Lake Powell fishing report: Busy season, full moon keep fish at bay
Aug. 5, 2020
Lake Elevation: 3,605
Water: 81-88 degrees
Extreme heat, busy boating activities, and finicky fish have made it difficult to catch fish recently. As I headed out on my weekly sampling trip there was one more negative — a full moon. When fishing conditions are great, a full moon does not make much difference in the catch rate. Yesterday it was one more hurdle to overcome.
We headed out early to take advantage of the cooler (80 degree) morning air temperature. The drive from Wahweap to Friendship Cove was flat calm; no boat wakes and no striper boils. We then switched to trolling while watching the graph for striper schools.
We deployed deep diving lures to get down below the warm surface water hoping to find 2-3 pound stripers. Morning fishing was fun while watching the beautiful scenery in the three Rock Creek Canyons. The only thing missing was fish activity. There were no open water schools showing up. Finally, at the back of Middle Rock Creek at 9 a.m. we got the first bite from a 2-pound smallmouth bass.
The most difficult part for me was that my fishing companion switched to a “Pink” lure and caught the first fish — and the next five in a row on a pink Rapala medium diving lure. I finally caught a bass on a copper colored Lucky Craft Bevy shad.
I am reviewing fishing regulations today to see if there are rules that prevent the use of pink lures. So far, it looks like it is legal to use pink lures. We were not skunked and headed back to the ramp at 11 a.m. with one small striper (also caught on a pink lure by my fishing companion) in the cooler. I have had better fishing days!
Bass fishing is still good with plastic baits fished at 20-40 feet. Bass are more active in the evening than the morning. Larger bass are holding in cooler water at 25 feet or deeper. We did catch a few bass trolling while looking for stripers.
My recommendations for this week is to fish in the evening. When the full moon goes away, morning fishing will improve. Striper boils will return, particularly in the northern lake. Right now, there are a few boil reports from Buoy 114-118 downstream from Good Hope Bay. The rest of the lake is quiet.
Stripers are trapped in deeper water by warm surface temperatures. Use bait to find them. The best striper fishing this week was from the Wahweap fish dock beginning at dusk. Drop one-inch cut bait down to 40 feet to find 3-pound stripers. Use a green light at night to attract stripers and catfish to your location lakewide.
Bait fishing may be the best striper technique lakewide. Chum the water and then use cut bait from 20 -60 feet. Some potentially good locations include: Warm Creek Wall (cliff face in main channel just before the entrance to Warm Creek), Labyrinth Wall (in east bay before entering the canyon), Buoy 25 cove and Moki Wall (corner leading to canyon entrance).
I look forward to cooling temperatures that will lead to improved fishing conditions. Air temperatures this week will finally be less than 100 degrees. That is a start, leading to better times.