A Tale of Unbelievable Fishing at Lake Powell, Utah.


Mike Schwartz

Capt. Butch,

I noticed that it was 71 F. there at the present and thought I might pass on the current temp. here at -10 F. Just a bit cold to go fishing. Frankly it's a bit cold to do much of anything outdoors. I did force myself to ski yesterday, yes it can be hard, but somebody has to do it. Backing up about 2 months ago I was fortunate enough to get out to Lake Powell in Utah. That happens to be a pretty decent fishery for its location. We put in between rain clouds and had the boat loaded. Every inch of the 17' was either food, clothing, tent, water, beer, extra fuel, tackle or us. We ran down the lake for about 45 mins until we came upon a beautiful point where we set up camp. We then proceeded to fish the last 30 mins of daylight and I boated one 2+ lb. largemouth and a couple smallmouth. Jeff was skunked but you must understand that he doesn't have much experience casting artificials.

The next day we headed out in search of our target species, the striped bass. Stripers are so abundand in the lake that there is no limit and they encourage you to kill the fish if your not going to keep them. I had never seen the lake before and a little web and tackle shop research led me to believe that the fish would be in at least one of three places. Well I was wrong, and although I caught 1 striper and a few largemouth and smallmouth on that first day, I was feeling pretty bad. Jeff did however boat one smallmouth with the sun setting fast. I told Jeff that I had expected many more fish and that I would change strategies for the next day.

Up at dawn, I told Jeff that I wanted to try a small bay about another 20 minute run down the lake. He is quiet the adventurer and we were running down the lake in the cold morning air. As we pulled into the bay I saw the surface break off a shallow point. We got off the big motor and trolled over to the spot and started casting top water baits. The water was like glass and when the first fish hit it was pure topwater action at its finest. For the next hour and a half we managed to raise fish after fish. Sometimes they would miss the lure or we would commit the cardinal sin and try to set the hook on the "crash" rather than on the "pull" of a tight line. After while the action slowed down and we began to fish other structure along the shore, occasionally catching a striper. When the bite ended we headed back for lunch and to clean fish.

That afternoon there was no doubt where we would be headed and Jeff and I decided that if it was a hot bite we would fish until it ended, even if that meant heading back at night with no moon. Well, as we pulled into the bay and began looking at the channel that ran off the point where we found them in the morning the fishfinder went blacker than I had ever seen it. I told Jeff to drop a jigging spoon and before I was even from behind the wheel he was hooked up. I quickly dropped a spoon as well and the first double of the afternoon was under way. I can honestly say that in my 30 years of fishing, short of finding a school of crappie and having a bucket full of minnows, I've never had such fast action. For the next two hours we had double after double. As fast as you could land the fish and re-drop your spoon was as fast as you would catch the next. Jeff's only complaint was that "I don't even have time to drink my F#*^@!g beer," times were rough. At many times you could feel your spoon bouncing of their backs as it dropped through them before one would hit it. Other times the hooked fish would surface with another 1 or 2 close by and a quick toss of the spoon would hook the friend. It was truly one of those days that you never forget and only hope to have again, with most of the fish in the 3 to 5 pound class. October is definitely striper month at Lake Powell.

Which leads me to my question of the most favorable time, tidely and moonly speaking, during either the end of May or the begining of June. I will be making my annual lower keys tarpon trip and would also like to fish with you as I did last year, either before or after the tarpon trips. Snook and reds would be the target species, although you got me interested in some inshore grouper fishing with one of your past reports. Opportunity fishing is always fun as I'll never turn down a school of jacks feeding crazily. Anyway, you get the picture. I'm trying to coordinate with you, Dave Wiley of Outcast Charters and Jim Bourbon of Bourbon's Streak, the latter two being great tarpon guides that I have enjoyed fishing with for the last five or six years. Please drop me an Email letting me know what you think about the days and your availability. I also might be interested in a day of kayak fishing as I've done some paddling in the past and think it would be a hoot to get pulled around by a big red!

Mike Schwartz

If you have any questions or comments, would like to book a trip, or would like to submit a story, please email me at capt@barhoppr.com.

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