Your Best Spring Fishing in Utah

Your Best Spring Fishing in Utah
Photo By Ron Sinfelt

Straddling the Utah and Arizona border, Lake Powell is the second largest man-made reservoir in the United States that stretches nearly 190 miles from tip-to-tip. Although a popular vacationing hotspot for water sport connoisseurs during the summer months, when spring arrives, it is arguably one of Utah's top smallmouth bass fishing destinations.

March & April

Lake Powell has no doubt seen its ups and downs in the last decade; and although it is currently in a down cycle because of the low lake levels a two-year drought has produced, its smallmouth bass will be a bright spot this spring. As the water begins to warm in mid-March to early April, Powell's bronzebacks leave their deeper winter haunts looking for suitable spawning ground. Because shoreline woody and brush habitat is high and dry, visiting anglers should target rocky structure with a gentle slope to flat that quickly drops deeper. A transition in shoreline structure like a slick rock bottom to a more broken rock or pea gravel can also be areas to key on. The water clarity line created by spring runoff or winds can also be very good locations in which to focus, especially if the rocky structure is good. Split shotting grubs and Senkos across the rocky flats will often produce strikes, and with Powell's solid smallmouth populations, 20 to 30 fish days are a possibility.


After the spawn the smallmouth transition from the shallower rocky coves to the edges of the flats and main lake rocky points in 10 to 15 feet of water. They will stay in these areas from May into June. Some of the best areas consist of points and flats that are very close to deep water. Fishing grubs, Senkos and crayfish and chartreuse colored crankbaits will always yield good numbers of strikes, and with the smallmouth concentrated in these areas catch rates can be extremely high. By now, runoff from the Colorado River drainage should start to have an impact on lake levels, and with the modest snowpack the drainage received this past winter, the lake should rise from the current level of 3,575 MSL back to 3,600 MSL or perhaps a bit more.

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