Friday, April 2, 2010

Coldwater Bassin at Lake Powell

Fishing Time: Thursday evening through Saturday afternoon
Weather: cool, breezy, mostly 50's with cloud cover
Moon Phase: 85% Moon
Water Temp: 49-54 degrees
Location: Lake Powell
Bait: Everything, but best was christmas colored grub with 1/8 ounce jighead
Who Went: Bobber John, Rick Everson, Me

After missing my annual Lake Powell trip in 2009, I was really excited to get down there this year. I watched the weather hourly the whole week before our trip and of course the forecast looked great all through the week until Thursday when we planned to leave. These pictures show the summit in Spanish Fork Canyon on our drive down.
Multiple cars were going off the road and here we are trudging through the snow dragging my boat behind. I’m sure people thought we were nuts! Once we got out of the canyon the snow subsided, but the wind didn't. When we reached Hanksville, the wind was whipping from the North at about 30 mph! We started making backup plans just in case the water was too rough to travel in my boat packed with all our gear. As we made our way closer to the Hite Marina, where we launched my boat, the clouds split and the lights from heaven shined down upon us. The wind was gone and we anxiously pulled down to the primitive boat ramp of the old Hite Marina that is now long been dead due to low water years.
Our hearts began to beat fast in excitement to begin the trip we had waited through a long cold month of March to go on. Launching wasn’t easy as the boat was heavy with gear, and the launch ramp was very shallow. The boat didn’t want to release from the trailer, but with some effort and determination it finally gave, and we were on our way to find a camp spot. It didn’t take long to find a great camp spot with a nice natural boat slip, and we hurried to unpack our things and get camp set so that we could hit the water for some evening fishing.
Just as I was about to lay my tent down to set it up, I noticed there was a scorpion right next to my foot. Needless to say I found a new area to put my tent.
Once camp was set we headed out onto water that looked like glass, we were so excited because this was nothing like what we were expecting from the weather reports we had read the night before.
As I turned on the fish finder the water temp read 49 degrees and I was not too thrilled. That is very cold water for bass as they prefer 55-60 degrees at the very least! We didn’t put much thought into it and were just excited to be on Lake Powell on a beautiful evening with no wind or rain. We first headed into the back of White Canyon where we were camped. The water in White canyon was stained and muddy which helped warm the water a degree or two, but didn’t do much for the fishing. We soon figured that muddy water might not be the ticket on this trip and we were right. We headed down to two mile canyon and out of the muddy water. Here is where I landed the first bass of the trip with a decent little smallmouth. Soon after, I caught another bass but this time is was a largemouth. Rick and John were excited about me catching fish but were ready to get in on the action themselves, especially after my next cast. I casted right up against a rock island and instantly an explosion occurred. This bass came out of the water and began the tail dancing they are famous for. I didn’t realize her size until she became visible at the boat side. That’s when I started yelling, “get the net”! She was a beast, and had a big round belly on her, probably ready to spawn! She weighed in at just less than 5 pounds and made my trip the first night there!
Unfortunately for Rick and John my fishing bonanza didn’t stop there. I continued to put bass after bass into the boat and even one lone crappie. Rick did end up catching a couple that night, including this nice largemouth, but man did I have the hot hand of the evening.
We decided to invite the crappie, one largemouth and 4 smallmouth over for dinner that night and they were delicious! Of course I let big mama go to finish her spawn and keep the reservoir stocked with more of these awesome fish!
The next morning we woke up bright and early and headed south to Good Hope Bay in search of some walleye. We didn’t find the walleye, but we did find the stripers. Funny thing was, they were jumping all around us but we couldn’t find anything that they wanted. Rick finally landed the only striper of the trip while trolling with a large white curly tailed grub.
The stripers continued to frustrate us so we moved on to bass fishing and found that they were just as willing to bite as the night before! John got on the board first with a nice largemouth and continued to catch smallmouth on his favorite rig all throughout the day. John’s favorite rig was a jig tipped with worm underneath a slip-bobber, and although Rick and I gave him a little grief for using a method that we referred to as the five year old method, we all knew that its a very effective method for catching fish, but it was to much fun giving him crap about it! His nickname for the trip became Bobber John!
We fished long and hard all day Friday landing quite a few good sized smallmouth, with a good mix of largemouth as well.
The evening proved to be good for me again as I landed another nice largemouth in the 3 pound range and capped off the night with the only walleye of the trip, caught right before sundown!
It was a nice walleye and we had big plans for night fishing for some more walleye and catfish after dinner, but the wind came up and put a damper on that idea. Instead we took all the meat and vegetables we had on the trip and threw them in a big pot and boiled it all up and had some awesome stew around the campfire.
The last and final day we were there was our worst. The fishing was still decent, but the wind made for tough conditions controlling the boat. John caught a very nice largemouth that got off right at the boat, and has now grown from around 3 pounds to about 5 or 6. You know how it goes; the ones you lose are always the biggest! Rick landed a nice 3 pound bass right at the end of the trip putting him on the lunker board, and I landed a few more smallmouth.
Soon the wind just became to much and hesitantly we called the trip to an end. After we loaded our gear and got back to the Hite boat ramp, a guy informed Rick that the stripers were in the bay right across from the ramp. We toyed with the thought of unloading all our gear and going over there for a couple hours, but with the wind still blowing and all our gear already loaded, we decided against it.
What an unbelievable trip! We were some “fishin fools” down there, and well surpassed our expectations in the cold April waters of Lake Powell.
It was awesome fishing with two guys that are as crazy about the hobby as I am, and I can’t wait to do it again next year!

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