Dan Porter and his brother, Mike, drove to Bullfrog on Saturday, June 19, and launched their boat in Lake Powell. They knew they had to go south and that they wanted to troll.
That was as detailed a plan as they developed. So they started looking for campsites at Escalante but when it was dark they stopped at Dry Rock and spent the night.
When dawn cracked the next morning they got in the boat to troll. One pass in the middle of Dry Rock Creek resulted in a six-pound striper for Dan. That was fun so they turned around for another run. Dan had five colors of leaded line out with a deep diving thunderstick as the terminal bait.
The next pass took about five minutes before a big one hit. It seemed to be a snag but the water was 113 feet deep. One very large striped bass took the lure deep and stayed down for 15 to 20 minutes. It finally came up and took a run toward the bow of the boat. Mike used the motor to head off the fish and regain control. Dan quickly reeled in slack line and put some tension on the fish. At that point the big striper rolled over near the boat.
The net was placed under the fish but when lifted the aluminum handle broke. Despite this adversity the fish was hoisted in and Dan collapsed with a permanent smile affixed to his face. As Dan and Mike unhooked the beast, they noticed one hook was completely gone and the other was barely hanging by one strand of spit ring wire. This story was one coil of split ring wire away from not being told.
The fish was taken to Dangling Rope and measured at 42 inches long and 27 around. These dimensions put it in the 40-pound range so the decision was made to get it weighed officially. Dan, Mike and their wives took the food out of the cooler, put in the fish, and headed for Wahweap. That is the only place to get an official weight for a big fish on Lake Powell.
Wayne Gustaveson, Utah Division of Wildlife biologist met the group at Wahweap and weighed the fish at Bashas' Grocery store. It was 38.5 pounds.
It must have spawned the week before since the rule is that trophy stripers weigh about one pound for each inch of length. It was probably 42 pounds before the spawn and after a fresh fish dinner. The current lake record is 48 pounds so this one was a bit short - but a darn nice fish.
Mike indicated later that he had done some homework before the trip as he held up the printed version of everything that appears on the Lake Powell web site, http://www.wayneswords.com/.
Mike and Dan expressed their good fortune in catching the big fish. But it looks like they had a good plan. They were wise enough to head downstream from Bullfrog where water was clear and fishing was better.
Their total fishing time on a two-day fishing trip was only 20 minutes.