Upon my return from vacation, I went fishing two days in a row to get a feel for how the fishing had changed since my last trip. The first day was cold in the morning and overcast, so the water temperature did not increase as much as expected. We trolled for stripers in the morning and were glad to catch four little yearling fish on rattletraps lures. As we worked along the shoreline, we switched between trolling for stripers and fishing for bass in the tumbleweed piles in the rocky coves. The bass were not interested, and we caught no bass on the first day.
On the second day, we went to the same spot where the four little stripers were caught. The sun was out, temperature was climbing throughout the day, and fishing success was much better. Trolling was great as we caught 18 stripers in the same amount of time as the day before. The big difference in the catch was the size of the stripers elevated to 3 pounds along with some of the really fat yearling fish. The day was warmer, but we also saw a school of seagulls flying over the bay and diving into the water where shad were surfacing. As we trolled through the area where the birds were working, the catch rate increased dramatically.
We also stopped at tumbleweed coves and fished with the rattletraps and with double tail plastic grubs. This time a few bass responded. We caught a 2-pound smallmouth and a 3-pound largemouth bass. Fishing was much better than on the previous trip. Obviously, warming water is increasing the activity level in both bass and stripers. Cooling temperatures will have the exact opposite impact by slowing down the catch rate. During the rest of April, watch the weather closely and try to fish on warming days and avoid the cold spells that occur. Bass will respond much better when water temperature is above 60 degrees.
Bait fishing for stripers is improving. Stripers are being caught at the dam and along the main channel walls heading uplake. I like trolling, so I do that more often than using bait. However, bait fishermen often catch more fish than I do. It is your choice so use the techniques that feel good to you.
Bullfrog North Ramp extension is almost complete. Completion date is expected to be May 1, 2022. The extension of the Stateline Auxiliary Ramp continues. More cement has been poured on the sections down to the water line. Boats and vessels of all sizes can still launch on the two lanes of boiler plate on the north side of the ramp.
Unfortunately, the Colorado River basin forecast for Projected Spring Runoff is below normal. Check out the NWS forecast discussion here: https://www.cbrfc.noaa.gov/wsup/pub2/discussion/current.pdf
Aids to Navigation (ATON): The park’s ATON crew is working proactively with buoys throughout the lake to make sure they are in place as we enter peak boater season. Most recently, the ATON crew adjusted buoys throughout North Lake Powell. The crew reports that at the current lake levels, the Horn is currently the northernmost end of the lake. (The Horn is approximately 30 miles north of Bullfrog and 5 miles south of Hite.)