and let us know when you are coming and we will try to give you the best advice for that time.
 

Dorado

Well-Known Member
Lots of great advice here!

My wife and I usually make a couple trips each spring. Some years it can be good March-May, but the absolute key is going when the weather is improving. We usually make our plans when we see forecasts for high pressure moving in after a cold front has passed. Warming water gets all the fish species going. We go up north and fish around Red Canyon to Trachyte, trolling diving shad rap style lures is always productive for all species. Look for stained, even dirty water, the off color water fishes better than the clear water (which takes some faith to really believe, but it is absolutely true on Lake Powell). Lures should be occasionally bouncing off the bottom, or you are too deep. Also, bleed all fish as you unhook them, and get them on ice ASAP.

If you look in the archives here, you will find lots of great advice for spring fishing. Filling coolers with stripers and walleye is a very real opportunity at Lake Powell, especially in the spring!!
 

CHRIS MCBETH

Well-Known Member
Sorry for your job loss. I have been there myself. Hopefully you will find your next career soon.

In regard to spring fishing, it usually really heats up the week after I am there.........

On a somewhat more serious note, I was in a similar position two years ago. One job ended on 3/30. Next one started on 5/1. I spent two weeks fishing in Colorado, and one week in Powell. I casted enough (with a few fish caught in between) that I got tennis elbow (or, as my wife will say with no sympathy, "fishing elbow").

We were at Powell the 2nd week of April, focused on the North end of the lake. Two of us went, and we never had 100 fish days, but we did well. Then came home, and read reports the following week about how the fishing really caught fire after we left.........
Thanks Ryan
 

CHRIS MCBETH

Well-Known Member
You have been given good advice. 3rd week of April is often the beginning of the bass spawn followed quickly by a weather front that makes me stay home for a few days before water warms again and bass and crappie begin biting and spawning once more.

May is the best spring month for all species. Walleye really take off then and can be caught in Good Hope Bay in huge numbers. They keep better in the freezer than stripers so make sure to vacuum pack all fish that go into storage.

Striper trolling is good in May in the backs of canyons while bait fishing is best in the main channel.

Spooning for stripers is the best way to catch fish now IF you have a graph. You have to see the school to know where to drop your spoons. Then you can have a 100 fish day. With bait fishing a graph is nice but you can catch fish by going to the standard areas like the dam, power plant intake, Mike McNabb's favorite spot, etc.

Perhaps the best way to know where to go and what to do is to read the anglers corner reports as they come in. My weekly reports generalize fishing success over the lake but are usually more about the southern lake than the north because I live in the south. For instance, this spring I will let you know early on if bait fishing is working at the dam or if trolling in the backs of canyons is best in May. I give patterns to look for and sometimes specific spots but I have to be careful not to send everyone to the same cove because the 20th boat that arrives will not have the same success as the first boat that fished there.

Good luck in your proposed fishing adventure. Check in and let us know when you are coming and we will try to give you the best advice for that time.
Thanks Wayne. I've read a bunch of the archives in an attempt to glean useful info and pick up on patterns. I was "hooked" on this whole boating and fishing thing for the first time just last June 20-25, so I'm truly learning the ropes.

On our first trip to the lake on our first boat, we went all the way up Cathedral Canyon and while lazily floating near the top of the canyon with our gunnels bumping both sides, we had a Striper Boil swim under us and back about 6 times. We caught so many fish i couldn't believe it. Ever since I've been spoiled looking for another one of those boil experiences!

Thanks for everyone's coaching, it's much appreciated. I'll keep monitoring the reports and let y'all know when we come up. McNabb is a cool dude. He and my wife got on well, as they're both veteran teachers.
 

CHRIS MCBETH

Well-Known Member
Not an expert, but fishing for anything but Striper's, can be up and down, with the water temp's, in March, and April, depending on how much wind we have, it can get really good, with a few warm day's, and then the wind blow's, and run's them back to deep water. But I allway's can count on the third week of April, and there's never any guarantee's, with fishing, but if I were going to pick a time, without watching for a high front, and 58 to 62 degree water, then I would plan for the third week of April. Like I have for the last 21 year's. And it is a real good chance, if you have three or four people, who know a little about fishing, to do that 100 fish day, or night, right now, for Striper's.
The Small, and large mouth bass, Crappie, bluegill, Walleye's, and catfish, can for sure get a boat of people, 100+ fish days, when the water temp's are right. I expect those kind of number's, last week of April. and first two weeks of may, difference is, most year's, your run off, is raising the lake, past a lot of established spawning fish, so it is a little differrent fishing, But my favorite, a lot of site fishing, when the run off is not coming up to fast, can be best of the year.
But if your layed off, it's a while yet, before March and April. It's all to do with time, and money, if you have the money, then watch the weather, and high front's, if you can only go, a certain amount of time, then make it the third week of April, and into May. You dont need a fish finder, near as much, because most of these fish come into the bank, by the third week of April, and are there for two or three more week's, until there through doing there spawn.

If it's Striper's your after, go hit the dock's now, and put the time in from 6 p.m. til they quit biting, and you can feed those family, you were talking about, And there's hardly any one there, during the week day's.
What ever you decide, have a good one.
KyKevin
Sounds like you and Wayne are in agreement on the timing. Third week of April until the end of May. See you there!
 

CHRIS MCBETH

Well-Known Member
Chris, I put my light out, as soon as it get's dark, and start fishing. I use a carolina rig, on one pole, and a jig, on the other. I like Mackeral, anchovie, or sardine. I chum often, and allway's buy plenty of bait, for night fishing, I use half of it chuming. If the bite is light, go with a lighter jig, if there biting good, it wont matter. Same with the line, if there biting good, you can use braid, or heavy line, if not, go with light stuff.
If you want to call me, and talk fishin, I have plenty of time, and love to talk fishin.

435 687 9259
Have a good one.
What dock do you frequent? Wahweap or Stateline, etc? Thanks for the info
 

CHRIS MCBETH

Well-Known Member
I'm like a kid... asking all these questions. Thanks for the patient replies.

KyKevin - Any suggestion on a light to use for night fishing?
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
I have this one. http://www.alumiglo.com

The 48" model. I did have a problem where a bunch of the lights burned out. Since it was out of warranty, the company gave me a significant discount on a replacement which was an acceptable offer to me.

I am not sure what it is like on the South end, but on the Bullfrog docks, you can just fish under the lights that illuminate the dock, and do very well.
 

KYKevin

Well-Known Member
There are a number of places that sell them, you can google green fishing light's, and find the best deal's, but for many year's, I just used the cheap Bass pro light's, and they all bring in the Shad, and that bring's in all kind's of other fish. And with florescent line, make's it easy to see the bite's, and your line. I bought a Hydra glow, and it's the size of a pop can, and I love it. Small and compact. But they are pricey, but it's well worth it.
And for asking question's, that's what Waynes word's is for. And Bullfrog, are the dock's I fish. I'm not sure how, those dock's are on the south end, but they have dock's there, just for fishing, that are really nice, I just never here anyone talk about the night fishing off of them. I wish Arramark, cared as much about the Bullfrog end of the lake, as the South. They have nice shower's, and a lot nicer dock's, on the south end. I guess there money down there, is worth a lot more then our's. But that could be why, so many people are taking there house boat's off the slip's, and bouy's, at Bullfrog, and Hall's.
Year's ago, I would just tie off to an empty bouy, in Hall's, and you can catch a lot of Striper's in the bouy field's allso.
I put my number on there, because they use to not like us talking about fishing the dock's, because of sign's, telling you not to. But most people just ignore the sign anyway.
 
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