Fishing success has picked up since last week at Lake Powell thanks to a small decline in air and water temperature. As the temperature continues to drop in September and October, fishing success will continue to climb. Fishing in the northern lake was best from the San Juan to Good Hope Bay. Stripers were much more active than the week before, while bass and surprisingly channel catfish also were caught in big numbers.
We will start with the unusual catfish bite. While searching for stripers and fishing with anchovy bait in the southern lake, we found schools of small stripers holding at 30 feet and larger stripers down at 40-60 feet. The best habitat was the breaking edge of a level sandstone bottom where the depth quickly declined from 30 to 60 feet or deeper. Small stripers hit the bait near the 30-foot break and larger stripers responded as the bait went deeper. Surprisingly, about every third or fourth fish was a fat channel catfish. These catfish were not holding on the bottom but swimming up to find anchovies chummed to activate the striper school. That was an unusual experience as we caught about eight adult catfish along with 40 stripers.
Fishing gets more exciting at Bullfrog. An angler headed out from Bullfrog Marina and noticed a flock of grebes in a small bay near Bullfrog Buoy 1. He slowed down and moved toward the grebes just in time to see some splashing around the grebes. He cast a surface lure and determined the splashes were surface feeding small stripers. When the boiling fish left the surface he used a Kastmaster spoon to get down to the school and speed reeled through the deep school to catch more fish. Those fish resurfaced later in the same location and he caught more fish. In fall and winter, I find that a school of grebes on the surface is about the best indicator that stripers are nearby. If grebes cannot find enough shad they tend to move to a new location. Grebes are a great marker buoy for finding stripers from now until October.
There was another great report of stripers caught near Buoy 106. Surprisingly, these stripers were caught while casting KVD Sexy Shad lures and swim baits from shore. Stripers trapped a school of shad near shore and held them in shallow water. When shad tried to escape stripers surrounded them and had an easy meal. The lucky anglers that found this treasure were able to cast out beyond the shad school and catch stripers as they reeled back toward shore. They used the same technique after finding a shad school trapped near Annie’s Canyon. Watch for a slight surface disturbance near shore. It may be a school of shad with closely guarding stripers nearby.
Anglers reportedly parked their houseboat north of Tapestry wall and fished from there to 7 Mile Canyon. On their four-day trip they caught about 250 stripers. Some were caught in boils, but surface action was quick in the warm surface water. The majority of stripers were caught on spoons in deeper water after the boil subsided. Kastmaster spoons were dropped down (30-40 feet) under the school of stripers graphed after the boil. When the spoon was beneath the school, it was then immediately speed-reeled as fast as possible back through the striper school. This technique will be the most effective method to catch stripers throughout September and October until the water temperature drops to less than 60 degrees. After that, spoons will still be the best striper fishing technique, but they will have to be deployed from 50-100 feet for best results.
I am so excited for the water temperature to drop into the 60s so that all species of fish will be catchable. Fall and winter are near, and fishing is on the rise!