Dan Miller from Paonia, Colo. caught a 29-pound striped bass near Bullfrog on May 6. The big fish was caught on a 4 inch Berkeley Smelt. May is the best month to catch a trophy striper at Lake Powell.
Bass have moved back on to the spawning beds after the cold spell that slowed things down last week. Nests can now be seen from Bullfrog to Wahweap where visibility is still between 5-10 feet. There is no chance of sight fishing in the northern lake where visibility is 3 feet or less.
Sight fishing is unique in that nests can be seen with a male bass often hovering over the light colored circular rock depression. Usually the boat is too close to the nest when discovered to actually catch the guarding fish, but it is possible to return to the site at a later date, throw a long cast and catch the male guardian. Larger females are usually in close proximity and can be caught by fishing the deeper water next to the nest location. Yamamoto 5-inch senkos are working well now for nesting bass while other smallmouth can be caught on plastic grubs. The green, watermelon and green pumpkin colors are all working.
Walleye fishing is HOT. There were at least four tagged walleye caught over the weekend, which is more than were caught in 2016. The walleye contest did not start until July last year, making it tough to catch large numbers of walleye, but that has now changed. May is definitely the best walleye fishing month at Lake Powell with the water temperature in the 60s and low 70s.
Here is a report from Jason Johnston received today: “Fished Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. both days. Ended up with 80 walleyes, 11 stripers and one smalley. Launched out of Halls and didn’t go far. All fish were caught on crawler harnesses with 2-3oz bouncers in 15-45 fow. Speed was 1.2mph and orange beads with silver or gold blades produced most. “
Walleye are very active now and can be caught all day long. They are abundant from the Escalante to the Colorado River inflow. Most of the tagged fish are near Bullfrog and Good Hope Bay. The best technique is to use a live worm or artificial bait, like Berkeley Gulp Minnows and Smelt.
Maintain bottom contact while slowly moving the bait along a flat bench in the 10-30 foot range. When filleting the walleye don’t forget to take the cheek meat for a special dinner surprise.
Striped bass fishing is slowing down in the well known areas like the dam. It’s time to expand your range while chasing stripers to canyon walls further uplake.
There are many untouched bait fishing spots in most canyons, including Warm Creek Wall, Labyrinth Wall, Padre Canyon, Last Chance and Rock Creek.
Look for the high cliff walls near the back of the canyon for best results. Just chum an area and fish for a short time to find fish. If no fish are caught, then move to the next likely spot.
The mature stripers are preparing to spawn. They respond to rapid warming and spawn at night. That makes them good angling targets at dusk and dawn but not easy to catch during the day.
This is the peak of the spring fishing season with fish willing to respond to your favorite techniques. Great results are expected through the rest of May.