Colorado River Northwest

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April 28th, 2008
Colorado River Northwest

LAKE POWELL – By Wayne Gustaveson. Lake elevation: 3,591. Water temp: 55-65 F
Bass are Building Nests!
Largemouth bass began nest construction this week as air temperature hit 80 degrees. Spawning is imminent with largemouth going first followed by smallmouth a few days later. Warming is long overdue but may work to the advantage of anglers who enjoy fishing for spawning bass. Expect to find bedding bass in shallow water for the next 10 days. Lake levels are not increasing at a quick rate so nests will be visible for the first spawn.

All of this is weather related. Bass move on nests as the water warms quickly. This spawning trigger causes a quick reaction in bass that are now overdue. Bass move on nests and spawn within a few hours. Males are actively building nests today. Each male then spawns with one to two females on the next warm day. On the third day the male drives away anything that comes close to the nest including female bass and fishing lures. Aggression is greatest right after the spawn and decreases with each passing day. By the fifth day of nest tending the male is seen lurking near the nest but not actively chasing. In warm water, eggs hatch and fry swim off in about 7 days. It takes longer if the water cools. Males stay with swimming clouds of black fry for a few days and then spawn again. Each male may make as many as 6 spawns during a season if driven off the nest by cooling temperatures. They re-nest as soon as the water warms once more.

It is fun to sight fish for bedding bass. Watching a slow sinking Senko or grub settle onto the nest creates an adrenalin rush as the nest monster rushes to the attack. Enjoy the spectacle but return fish caught on beds so they can protect the nest. If keeping a few bass for dinner – keep the fish that are lurking on the extremities beyond the nest. In the bass community, females are excess fish and should be the ones harvested. The males are vital to perpetuate the species.

Striper fishing is excellent. In the south, stripers have moved into the main channel. It is not necessary to fight the crowd at the dam any longer. Large schools are found roaming the channel near Buoy 1 and 3 and from the Power Plant intake to Buoy 9. The points in Navajo Canyon just past the double islands are beginning to produce some nice catches. Main channel fish tend to move to a slightly different spot each day so a good method to find them is trolling the wall with a deep diving lure. When fish hit the trolling lure, stop and drop bait to fill the cooler in a hurry. With warming temperatures remember to put fish immediately in a cooler with ice to keep the fish fresh. Do not place them on a stringer in warm water. They deteriorate in a hurry unless kept cool.
In the north lake both bait and trolling are working. Moki Wall near the mouth of the canyon is producing for bait anglers, as is the mouth of Lake Canyon. Trolling with a deep diving lure like a Rapala X-Rap is working well in the back of Bullfrog Bay, Red Canyon south of Castle Butte, and White Canyon. Water is stained by runoff beginning at Ticaboo in Good Hope Bay but it is not interfering with fishing until rounding the horn at 2 Mile and 4 Mile Canyons. The backs of these canyons are still clear enough to fish.

Crappies are showing up in modest numbers around brush in the backs of many canyons. This is the best report of fishing conditions that I have been able to write this year. Watch the weather reports and plan the spring trip now. Try to fit it in between storm fronts for best results.

LEES FERRY – From Lees Ferry Anglers, Report by: Ted Welling
New Regulation: Dogs are prohibited on the Colorado River downstream from the dam to the boundary of Grand Canyon NP except when used in support of
hunting activities in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws.

Today’s Fish rating Upriver: 6.00 Walk-In: 4.5
Key: 1 = Go fish somewhere else
10 = Rent a helicopter and get here now!

Today Weather: Sunny/ With afternoon wind gusts up to 35 mph
Today’s Crowd Rating: Upriver: 2.5 Walk In: 1.0
Key: 1 = Sleep late and fish where you want.
10 = Very crowded, get up early!

Today’s Fly Fishing: A little rough with the wind we had today. The guides managed to get thru the day but not without a few creative words. With the new flows it is hard to find a good place to wade where fishing is productive so, we tend to drift. And that was really tricky today in the wind… you get the boat just rite and here comes a gust of wind to change the play intended. We will most likely be drifting thru the summer being as the water flows have increased. The trout are slowing down on the glo-bugs and are starting to look more toward the scuds and worms hanging in the deeper runs. That’s not to say fishing with midges will be worthless, we just may not see a whole lot of big midge hatches this season. And those hatches tend to bring the trout closer into wading range. We’ll have to wait and see!

Walk in: I have had only a few reports from this section lately. Anglers have done alright the past few days. I know I keep repeating myself but you really have to get your weight and drift to get these guys. The scud has been working down there as well as worms and the zebra midge. One could even get tricky and use a dry and dropper rig. And when the flow hits around 1,500 cfs in the lower section can be really fun. There is an area down here if we do have a decent hatch, and the water level is rite, the midges get trapped and using a dry-dropper rig is one heck of a lot of fun. If you are fishing this area, stop in and we’ll fill you in on the latest.

Spin Fishing: Spin fishing is still great! Stop in and pick up some egg patterns and ask us about the recommended rig and best areas to fish. We do have maps available in the fly shop as well.

LAKE MEAD – According to fishing guides out of Las Vegas, the striper and largemouth bass bites are both picking up, especially on non-windy days. Catfish are still biting at night. The ramp is open at South Cove; National Park Service has completed the extension to the concrete ramp. The lake elevation has gone down a little at around 1,112 feet above msl. State and federal biologists sampled fish populations in Lake Mead during October and found gizzard shad for the first time. This is not a surprise since they have been found in Powell since 2000.

Angler report:
Where:South Cove, Lake Mead
When:04/19/08
Caught:Striped bass, largemouth bass, catfish
Technique:Striped bass caught on lures and cut anchovies. Catfish caught on anchovies, largemouth caught on a variety of lures
Comments:The annual United Professional Fire Fighters tournament was held last Friday/Saturday at South Cove on Lake Mead. 25 teams participated. Top striper team checked in 40 fish that weighed 64 lbs. Big fish weighed 4.15 lbs. Top catfish team had 20 channel cats that weighed just over 20 lbs. Top largemouth bass team had 15 fish over two days that weighed just over 21 lbs. Big fish of the tourney weighed 4.55 lbs. Largemouth were caught on a variety of lures including spinnerbaits, grubs and tube baits. Stripers were active and were caught on spinnerbaits, top water lures and reaction lures. Lots of fish caught during the day on anchovies fished at 40-50 feet.
Name:Don Martin

Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

LAKE MOHAVE – The striper bite is picking up a little. The stripers seen in the fall were fat and full of shad, with schools of shad being chased by striped bass. If the shad are making a comeback, we may see more mid-size stripers in the basin. If you can find schools of shad, throw a small crankbait. Most of the largemouth bass are in 20-25 ft of water, but some are in shallow water.

Biologists from both Arizona Game and Fish Department and Nevada Division of Wildlife installed fish habitat in Carp cove on Dec. 12-13. A total of 84 wood pallets and 16 4X4-foot PVC structures were put into Lake Mohave in an attempt to increase angler success. On January 29-30 an additional 54 wood pallets and 16 4X4-foot PVC structures were put into Lake Mohave at Box cove. On March 28-29th brush bundles pallets and PVC structures were installed in carp cove. Additional habitat will be added at several locations over the next two years. These structures are fish magnets.

There is a wheelchair accessible fishing pier just south of the main launch ramp at Katherine’s Landing. If you fish Mohave and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

WILLOW BEACH – Trout are stocked every Friday. The fishing for trout has been good from shore immediately following the stocking. Try using a Jake, Panther Martin, or other spinner’s or spoons. If that doesn’t work you can always use Power Bait.

Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see. If you fish Willow beach and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.
For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

TOPOCK MARSH –Water level is up, but still be careful while launching. The bass and catfish are biting. Try night crawlers or anchovies for catfish.

Game and Fish biologists surveyed the Marsh starting on the week of Jan. 15. The largemouth bass population was observed to be very healthy, as well as channel catfish. Crappie were also present, but in smaller numbers.

You can access the marsh by boat at North Dike, Catfish Paradise, and Five-Mile Landing. All three also provide plenty of area for shoreline fishing too. For more information on the marsh, contact the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge at (760) 326-3853 or go to http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/arizona/havasu/index.html.

Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM –I have not heard much about the striper bite, but would suspect that it is picking up. Trout were last stocked on March 24-25th. This was the last trout stocking until next winter. Fish and Wildlife Service stocks once a month in this area. A few days following the stocking look for trout to be across the river from the Riverside.

The fish are stocked in two locations; Davis Camp and near The Riverside. I am getting some reports of the largemouth bite picking up.

Water levels on the river fluctuate, so be careful. You can check the Bureau of Reclamation Web site for flow predictions http://www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html before you go. If you fish the river below Davis Dam and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

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