The warm, calm weather that we have recently enjoyed was blown away by the strong two-day windstorm with cool temperatures. Before the wind, morning water temperature was as high as 60°F. Now the lake temperature is back to the mid-50s, which will slow down the highly anticipated bass spawn. Expect to wait another week before bass go shallow and start making spawning beds. Bass spawning should peak from the last week of April through early May.
Bass fishing is solid as reported by the participants of last weekend’s bass tournament held at Wahweap. The winning weight (5 fish) was 16 pounds on Saturday and 18 pounds on Sunday. Most of the fish were caught in Wahweap, Navajo or Warm Creek. Some tournament anglers ran further uplake and caught more fish but they were smaller.
You can catch crappie and walleye more often but you must specifically target them. Crappie are in shallow muddy water and will hit small jigs or grubs. Walleye are on the bottom at 10 to 20 feet and will hit slow-moving, dark-colored Ned Rigs.
Crappie will follow the same schedule as bass. Hopefully some tumbleweeds blew into the water with the recent wind storm to give both bass and crappie some more spawning structure.
Striper schools are on the move. You can find them in the backs of the canyons in 10 to 20 feet of water in the morning and then in deeper water later in the day. Once they’re in deep water, they are prone to come up from the depths to check out shallower humps while looking for forage. A 40-foot hump in deep water can be a good trolling target. Use shallow running rattletraps and crankbaits for shallow stripers, then switch to 20-foot deep running lures (Deep Thunderstick) when the stripers are in deeper water. When you locate a hotspot, re-trace the route each time instead of trolling in a long straight line. Stripers are schooling fish and you can usually catch more than the one fish on the trolling rod and interested in the same bait. Repeat the trolling path to catch more fish. Cast lures in the general area while the fish hooked by trolling fight behind the boat.
Bait fishing is taking off. Anglers have caught many stripers at the Dam (west side, near 3rd barricade), Buoy 3 (south side, on corner before reaching Antelope Canyon), and Navajo Canyon (first point on the left after passing the double islands). These locations are very familiar areas where stripers have been in previous years. There are many visible stripers swimming in shallow water in the back of West Canyon. You can catch these on bait.
Bait fishing uplake in the Bullfrog area usually peaks a week or two later than in the southern lake. If you found a productive bait fishing spots in a previous year, it would be worth trying again as striper schools are on the move.