Lake Powell is still warm on the surface (79-84) with active stripers boiling sporadically lakewide and smallmouth fishing improving dramatically.
Here are the details. Striped bass are boiling over the length of the lake. Boils are larger and last longer from the mouth of the San Juan to Hite. It is common to find many schools that come to the surface and feed on shad for extended periods occurring both morning, mid day and evening. When stripers are actively feeding on top, it is possible for anglers to stay within casting range of the schools as they pop up and down often. Sometimes they come up out of range, but other times they are close enough to make a short cast and catch many fish in a short time. Reports continue to come in of one group of anglers catching over 100 stripers in a morning of fishing.
Be aware that stripers often take a day off. They can boil prolifically in one spot two days in a row and then be missing completely on the third day. When they don’t show up, spend time looking for another active group. Heading north from Bullfrog may be the best way to find another active school, but boils occur randomly and can be hard to predict. When stripers do not come to the surface as expected, keep a rod ready to cast while traveling up or down the lake. When the fish start to boil, get in range quickly and cast to the feeding fish. They will go down quickly and then pop back up close to the spot where first seen. It is wise to have a travel pattern between spots where boils were previously seen. Stripers can miss a day and then come back up in the same spot where they were found a few days ago.
The boil pattern in the southern lake is very similar to that reported uplake with the exception that boils are less abundant, quicker and fish take more days off. On my trips uplake, I often see a few quick boils in only a spot or two. I catch 10-20 fish instead of 50-100.
The great news lakewide is that smallmouth bass are feeding actively and are easy to catch. They were missing in action during the first part of the month. The declining lake level has allowed them to find the habitat and forage they like and stay put. Their prime location now is along a shallow shoreline covered with brush. It is possible to find smallmouth along the tall main channel walls or in rocky coves but the most consistent spot is along sandy flats with brush. I took my young grandson fishing and trolled along the brushy shoreline of West Canyon and Neanderthal with a lure that ran at 12 feet over the brushy bottom at 20 feet. Smallmouth were holding near the treetops and were very excited to attack my shad lure (Live Target 2.5 inch, Threadfin Shad Silver Bronze) as it swam past their bush. He caught a lot of bass.
Trolling over treetops is a great way to find walleye as well. It is best to fish for walleye at first and last light now that shad are abundant. Walleye prefer to feed at night in summer conditions, but they are fat and healthy and can be caught trolling and casting.
Catfish are another night prowler that is easy to catch off a sandy beach near camp or where the houseboat is parked for the night. Use some table scraps on a #4 circle hook behind the boat for fun fishing action.
Bluegill and green sunfish are active now and often use a parked houseboat for shade. Take the kids to the back of the houseboat. Put a gulp minnow or small worm on a tiny hook and catch some sunfish. There are still lots of things to do at Lake Powell.