Lake Powell Fish Report for May 10

Lake Elevation: 3,526 ; Water temperature: 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit

Lake Powell is on the rise and the water temperature is climbing. The big flush that sent a lot of lake water down the Colorado River is now over. There have been a lot of predictions on just how the lake level may change over time. All of them are positive, with the lake rising from 40 to 90 feet. Maybe the Castle Rock Cut will fill up and the boat ride up lake would be so much easier and less expensive. Only time will tell.

What we do know is that the water temperature will rise which leads to fish spawning and increased appetite for all of the fish in the lake. I will discuss spawning conditions in the next report. This report focuses on water temperature, which determines when fish will spawn. We know the water temperature will rise to 65 degrees (and beyond), which is the spawning trigger for warm water fish. Largemouth and smallmouth bass will begin building nests and prepare to spawn in shallow water where the nests are usually visible. If the lake rises as quickly as some have suggested, the nests will only be visible for a day or two before the water is too deep and discolored for a visual sighting. Regardless, fishing for spawning fish during the spring spawning season may be the best time to fish at Lake Powell.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass build nests in 2 to 3 feet of water. After the eggs are laid, the male bass guard those nests until the eggs hatch. Then they guard the young fish for another two to three days before moving on to another nest, where a new batch of eggs is spawned and protected. May is the best month to fish for bass. I suggest that male bass caught while protecting the nest should be immediately released to protect that new batch of young fish that will swim up from the nest. Females are bigger bass anyway, so seek after the big bass and let the smaller male guardians return to their fatherly duties of building the bass population.

Stripers are nocturnal surface spawners. That makes it a lot tougher to see them, but if you can find a spawning school, it will be the best striper fishing you have ever done. Many years ago, we found a large school of stripers night-spawning in the Castle Rock Cut. I used a large single tail white jig, which was cast out and retrieved through the many stripers spawning on the surface. There were three boats in our group with about three anglers per boat. In two hours, we caught close to 300 stripers, with the largest being 22 pounds. It was unforgettable and amazing. I have no idea where those spawners may be at these water levels but look out for them as you travel the lake.

May will provide great fishing even during these low-water conditions. Lake Powell is on the rise, and the fish are just about ready to go crazy with spawning. Have a great spring fishing season. The time is right, and the time is now. Have a great time!