Lake Powell Fish Report – August 21, 2012
Lake Elevation: 3625
Water Temperature 80-85 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson of Wayne's Words
Spoon Fed Stripers.
The bite is on! The southern lake has come alive with submerged boils. Over the past few days stripers have located some bigger shad and are making a big splash over it. The main action is near the brush line where shad have been hiding out all summer. My guess is falling lake levels have exposed shad schools making them vulnerable to striper attacks.
Submerged boils mean that a quick splash or two is seen at mornings first light. It is wise to cruise along the shoreline at dawn looking for any surface activity. If two or three splashes are seen close together treat it like a boil and throw surface lures, lipless vibrators or spoons as close as possible to the splash ring. Hookups are quick for each accurate cast. Unfortunately these boils are super quick and it’s only possible to catch a few fish on top. That is where the "submerged" part comes into play. Turbulent boiling action will be found by fishing in deep water under the surface splashes.
Scan the surface for splashes and have a surface lure ready, but the real goal is to find the school. Stripers are now huddled in huge schools waiting in cool, deeper water for a shad school. Look near the surface splashes to find the closest drop off. Stripers will usually splash near the brush where bottom depth is 20-30 feet. Then they move to the nearest drop-off in the 45-60 foot range to rest in cool comfort.
When a deep holding school is seen, first toss a floating marker and then drop a spoon to the bottom. It is amazing how fast a boat resting on calm water will drift away from a school. The marker makes it easy to return and relocate the school.
With spoon on the bottom jig 2-3 times while watching the school. If they are suspended, speed reel up through the holding depth. If on the bottom use short subtle jigging stokes to get the resting fish to bite. One hooked fish will excite the whole school and they will follow the hooked fish to the top. Trailing stripers are so easy to catch. Just drop the spoon until it goes out of sight, stop it and jig it at about 12-20 feet to catch many more fish. Schoolies will often follow the drifting boat if one angler in the boat can keep a spoon in the water while the others are taking fish off the hook. If the school does get away, return to the marker and start another drift to catch more fish.
Spoons that worked well this morning are Cabelas Real Image (1 ounce- white), Wally lures, 1-1.5 ounce (no longer available), and Kastmasters - silver and blue (3/4 ounce). It is more important to find the school than to have the right lure. An active school will hit just about any spoon, swim bait, crankbait, or jig when they are actively feeding. It would also be easy to troll them up with down rigged lures, but it is quicker to stay on top of a stationary school and spoon fish, than to run the boat back and forth over the same spot.
Good spooning success has been found this week in Wahweap (Lone Rock and Ice cream Canyon), Warm Creek, Navajo Canyon, Padre Bay, Friendship Cove and Rock Creek. That success will be duplicated lake wide this week. Stripers caught in deep water on spoons are often much larger (4-7 pounds) than the juvenile fish that are splashing on top. Use the little ones as markers to get a bead on the larger stripers down deep.
Photo caption: Stripers are eagerly awaiting your arrival. Fishing success has increased dramatically in the past week. Some stripers are boiling but the biggest success will come from spoon fishing in 40-60 feet of water.