Lake elevation: 3,552 feet
Water temperatures: 80–84°F
The Lake Powell water level is now at 3,552 mean sea level (MSL). Water released today from Glen Canyon Dam was 26,000 acre-feet while inflowing water was only 13,000 acre-feet. Therefore, the lake level continues to drop. Within a few days, the lake level will drop to 3,551 which has been mentioned as the end point for the Wahweap launch ramp. The National Park Service is working on the old boat ramp, which is located between the Wahweap Main ramp and Wahweap Marina houseboat docks. The old launch ramp will be accessed by driving down the Waheap ramp and turning right on a dirt road heading toward Wahweap.
We headed out early Tuesday morning to learn how the fish were responding to continually falling water levels. This trip we headed into Warm Creek initially looking for boils. Within 200 yards of entering the canyon inlet, we saw small schools of yearling stripers hitting the surface. The surface disturbances were small and quick but we saw surface feeding stripers and got very excited about catching some fish on topwater lures. We rapidly approached the five small boils but by the time our lures hit the water, the small stripers were gone. We caught no surface feeding fish. We deployed spoons hoping to put these lures into the striper schools that were chasing small shad. No luck! We trolled while waiting for more schools to boil on top. No more boils came up and we didn’t catch any fish trolling. It was very disappointing. We looked at each other and all came to the same conclusion: our only chance to catch stripers in Warm Creek was to use anchovies.
Surface lures were removed from our rods and replaced with lead head jigs. Anchovies were cut into three or four pieces and impaled on the jig head. We then dropped the bait down to 30 to 40 feet where the fish traces were commonly seen on the graph. Within three minutes, the first striper hit the bait and successfully landed in the boat. The game was on! With three anglers in the boat, we caught at least one fish every five minutes. We were hoping to catch the small fat stripers seen boiling but the larger stripers were holding down at 30 to 50 feet where the water temperature was cooler, making it bearable for the larger fish to hang out. Adult stripers cannot stay in 80 degree water for more than a few minutes. Since shad numbers are limited in the southern lake, many of the stripers caught were thin but still fun to catch.
Reports from the north lake indicated that adult stripers were still boiling on the surface. They came up, ate a few shad then dove down to cooler water to recuperate. After the warm water fever went away, the stripers resurfaced to eat more shad. These fish are very susceptible to hitting topwater lures. Dropping spoons down to the deeper stripers results in catching a lot of stripers.
Bass fishing continues to excite anglers as bass work the shoreline each morning and evening. Try surface lures in the early morning and evening. Cast right next to shore where bass are looking for sunfish and shad in morning and evening twilight. Fish shade lines during the day. Smallmouth bass will always be in rocky habitat but your chance of catching fish increases when rocky habitat and shade are combined.
Catfish are very active in the summer heat. You can find them in shallow water at night near your camp. Use leftovers from dinner to entice catfish to come to your dinner party from dusk to dawn. (August 12, 2021)