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Fishing on Lake Powell

Striped Bass - "Stripers" on Lake Powell

Fish Lake Powell Striped Bass early in the season, as they will typically become active in early March! They usually congregate in front of moving water and huge numbers of Fishfish are often caught off the face of the dam, near the power plant intake between Antelope and Navajo canyons, and near major tributaries. On the upper arms, look for fish along the mud lines where the Colorado and San Juan dump in run-off. Later in the season, the catches continue to increase and the fish will move back to the middle of the lake once spawning concludes.

Stripers can be found at 20 to 50 feet, and can be caught by anglers jigging with chunks of anchovy. Some fish are also taken trolling.

Smallmouth Bass

As soon as the Lake's water temperature nears 60, usually in mid-April, smallmouth will shake winter dormancy, begin to feed and come shallow to spawn. Look for them anywhere there is clean broken rock and avoid areas that have a lot of silt in the water. Feisty smallies will be the most numerous fish encountered. Use soft plastic jigs bounced along the bottom in 5 to 30 feet of water. Most will be 8-12 inches long but some dandy spawning fish should be caught near nests in April.

After spawning, bigger fish go deeper than the ever present shallow smallmouth. Use bigger baits and fish deeper strata to slip past the small ones and catch larger fish in May and June. It is all right to keep some of the smaller bass. There are plenty of smallmouth bass and the average size may increase by reducing bass numbers.

Other Spring Fish on the lake

A variety of species round out a Springtime fishing trip to Lake Powell. Up Arrow

Crappie will be encountered in the very limited amount of flooded brush remaining in this low water year. Catches will be very spotty but some anglers will find a school and may catch a few on small brown, yellow or chartreuse hair or plastic jigs. Try suspending a tiny jig from a bobber and throw around brush for best results.

Walleye Fish Lake Powellprowl in low light, generally feeding at night. But they get very hungry as water warms and food is scarce from April 15th to June 1st. They inhabit deep water where sunlight is subdued by depth. Fish main channel drop offs where shallow rock disappears into the blue depth of the deep canyon. Bounce jigs down the vertical slope or troll along the edge of structure. It is best to use a piece of live night crawler to keep the quick striking fish on the bait long enough to set the hook.

Bluegill and green sunfish will be along the rocky shore line and in flooded trees/brush where crappie could be expected to hit. Down size the hook to get into some braggin' size gills which are really quite common in Powell but definitely underutilized. A tiny hook and a quarter inch of worm will result in some very fine "pan" fish.

Catfish are the last of the regulars. They get more aggressive as the other fish slow down in June and July. Look for them on shallow gradually sloping beaches that can accommodate a houseboat. You can even use table scraps at dusk and invite a few to join you for dinner.

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Fishing below the Dam, above Lees Ferry

Warmer southern temperatures and football sized trout make fishing in this area one of the favorites in the region. As you wade the incredibly clear waters casting to incredible rainbow trout, you'll marvel at the 1,000-plus-foot tall sandstone cliffs soaring overhead.

To the fly-fisher more accustomed to a traditional meadow or mountain stream, the Colorado River can be initially intimidating. However, in reality, it is much like a giant limestone river or spring creek with diverse fishing opportunities. The gravel bars, backwaters, eddies and main river channel offer opportunities to fish dries, nymphs and streamers within a few hundred yards.

Stalk rainbow trout in water only a few inches deep or cast size #18 or #20 midge or pupae patterns to trout feeding in deep, dark runs. It's hard to believe that a very large trout in the massive Colorado River will seek and eat such a tiny fly, but they do.

Fish Lake PowellYour best bet is to run a boat upriver in the morning and anchor along a good sand bar. Pick one that is large enough to fish for a few hours; the best spots become more crowded later in the day. Look for the biggest fish to be in the prime feeding lanes. A good pair of polarized lenses will help you to see them. Fish small midges in red and green tones. Black midges, like the Zebra, will hook a lot of fish as well. Make sure to cover every inch of water so you don't miss a fish. The strike zone can be very small and they don't want to work very hard for food. You may want to use long fluorocarbon leaders so you don't spook the fish.

As the hatches develop, use larger Griffith's gnats and renegades to imitate midge clusters. After the hatch try throwing a streamer to entice one of the larger residents. Since the weather has been known to change in an instant, be sure to pack some rain gear and a change of dry clothes, just in case. Click here to check current river flow rates from Glen Canyon Dam.
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Lake Powell houseboat & watercraft rental reservations, houseboat shared-ownership programs, and water toy rentals based in Page, Arizona and serving the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

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