On Friday, all of the marinas currently with enough water to launch watercrafts will be open for 24-hour service, according to the latest National Recreation Area (NRA) online report.
In a phased reopening, services of both the park service and Aramark (the main concessionaire) will resume with boat rentals, camping, lodging, and restaurants coming back online shortly.
It has been a long couple of months for most of us who cherish “getaway time” since COVID-19 shut things down in America’s Playground.
Even though shore angling, hiking, and other activities were still possible during the shutdown, most of us sheltered in place and now can’t wait to get on the water and relax, fish, recreate in the beautiful high desert sun.
I love mid-spring and on into early summer at Lake Powell. Let’s take a look at what you should find if you are fortunate enough to make it down in the next month or so. Just know that for me, the Bullfrog areas north towards Hite are the parts of the reservoir that makes a siren’s call to me when it comes to wetting a hook.
Stripers should be in their spawn and prespawn mode and should be relatively tough to find unless you don’t mind fishing at night or in the very early predawn timeframe.
Stripers spawn at night and (according to Wayne Gustaveson of the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources) “adult stripers are active at night and shut down in the daytime. They tend to hang out in the same coves year after year. Find a striper cove and camp there overnight. Use a very small lure, like a white Clouser minnow fly behind a bubble filled with water.”
I like to cast a very small Keitech swimbait (generally a white or pearl) into any striper school I see either on my fish finder or on or near the surface. Remember, you only have until the sun hits the water to locate active fish. Take advantage of the early morning shade in certain coves and you might prolong the bite.
I really don’t worry much about targeting stripers while they spawn. I would much rather target large and smallmouth bass that could be finished spawning or are on the tail end of the spawn. That means there might be fish both in spawning flats and coves (protecting fry) or in their summer haunts around rock piles all over the lake.
This is the time of the lowly grub. Tie on a 1/4-ounce ball head and thread on a 3- or 4-inch white, brown, green, or black grub and work the lure up and down the rock piles looking for fish.
Another great bait in late spring is the Yamamoto Senko. Try the 4- or 5-inch Senko in the same colors as the grubs and don’t use any weight, just a 3/0 hook and the weight of the Senko.
Throw the rig in the same areas in which you use your grubs but Senkos have one important advantage: they sink very slowly, don’t get caught up in the rocks as easily as do grubs and are just as effective.
You can rig the Senko “Texas” style (still without a weight) or “Wacky” rigged by putting the bait on the hook in the middle of the Senko so that it “flops” down on either side of the hook.
Right along with smallmouth bass, walleyes (finished with their spawn) are hungry and ready to bite. Fish with grubs (just like for bass) but tip your grubs with a tiny piece of night crawler and fish them very slowly between 18 to 33 feet just off points or rick piles. Some of my best walleyes have come during May and June.
As the spring continues, more runoff will cloud the water in the main channel but the backs of coves should still remain crystal clear.
Good luck and just maybe I will see you there.