Utah's Fishing Hotspots


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Utah's Fishing Hotspots

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Revised 05-26-17


Links give descriptions of the lake and facilities available. Check proclamtion for details on fishing restrictions as these may not be complete.

WHIRLING DISEASE -- For waters indicated, please prevent the spread of WHIRLING DISEASE by cleaning mud from waders and equipment. DO NOT TRANSPORT any parts of fish caught here to other waters. Click here for DWR information.

FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY -- For more information on individual lakes and fish species: Click here for DWR information.

Lake Powell

Bluegill, Brown Trout, Channel Catfish, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Striped Bass, Rainbow Trout, Walleye

STOP QUAGGAG MUSCLE

FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY

(May 26) Lake elevation: 3,614 feet Water temperatures: 6366F

Lake Powell is rising rapidly. If you're visiting over Memorial Day weekend, make sure to readjust your tie lines at least once a day for boats tied to shore. Don't leave your car parked on low, flat spots near the lake shore at Lone Rock or other camping areas. The lake could rise rapidly and cover the car while you are camping uplake. Once your equipment is safe, then you are free to enjoy the beauty and grandeur of Lake Powell.

Fishing will be great because the water temperature is still in the magical 64F zone. However, it will take a bit of investigation to find fish. Bass and other shoreline dwellers will not move on shore as quickly as the lake comes up. Newly covered brush in shallow water may not be occupied because it takes fish a while to move into the new habitat. Instead, look for old habitat that is 10 or more feet deep to find fish congregations. One technique that works well in rising water is to find a recently submerged island or long point. Cast to the shallow part of the structure and then work the bait deeper to find the holding depth. Once you discover the depth, the next cast should go to the same spot without taking time to work from shallow to deep water. I predict that you will be more successful in catching larger fish by targeting depths of 10 to 25 feet of water instead of casting in water that is less than 10 feet near shore.

Walleye may be the most likely fish to catch in these conditions, particularly in the northern lake. They prefer a flat bench near shore or a shallow ridge in open water. In either habitat, walleye will be near the edge of the drop off. Use a bottom bouncer with a worm harness trolled slowly along the ridge at 1 mph. Make sure the bouncer weight hits the bottom often and that you can feel when it hits. Trolling 'banana lures' like Wally Divers is very effective in the warming water conditions. Troll across points where you make bottom contact and you can catch fish as soon as the lure breaks free from bottom structure.

Here is a word of caution for when you're using this shallow trolling technique in areas with quagga mussels. Transitioning from shallow to deep water allows the trolling line to hit bottom slightly before the lure. Mussel shells are sharp and can cut the line before the lure hits the rocks. If you use a floating lure in this circumstance, it is possible to return to the spot where the lure grounded out and find it floating on the surface. I used one floating lure last week and recovered it twice after the line was cut by mussels, before losing it for good on the third try.

Bass are still in rocky structure, and bigger is better when looking for rocky structure. Drop a plastic grub on the shady side of a rock for a consistent catch. Brown, green and chartreuse grubs in single or double tail are all working. Finding fish holding habitat is more important than choosing the right color grub. In locations with many small bass, it is wise to keep 20 of the smallmouth to allow the remaining bass in that cove to get bigger.

Largemouth will now be in shallow water in the thickest bush they can find. Nice green bass may also be hiding under the shade of the flotsam in coves that have thick floating debris.

Striped bass are near spawning. That means you can catch the big healthy fish at night. The rest of the population is moving toward the backs of canyons looking for shad. However, shad are small in number and size. Stripers are still eating plankton and crayfish. They can be targeted by trolling shallow running lures along shore at a depth of 15 to 25 feet. Each time you catch a striper, make sure to cast lures to the same spot to find followers.

Bait fishing for stripers is picking up dramatically in the Bullfrog area. Most of the canyons above and below Bullfrog Bay will have schools of stripers holding right at the intersection of the canyon and the main channel. Chum with anchovies to get the school started and then enjoy the action for the next hour.

In the southern lake, bait fishing is still working but the daily catch has declined from incredible to 15-to-20 fish per trip. The standard spots near the dam and Navajo Canyon are still producing, but the tall walled canyons in Last Chance, Rock Creek and Wetherill are holding a lot of fish. If you can find one of those hungry schools, your catch rate will soar.

Bluegill are near spawning and anglers are catching surprisingly large fish. Channel catfish are two weeks away from spawning and will provide great fishing in June.

Overall, fishing should be great over the Holiday weekend. The water is clear from Wahweap to Bullfrog, but muddy upstream from Cedar Canyon in the main channel and above Neskahi Canyon in the San Juan.

Regulations

Mantua Reservoir

Bluegill, Cutthroat Trout, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout

(May 26) It's bass time! Anglers were doing extremely well catching bass this week. They reported great success for bass using jerkbaits, plastic worms in a wacky or Texas rig, topwater frogs, and Creature Baits. For trout, one angler reported that green PowerBait was the ticket. If you're looking for a beautiful place to take your family this Memorial Day weekend, Mantua Reservoir is an excellent choice.

Regulations

Matt Warner Reservoir

Brook Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout

(May 19) Anglers report fun and fast fishing from the early morning to mid afternoon. Try using PowerBait and/or jigging for fast results. Tiger trout have been very active from the shoreline.

Rockport Reservoir

Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Tiger Trout (hybrid), Smallmouth Bass, Yellow Perch

STOP WHIRLING DISEASE

(May 26) Fishing by boat is excellent and anglers reported catching their limit in no time. Successful anglers were trolling with pop gear and a worm. However, fishing from shore is fair. Try using garlic or corn PowerBait.

Regulations

Sand Hollow Reservoir

Bluegill, Largemouth Bass

STOP QUAGGAG MUSCLE

FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY

(May 26) Largemouth bass are very active. You can find bass both in the 15 to 20 feet depth (sometimes called the staging area) and on nests in the shallows. Shore anglers can find plenty of fish along the dikes. Various techniques have been producing well. The key is to find the fish and use a bait you are confident in. The Ned rig is increasingly popular and productive this spring. The Ned rig is half a Senko-threaded on a jig head. Wacky-rigged Senkos, swim baits, spinner baits, dropshots and crayfish-imitating jigs can all be productive.

Regulations








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