I get to claim a bit of credit for helping pattern the fish’s locations at Utah’s Lake Powell last week. Although we’d caught a few early fish, it wasn’t until we moved very close to the bank so I could retrieve a snagged jig that we saw the largemouths and smallmouths in super shallow water.
The fish were tucked beneath tumbleweed and holding between rocks in less than three feet of water. Those particular fish were understandably leery, but seeing them provided our first major clue, and over two days, we were able to confirm that big numbers of bass were holding in water so shallow their backs must have been nearly out of the water.
We also figured out that most fish were on flatter banks with plentiful rocks—especially big rocks—or a substantial collection of tumbleweeds. Down the lake, we only found bass in the extreme back ends of canyon arms. Well up one of lake’s major rivers, more fish were along main-river banks than back in the cuts or feeder canyons.
It’s sometimes said that 90 percent of the fish use 10 percent of the water, but Lake Powell locals contend those numbers to be more like 98 and 2 at their lake, which is massive, deep and clear. Because the productive 2 percent varies daily, covering water and watching for clues to pattern locations are absolutely critical.
Specific areas where we found fish that day aren’t necessarily important. However, for any lake where fish tend to congregate in specific types of areas, applying the concept of patterning locations is vital.
Mike Iaconelli talks about how he begins finding fish when he first arrives at a lake.
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