Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lake Powell 2011

Fishing Time: Thursday-Sunday
Weather: 70-80, clear, low wind until Sunday
Moon Phase: 90% Moon
Location: Lake Powell
Water Temp: Morning- 52-54, Afternoon-56-60
Bait: Every plastic bait ever made
Who Went: Rick, John, Me

A couple buddies and I were lucky enough to fish God's gift to all anglers (a.k.a Lake Powell) last weekend and man was it awesome!
Thursday: We launched at Bullfrog and headed 25 miles north to Good Hope Bay where we set up camp on the south side of Blue Notch.After unloading our gear, we got on the water and started pounding the banks near our camp working spinner baits, curly tail jigs, and drop shot plastics. We hammered the smallmouth, but mostly small ones under 2 pounds.We also caught a few largemouth bass, a few nice crappies including one 15-inch beast, one striper, one bluegill, and one nice walleye.It seemed like you could hit all the species with a curly tail on a jig, while spinnerbaits were bass-only. The water near Blue Notch was slightly stained, but more on the clear side compared to some of the other bays. Afternoon water temps were around 58 degrees and the action was non-stop from about 2:00p.m.-dark. We ended up taking a mixed bag of all species back to camp where John filleted and cooked them for us to enjoy around the campfire. We worked the shorelines after dinner on foot near camp before we went to bed trying to find the walleye, but it never happened.

Friday: We started the morning bottom-bouncing the east shore of Good Hope Bay in 20-30 feet of water. Didn't mark many fish, nor did we get a bite. Gave up on that after about 2 hours and went over to the south shoreline of Good Hope Bay where there are some big boulders that come down into the water. Water was very clear and water temp was between 54-56 degrees. Picked up a few smallmouth on jigs but action was slow. Decided maybe the clear, cooler water was the problem so we headed way north towards White Canyon. Water turned chocolate-milk colored about a mile north of Blue Notch. Kept heading north and went into Two Mile Canyon and fished it for a while. We threw crankbaits and spinnerbaits, but didn't even get a strike. Water was extremely milky and our thoughts were that the fish were holding in the slightly stained water. We saw temps in Two Mile Canyon at just over 60-degrees. We stopped in Scorup Canyon, or ULTRA Canyon as we nicknamed it, on the way back south towards camp. Water was in the slightly stained category so we thought it should be good, but only had two strikes picking up one dink largemouth. A little discouraged at this point, we trolled cranks in the main channel near our camp and picked up some quick stripers to get our spirits up. I hooked up with a striper and low and behold Rick doubled up with me and lost his virginity on Utah walleye while trolling. A tiny little guy that was suspended at about 20' in the main channel! That was one of Ricks main goals of the trip… get on the board with a Utah walleye!After trolling, we went into Ticaboo Canyon, but the water was crystal clear and we didn’t give it much hope. We did catch a few small bass, but the real excitement came when Rick pulled out his fishing bow and arrow! There were carp everywhere and it didn’t take long for Rick to slay his first victim.After the seaside burial, Rick lost one of his arrows and we were down to one left. I only got a few shots in before it was gone! No more carp funerals were performed. After that we cruised over to one of the small canyons in the northeast part of Good Hope Bay and things started picking up, at least for Rick and John. They started nailing smallmouth, largemouth, and crappie from about 3:00p.m.-dark.I caught a few, but missed and lost more fish during this stretch than the rest of the trip combined. Water was right around 60 degrees and slightly stained. Most exciting part is when we saw big bertha swimming around some sunken brush. I'm talking a 7 or 8 pound largemouth! She was huge and uninterested in anything we put in front of her. It was awesome just to observe her for a while.

Saturday: The wind was on and off throughout the day, but air and water temps were up and we had more consistent success throughout the day. You couldn't go wrong with working a weedless plastic from shore, out to about 15 feet of water. Curly tail grubs had the most action with earth-colored working best in the morning and pearl or chartreuse working better in the evening. The morning started off hot for all species near camp at Blue Notch, but soon began to slow down.We ventured back into Ticaboo Canyon across the channel from Good Hope and temps were up as high as 63.5 degrees. That got us excited and we absolutely dominated the bass. Mostly smallies, and most under 2 pounds. Got a few of them over 3 pounds, but generally smaller.Highlight of the trip: In the far back nook of Ticaboo Canyon we got on a school of monster crappie hanging out around some large dead tree stumps that were sticking out of the water in about 7-10 feet. Literally every cast we got hit, with most of which were over 11 inches and some breaking 15 inches! Caught and released about 40 of them pigs. It was incredible!Suddenly that action shut off so we headed back out working the banks and continued to slay the bass. We saw a few people trolling that canyon and were hooking stripers, crappies, and walleye left and right. None of us were in the mood to troll, plus there isn't a ton of room for multiple boats to troll, so we opted out of that. The best producing bait of the night was the jig and trailer. I have always had my doubts about them, but figured there was a reason all the diehard tournament bass fisherman used them, and that evening it proved them right. It helped me land the biggest bass of the trip at over 3 pounds.Just before dark we talked to a group of guys camping in Ticaboo Canyon and payed them on the water pricing for some extra gasoline. We were a little worried that we might not have enough to make the 25 mile jaunt back to Bullfrog the next morning. I think it came out at $6.00 a gallon, but was well worth it! We worked the shorelines one last time before bed, but once again the walleyes were nowhere to be found.

Sunday: We packed up early in the morning and headed back to our Crappie honey hole, but the fast action was over and they didn’t want to play, so we continued on to Bullfrog. Unloaded all our gear into Rick’s jeep and re-launched the boat. We fished Bullfrog Bay for awhile, going all bass-tourney style working jig and trailers. Hooked a couple of nice largemouth and then the wind picked up and blew us off the lake. Ended the trip earlier than desired but the wind was miserable. Not a lot of structure to fish in Bullfrog anyway due to the current water level.The trip was incredible and I wish that one of us could have hooked big bertha swimming around, but oh well. It ended up being a numbers trip with a ton of fish being caught and mixed bag of all different species. Best Crappie trip I’ve ever had down there and the most walleye as well. Next year it’s big Bertha that I’m after! Just for fun here is a list of all the species caught; Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Striped Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Walleye, and a carp.

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