Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Lake Powell Houseboating Fish Tale

This morning Big Ed in Tex sent me a very long-winded tale about catching a fish during a Lake Powell House-boating trip.

I'll try to tell the tale in abridged form. Apparently Big Ed and his brother Wally had done a lot of research into Lake Powell fishing. They came to the lake with all the gear needed to land a lot of fish.

When the brothers got to Bullfrog Basin they went in the Marina store to seek more information. There they bought a map that pointed out all the hot fishing spots. And they got a copy of the Lake Powell Gazette, in which they learned about fish boils, where there are so many fish in a feeding frenzy that the water appears to be boiling. If you see a lot of seagulls hovering about, that could indicate a fish boil.

They were barely an hour out from Bullfrog Basin when Wally started screaming "Fish Boil!" Big Ed stopped the boat. False alarm. There was no fish boil. But they decided to fish anyway, til the others onboard insisted they get moving again.

The first night on the houseboat they stayed in an inlet they came to call Bobcat Cove due to an incident that night when a bobcat came onboard the boat. Big Ed and Wally went to bed before the sun set. Others stayed up and reported that in the moonlight they saw huge fish swimming around the boat. And that when the moon set, behind the canyon walls, it created a spectacular purple light show.

In the morning Bid Ed was skeptical about the big fish reports. His skepticism was re-enforced when he fished for hours with nary a bite. The next day, new location, still no bite. By then Wally gave up on fishing. On day 3 Big Ed still had not caught a fish. When ever the houseboat stopped or docked, Big Ed would get out his fishing pole, even at Rainbow Bridge.

Then on the 4th day they were deep up a side canyon, east of Bullfrog Basin, called Moki Canyon.

At their Moki Canyon anchorage Big Ed could see a big school of carp circling through the water. A pair of trouble-making females tossed bread in the water, trying to cause a fish boil. When he saw the fish liking people food, Big Ed gave up on using conventional lures. He tried a hot dog on a hook with no luck, then bread, still no luck, then he tossed some chili beans in the water. The carp loved the chili beans.

So, Big Ed put a chili bean on his hook, threw several decoy beans in the water, then slowly lowered the hook. Soon a big carp took the bait. Eventually the carp gave up, the picture you see above was taken and then Big Ed released the carp to go back playing with his friends. Big Ed says this was the best catching a fish experience he has ever had.

There you have it, the abridged version of Big Ed in Tex's Lake Powell Fish Story.

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