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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Peak Spring Fishing Approaches At Lake Powell

I think I'll go fishing at Lake Powell this weekend. All reports indicate the action should be very good - perhaps the best it is even been at the big reservoir.

Striped bass, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass are the primary species people target at this time of year, but fishing will probably also be good for walleye, crappie, bluegill and channel catfish.

Action usually picks up during early spring and becomes red hot about the first week of May. Success continues strong for a few weeks, then settles back to just really good through the hot months of summer. Success picks up again in the late summer and fall.

Wayne Gustaveson is the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources biologist who manages fishing on the Utah side of the lake. He updates this weekly fishing report with very good, specific info to help anglers find success. Here are a couple quotes from his latest report:

"All the variables are now falling into place. The best spring fishing of the year will happen in the next 10 days. Water temperature will now rise as warmer days without wind are in the forecast. Bass that have tried to spawn but were thwarted by cooling will be able to complete the task in earnest. Stripers kept at bay by cool temperatures will break loose in the middle portion of the lake where bait fishing action has been slower. Lake Powell is warming, rising and fishing success will follow suit. The only caution is to react quickly. Runoff that has been slow to come will now flow downstream in gushes. Rapidly rising water will make shoreline fishing more difficult within the coming weeks. So come now. It's time."

"Bass and crappie fishing will be hot in the next 10 days as water temperature increases to 65 degrees. Look for beds as long as visibility allows. Rapidly rising water will reduce visibility and sight-fishing success soon. Crappie will be in the thickest brush available in the backs of the canyons where bottom depth is 10-15 feet. Stained water is usually better for crappie than clear water. Walleye fishing will improve and peak toward the end of May."

Seriously, I'm heading down to enjoy some of the hot action. I plan to launch at Bullfrog and boat upstream. I'll camp on some remote beach and fish nearby canyons.

Powell's water is still a little too cool for me to enjoy skiing and other water sports. Some die-hards will be out. Actually, I've skied at Powell in March and it wasn't that bad. But the water sport season really begins in June.

Right now fishing demands people's attention. I'll let you know how I do.

- Dave Webb

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