We went way up the San Juan river early April and caught at least 175 awesome bass. We wound up crushing two that were over 5lbs. The big ones had just started moving in to spawn. Check out the behemoth bucket mouth bass pic featured for this post. I wrestled it out of a brush pile on a steep red rock ledge at the Gorgeous Lake Powell! Lake Powell Bass Fishing is the best! I’m going to walk you through the whole trip from beginning to end, and tell you some stories about some of my favorite fish. Hope this gets you stoked to release your Kraken on some bass at Lake Powell.
When,Where, and Conditions on the trip:
Me and my dad headed out to Lake Powell bass fishing with a good friend of ours Bryan Wilson and his son. We went April 4th and stayed until Saturday afternoon April 6th. We left St. George early at about 6am, and drove too the antelope point marina in Page Arizona. We wound up launching at about 10 am. We had awesome weather the lake was as flat as glass. I can never get on the water soon enough. I was extremely amped to get out there pounding the water.
It took us about 4 – 5 hours to get up the lake and find a camping spot. We took a a couple tents, some sleeping gear and camped on the beach up the San Juan river arm of Lake Powell. As soon as we found the beach, Bryan’s son Andrew threw out his pole. I guess there was someone more anxious than me to get my line in the water.
After what seemed like ages, we got the tent and camp set up. Next, we got our rods tied up with our favorite rigs, and did a preliminary pulse on the water clarity, and temperature. The water was lightly stained and hit the 61 degree mark. Perfect conditions to “Krak” some early spring bass!
Little did I know this was our best time for fishing the whole trip. It seemed liked we caught bass on everything we threw. My dad threw a baby bass colored weightless senko, while I through the same rig with a green pumpkin colored senko. Both seemed to work equally well. Most the fish were in about 2ft – 10ft depth range. When we would find a good looking rock we’d throw our baits right up against them, and after a couple of twitches you’d to get crushed.
I also through in my modified shakey head rig, or some people call it the neko rig. (check out my post on tips and techniques on how this works) It crushed some fish as well. When we would snag up you could see fish cruising around in the shallows. That’s when we knew we were in for a good trip on some good water.
One of the coolest things on the trip is I noticed fish pecking at my line on the surface where it touched the water Thursday night. I got so excited, and threw on a small yozuri popper, and crunched about 3 bass on the top! Nothing gets your heart pounding more to see bass smack your bait on the top of the water. I couldn’t believe how aggressive they where this night. Usually topwaters work better in the late spring early summer. I could sense the conditions were right, so I went there and crushed em! My dad said, “there was no way that was going to work.” It sure made me smile when it did. We were both super jazzed.
Nothing is better than evening fishing way up the Suan Juan River. I can never get enough casts in. Thursday cruised by way to fast. Then to top off the night we had some cold chicken, and coleslaw. Who cares about what you eat, as long as your catching bass right?
I set my alarm on my iPhone and woke up at 6:00am. I rustled my dad out of the tent, and I didn’t want to take time to eat a doughnut because I was so excited. We hit the first shoreline as indicated on my map, and just started catching fish. All the fish we caught were no deeper than 10ft deep. We started throwing weightless senko’s agian, but I noticed that the shoreline dropped off really steep. I decided to try out a new rig I guy showed me at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Salt Lake which is just a modified shakey head rig, but yet you rig the senko wacky. I don’t know what to call it, but check it out on my techniques and tips posts. I’ve heard it called the “neko rig.” When you use those screw sinkers and put them in the head. It makes that baby dance on the bottom.
I was amazed at how well it worked. As soon as I tied that thing on, I couldn’t keep them off it. I crushed a couple beauties. It was fun to fish. I switched between throwing that, and a Yamamoto Texas Rig Grub. Wound up working great. It was a decent morning of fishing.
We went around the corner, and started flipping our Texas Rig Yamamoto’s and Senko’s up shallow. The fish were super tight to cover, and were a little bit fewer and farther between. I saw a couple bass sitting on a nest spawning. It looked like they just moved in. As a result we each caught a couple good sized largemouth on this shoreline. I crushed the 2nd largest bass of the trip flipping onto a rock off a point. He was a beauty. He’s the feature fish on the post.
Just about 2 hours before dark I caught the biggest bass of the trip. Because the lake was so low there was almost zero flooded brush to flip our baits to. Flipping Weightless Senko’s, and the Texas Rig Yamamoto’s seemed to be working the best, so we went right along using those same rigs. The wind picked up, so it took a lot of effort to keep the boat in position. We wound up drifting fast through a lot of shoreline. Still caught bass though.The key seemed to be brush piles. Everyone we saw and threw to we wound up catching bass.
The big toad hit when we came up on the best decent sized bush along the shore of a cove. My dad and I both drooled. He got the first cast in, got hit, but missed the fished. I threw in next just past the bush, and let my jig sink to the bottom. I slowly pulled it along the base of the bush, and then my line jumped. I let it sit a second then loaded up and set the hook. My line immediately took off from my spool. He was pulling me down!
I was super nervous he was going to wrap me in the brush pile, but I finally wrestled her out. Then her big mouth hit the surface, and I started shaking like a reed in the wind with excitement. When I finally got my hand on the bass and lipped her, a flood of relief and accomplishment swept over my body. If you ask me, I could have went home right then and there. I was perfectly content. What an awesome fish! Gotta Love it! Literally my face was stoked right off!
Started the day off the same way as Friday morning. Set the alarm as early as possible and got up to grip it and rip it. It was super calm, the water was a mirror that you could see yourself in. I was excited. Eating seemed like a chore agian. Who wants to eat when you could be Kraken some Bass! We headed to some points in the backs of some coves, and the first 5 casts we caught 5 bass! Then things went silent.
The water was a lot clearer where we were, so I pulled out the drop shot because the fishing was slow. It was pretty bizzare. It was so red hot yesterday with the wind pushing us all around, we thought we would still be able to find some fish. The drop shot wound up working brilliantly I caught a couple fish on it. One nice largemouth I pulled from a point after I let that bait dangle for about 3 minutes. I love how you can leave a drop shot in a spot you know will hold fish. It always seems to call out a strike from those wary bass.
After the slow start, we decided to head back up to more stained water. It turned out to be a good decision. The fish were definitely more aggressive in the stained water. We boated more fish in the afternoon than we did in the morning. We worked for our fish, but it makes the fish that much more rewarding.
One of my most memorable fish of the trip was one that got away from us. My dad whispered with a yell, “JB look at that nice bass swimming right to the boat.” I looked and saw the fish. Then he said, “Oh my heck he has got my Senko!” The fish had sucked in his senko off the rock and was swimming out deep. My dad set the hook and for about 3 seconds he was on the line, but alas he got off. We were super bummed. He looked like a solid 3 pound bass. I love seeing the fish take your bait. Nothing gets you more pumped. Even though he got off it was fun to see the whole charade take place.
Headed Home Recap.
Way to quickly it seemed we had to pack our stuff up Saturday afternoon, and make the trek down the lake and back to St. George. Bryan and his son also wound up catching a lot of fish on wacky rigged senko’s, and smallie beaver baits in the green pumpkin color. It was fun to have them along with us.
Lake Powell was once again consistent and produced for us again. I heard later after the trip about a Bass Tournament being held on the same weekend on the lower end of the lake at Wahweap. The results showed that fishing was tough. Amazing to me how knowing where to go and what to use can make such a huge difference in catching bass. I also believe knowing the water is warmer in the shallower water farther up the lake in the spring makes a big difference. Some guys were struggling to catch bass, while we were crushing them.
What a wonderful fun trip. I am super grateful for my dad in putting it all together, and the fun we had figuring out how to release the kraken on some awesome early spring bass fishing at Lake Powell. If you have any questions about our trip, feel free to ask in the comments on this post.
Gear I Used on the Trip:
Here are some links to where you can purchase the gear I used on this trip.