Here is the trip report of my early spring rendezvous out at Lake Powell bass fishing. The weather was awesome, and the bass were ready and willing to bite. It took us a minute to figure out what to throw, and what types of structure to target to catch fish. Once we got it dialed, we wound up catching about 20 bass a day over the course of a 3 day trip. I’m used to Lake Powell typically cranking out more bass than what we caught on this trip, but it still was a fun time. Here are the logistics of the conditions, what we used, where we went, and how we did “Kraken” bass at Lake Powell.
Lake Powell Bass Fishing – Epic Spring Time Trip
We were out on the water the first weekend in April for 3 days from Thursday – Saturday. The Lake Powell water level was extremely low. You couldn’t launch from Antelope Marina, because their boat ramp was completely out of the water. Here were some of the other conditions on our trip:
Weather: Air Temp 65 – 70 degrees during the day. Bright and Sunny, with intermittent cloud cover. Wind 0-5 mph.
Water Temperature: 52 – 56.5 degrees.
Water Clarity: Clear to Stained. Visibility ranged from 12 ft to 6ft deep depending on the shorelines we fished.
Where we went:
We camped and fished every day on the lake in the San Juan River arm. We primarily found more fish along shorelines with stained water from the washes and rivers feeding into the lake. The bass seemed to be located on the boulder strewn shorelines. We caught fish in the clear water on the main portions of the lake too, but just not as many. Possibly because the stained water was warmer than the clearer water while we were on the lake.
Here is a map of the San Juan River from beginning to end of where we fished on Lake Powell:
What we used:
It took a bit of time to weed through our baits to find what the bass were craving. Here is a list of our top 4 baits, and how we fished them to produce bass throughout the entire trip.
- Jig: Pitching Jigs next to the submerged boulders along the shorelines caught us more bass than anything else. Let the jig fall to the bottom, and make it crawl like a crawdad. Most our strikes came while the bait was sitting on the bottom. The best jig and trailer combo was 3/8 oz in green pumpkin or brown with a bama bug havoc pitboss trailer. In the more stained water we found brown and black jigs seemed to work better with a texas craw havoc pit boss as a trailer.
- Spinnerbait: Throwing a spinnerbait along the shorelines also produced fish. My spinnerbait of choice for this trip was an Ayu color spinnerbait. I added a small 1/0 red trailer hook to give it a little flair, and to land more fish. I can recall at least 3 bass who were only hooked up on the trailer hook. A trailer hook is a deinite “must have” in my opinion when fishing spinnerbaits.
- Squarebill Crankbaits: My bait of choice was the Aska Squarebill Crankbait made by Jackall in the ghost gill color. We had the most success with it along the shoreline. The key was to make sure it was banging the rocks. I whacked quite a few fish on this bait. It was fun to throw.
- ChatterBait: I fished a chatterbait for the first time on this trip, and fell in love with it. I used the classic Z-man chatterbait in green pumpkin with a soft plastic Fluke as a trailer. I only had one, and I lost it on the second day when a fish broke me off. Sure wish I had a couple more of those on the trip. Swimming it next to submerged boulders produced a lot of fish.
(The “gear used” post at the bottom of the page will take you to my affiliate links to where you can pick up these baits. Thank you for using my links to purchase your baits, they help support these trip reports, and other posts to keep you “Kraken” Bass!)
How we did:
My dad and I left St. George at 6am and drove to Lake Powell. It was wild how cold it was. There was 3 inches of snow almost all the way there. The white snow was a beautiful backdrop to those red rocks. We got to the lake around 11:20 am, launched the bass boat, and got ready to head up the lake.
We arrived to our destination, set up camp, and started fishing the San Juan river arm around 3pm. I pulled out a jerkbait to try on the first good looking shoreline we pulled up to. On my third cast caught I caught a solid Walleye! Then around the corner we had a largemouth hooked, but he came loose. Then in another few casts, I whacked a bass on a texas rigged senko. The first largemouth I caught wound up being the biggest largemouth of the trip. I was stoked to be able to get him in the boat. Here is a picture of him.
Then the rest of the evening we struggled, until I pulled out the chatterbait. The chatterbait produced another 3 fish within an hour. I was pretty pumped. My first time throwing a chatterbait, and it turned out to be one of our best baits for “Kraken” bass. It was getting dark at this point, so we called it a night. The weather was perfect and the fire was bright!
We found some stained water on Friday, and I started pitching a jig along the shoreline. After about 30 minutes of fishing, I pitched to a small rock pile and twitched my jig a couple times. My line immediately started swimming off sideways, and I set the hook. My heart was in my throat with excitement, and wound up getting him in the boat. The first fish of the day always gets your heart pumping. Things shaped up really well for us on friday.
Pitching jigs is my favorite way to catch bass, and it turned out to be one of our most successful patterns. We covered a lot of water, and just kept moving until we found groups of fish along the shorelines. I wound up putting a few in the boat on a spinnerbait as well, and also had some success with a jika rig. Friday turned out to be a good day. We put about 25 fish in the boat. Here is one of the nice fish we caught pitching jigs.
The last day of the trip started off fairly slow. We picked up fish, but not nearly as consistently as we did on Friday. I caught some in the morning on a spinnerbait sporadically. Finally, at about 11:00 am we found a pod of fish and caught a fair amount pitching jigs. Things weren’t quite fast enough for us pitching, so we decided to do some square bill cranking along a good looking section of shoreline. Then the craziness happened.
On the second cast with the square bill crankbait, I pulled up a solid 3 lbs walleye! In another 5 feet my dad caught another walleye! His was a good 6 pounds or more. Only a few casts later after that, I caught a small little largemouth. Then the next cast I couldn’t believe my eyes when a 24″ trout smacked my square bill crankbait! It was an epic fight, but ultimately I wore the beast down. I wound up catching a few more bass on the square bill before it was time to take down camp. Here are all the pictures of the those fish we caught on crankbaits in that short section of shoreline. How crazy a Trout at Lake Powell? Fun times.
The one that got away:
It’s not a good fishing trip unless there is a story of one that got away, and here is mine. We came to a clear water section of the lake where a canyon merged into the main lake. There was only about 2o minutes left to fish before we had to leave. We started fishing along the shoreline which was strewn with broken up rock. We tied on a soft plastic swimbait to see if anything would come out for it. I made a perfect cast along a ledge of rocks sitting in about 8 – 12 ft of water at the head of the canyon. The water was so clear you could see 15 ft down to the bottom. When my swimbait was within 10 feet of the boat, I saw a solid beast of a Largemouth bass dart out from under the ledge and inhale my bait. With only 2 or 3 shakes of his head he got rid of my bait, and I was left to morn about the big one who got away. I was so stoked I forgot to set the hook! It left me yearning to come back again to go catch the toad. Hopefully I will, but if not he is there waiting for you.
Please leave any comments or questions you have about the trip, and hopefully this will help you in your next adventure out on the water to start “Kraken” bass!
Pepper Baits Pepper Jig Brown & Purple
Jackall Aska Squarebill Crankbaits
Z-Man The Original ChatterBait
Rod & Reel Set-ups:
Abu Garcia Spinning Reel
Shimano Convergence 7’2″ Medium Heavy Spinning Worm Rod
6-Pound Test Fluorocarbon Fishing Line
Spiderwire Stealth Braid 300-Yard Spool Moss Green 15lbs.
Spiderwire Stealth Braid 300-Yard Spool Moss Gree 30lbs.
Sufix Invisiline Casting Flourocarbon 200-Yards Spool Size Fishing Line 12-Pound
Shimano Sellus Medium Heavy Worm and Jig Cast Rod 7’2″
Quantum Fishing Smoke 9 Bearing Baitcast Reel 7:3:1 ratio
Loved the stories. Can’t believe you caught a rainbow trout:)
Looks like fun. SUBA is doing a 2 day tourney at the end of April. We would love to have you guys down again.