Utah Walleye Fishing Reports
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.
Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Bullhead Catfish, Channel Catfish, Crappie, Cutthroat Trout, Green Sunfish, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Walleye, Whitefish, Yellow Perch
No recent reports.
Deer Creek Reservoir
Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Yellow Perch
(Oct 20) Anglers are catching their limits of 14- to 18-inch rainbows. They're also catching perch. Fishing has been the best early to mid-morning, and anglers are having the most success trolling for rainbows. Reports indicate that a little bit of everything is working. Rainbows are hitting on Blue Fox Vibrax spinners, Yakima and Worden's flatfish lures, Rocky Mountain Tackle squids and Mack's wedding rings. Bright oranges, yellows, greens and reds are the popular colors right now. Six- to ten-inch perch are hitting on 1/32-ounce jigs in chartreuse, yellow or orange in about 30to 40 feet of water.
Holmes Creek Reservoir
Bluegill, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Walleye
(Oct 20) Anglers are doing well catching rainbow trout on lures and worms.
(Sep 30) Fishing for bass and trout has been fair. Try using topwater lures for bass or PowerBait for trout.
Brown Trout, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Sunfish, Walleye, White Bass
No recent reports.
Bluegill, Brown Trout, Channel Catfish, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Striped Bass, Rainbow Trout, Walleye
STOP QUAGGAG MUSCLE
FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY
(Oct 20) by Wayne Gustaveson
Lake elevation: 3,627 feet
Water temperatures: 65–68°F
The 10-day weather forecast is for calm water and perfect daytime temperatures in the 70s. Fishing has been mixed recently because of wind, dropping temperatures and finicky fish. This will be the last regular report for the year, but my prediction is that fishing will be excellent during the last two weeks of October.
First, the challenges: Fishing has been difficult recently because abundant cover and forage has allowed all sportfish species to eat on their own schedules or not at all. These fish are now accustomed to eating at their leisure with plenty of forage—a luxury usually not found in this lake because the normal overpopulation of predators always means fish seeking after prey. The windy conditions resulted in a rapidly dropping water temperature, which was a problem that confused fish and put them off feed at times. Hopefully those negative points are now past history.
Next, the new events: A stable water temperature (in the mid-60s) that is favored by most predators as the most consistent feeding and activity conditions of the entire year. There is an abundant shad and sunfish population that is readily available. The water levels will decline slowly which forces shad to leave the brush sanctuaries and encourages feeding from all the predators. Here is what to expect during the last two weeks of October.
Striped Bass: Right now, shad are hiding in the shallow brushy coves. By November, shad will migrate into deeper water as the water temperature drops. Threadfin shad need stable temperatures and do not like cold water. They seek a constant temperature in 30 to 60 feet of water. Stripers will react to this migration by forming bigger and tighter schools, which will make them easier to see on the graph and catch on spoons. As they make that transition from foraging in small pods in the brush to their normal large school mentality, fishing will improve dramatically.
Until that happens, you can find striped bass by trolling a shad-imitating crankbait while watching the graph looking for small schools and individual stripers. In the northern lake, surface action may happen anytime as more shad are available for stripers to chase.
Smallmouth Bass: Bass are the best angling target now because they are abundant and feeding prolifically at their favorite water temperature. Both large and smallmouth bass love brush that houses the bluegill and sunfish forage that is so abundant in this high-water year. The water temperature will remain at the peak bass activity level during the pleasant days forecast for the remainder of October. Start searching for bass on the prominent points and coves at the mouth of the canyon instead of the shallow water in the back of the cove. There is more shad forage swimming in deeper water (15 to 25 feet) than in the back of the canyon. Bass are currently holding in that deeper water but may move shallower as the lake level and water temperature drops. Bass really like surface lures right now, but will always eat plastic grubs bouncing along the bottom and dancing through the brush piles. Fast moving buzz baits are fun to throw over the brushy shoreline. Treat bass just as if it were springtime by fishing for them in the afternoon as the water warms.
Walleye: These toothy critters are back on the bite now with many being caught in the northern lake on spoons fished at 15 to 25 feet, bottom bouncers trolled slowly at the same depth, and nightcrawlers fished slowly on worm harnesses over main channel points. The magic depth for trolling across treetops or main channel points is 12 feet. Let the walleye diving lure hit bottom at 12 feet, and then catch a fish as it bounces into deeper water.
Crappie: Expect the crappie catch rate to increase dramatically as water temperature continues to decline. Normally the first two weeks of November provide the best crappie fishing of the year. Anglers are catching some crappie right now, and that catch rate will increase over the next three weeks. The most important factor is finding the school. With brush being abundant, look in the back of the canyons where water depth is 12 to 20 feet deep. Drive the boat right into the brushy thicket and then drop crappie jigs straight down below the boat to prevent snagging as you move the jig slowly up and down. It is also possible to fish from the old river channel where the brush begins. Drop jigs to the bottom at the edge of brush where crappie can see the lure while still staying in the brushy confines that they love. Expect to catch a few bluegill while fishing specifically for crappie. Tip the jig with a small worm to target bluegill.
Catfish: You can catch catfish by placing bait on the bottom near the sandy beach behind the boat near camp.
Again, this will be the last regular report for the year. Annual netting starts October 30 and will continue through November 10. I will post random reports on the website through the winter when something good happens. Though, the only time fishing at Lake Powell, isn't good is when you don't go. I will fish all winter and keep you advised of the fishing excitement.
(Oct 14) by Wayne Gustaveson
Lake elevation: 3,628.12 feet
Water temperatures: 68–70°F
We fished the Escalante early this week with mixed results. Our camp was in 50 Mile Canyon and we fished the canyons near there.
Fishing was slow on Monday afternoon, but we did find two schools of stripers and identified a pattern. The location was in the main Escalante River Channel between Three Roof Ruin and Explorer Canyon. The water depth was 20 to 30 feet in the channel. We fished on points sticking out from shore into the channel. Striper schools were small and appeared to be laying right on the bottom. As we graphed the point from a depth of 25 feet toward the shoreline, we found a small group of fish marks at 17 feet. If we dropped spoons right into the school, we caught a few fish. If the spoon missed the school, we wouldn't catch any. We then ventured further up the channel toward Explorer and saw another point and found the second school by graphing up slope. Again at 17 feet, we saw a tight school on bottom, dropped spoons and caught a few more fish.
No striper boils were seen or reported in the past week.
We had more time to fish on Tuesday. We looked at the sights including La Gorce Arch and Cathedral in the Desert, and both were awesome. We caught a few bass on topwater in the brushy treetops in the backs of the canyons at a channel depth of 9 to 15 feet. Then, as the sun got higher in the sky, the bass quit. Fishing was tough in some very good habitat and locations. We ran down lake as far as Cottonwood Canyon without catching a fish. We headed back toward the Escalante and began trolling and casting along a big rockslide near Hole in the Rock. We caught stubby smallmouth all along the rocky shoreline on a variety of lures. We checked another rocky shoreline to see if this was the only spot they were hitting. No, smallmouth bass turned on everywhere we tried from 2 to 4 p.m. The number of fish we caught immediately went from none to too many.
This reminds me so much of springtime bass fishing pattern, when they will not bite at all in the cool morning and then turn on like crazy as the water warms in the afternoon. With temperatures now in the high 60s, bass behavior is much like it is for pre-spawn fish. Afternoon is definitely the best time to fish, but that feeding period may get longer as weather continues to stabilize and the full moon continues to wane.
Back at camp, we learned that stripers exhibited the same behavior. They did not bite in the morning but, trying the same rocky points after 2 p.m., the stripers took off and we caught 30 fish.
The pattern right now is up to the fish. It is not about the best lure or the best spot. Many different types of spoons, bucktail jigs and medium running crankbaits worked when stripers were active. Nothing worked when they were inactive. During the afternoon primetime, we caught bass using topwater, shallow square bill cranks, rattletraps.
I suspect the same timing will apply to catching fish over the length of the lake this week. If you can only fish for a short time, make sure it is in the afternoon. I feel that fishing will improve in the next few days, as the weather warms and the lake remains calm. Wind tends to mix warm water from the surface with cool water in the depths. That drops the water temperature and slows fishing success. Warming water will improve just as it does in the spring.
We saw fishing improve dramatically in one afternoon. Hopefully that magic two-hour period will get longer and finally last all day. When fishing is tough, just look up and see the beauty and majesty of Lake Powell. It is worth it!
(Oct 5) by Wayne Gustaveson
Lake elevation: 3,628 feet
Water temperatures: 68–73°F
Fishing success has been well below Lake Powell standards lately, because of the cold weather, wind and dropping water temperatures. The weather is stabilizing and there have been calm mornings and breezy afternoons. Hopefully the 80 degree temperatures forecast for this week will stabilize the water temperature and bring bass, shad and stripers back to the surface.
Shad schools are hiding in shallow brushy water close to shore. Stripers are looking for shad in shallow water, you're more likely to see boils blow up near shore, instead of the open bay. That makes it harder to find surface activity since there are over 2,000 miles of shoreline and only 150 miles of main channel water.
The most consistent method for finding stripers has been graphing and spooning. There are lots of shad balls showing up on the graph in the backs of canyons and in open water layered at about 50 feet. These tight packed fish schools are not stripers. A striper school usually shows a bit of separation between individual fish.
In Neskahi Canyon this week, we found individual stripers that marked a group of 10 fish or less. A spoon dropped right into the striper squad resulted in a catching as many as four fish before the group moved on. The highlight of the trip was a very large group of stripers that showed up as widespread individual fish that were very aggressively chasing shad and spoons. Anglers are catching many of the stripers in 3-6 boats working over the schools at the mouth of Piute Canyon. Anglers caught hundreds of stripers from September 28 to 30. I am not sure if the huge school is still there, but the fish were still biting on Saturday, September 30.
Fishing from Good Hope Bay to Hite has been slow because of weather, but I expect the stripers there will boil and attack spoons as the weather improves. You can still launch at the Primitive Hite ramp, which makes for a short run to find active stripers.
Good fishing was also reported from Bullfrog at Stanton Creek. Shore fishing was best during windy weather, since the desire for stripers is to chase shad hiding close to shore. Fishing will also improve mid-lake as the weather stabilizes.
Smallmouth bass are the most dependable species to target right now. They have also been impacted by cold weather, so you'll need to seek after them like you would in the spring. Wait until water starts to warm at mid-day, and then switch to smallmouth fishing techniques. Fishing plastic grubs and shad-shaped worms on the breaking edge of a rapid drop off should work very well. The high lake level still hides some brush and rock piles in slick rock canyons. Dropping plastic baits down to these typical bass sanctuaries results in quick bites from some very nice-sized bass. Fishing topwater lures during the early morning and late evening hours were bass magnets. I have had some of my best bass memories recently as large bass have attacked my surface lures in the backs of canyons in the southern lake where the water was calm and placid. The big bass jumped well out of the water and then tried to grab the lure on the way down. This experience is actually more memorable if you don't hook the bass. Surface fishing is fun!
I am sure fishing success will be better during the next two weeks than it was the last windy week of September. The water temperature is still hovering around 70 degrees, which is a very favorable fishing temperature. Stripers and smallmouth bass are the best choices now, but walleye, catfish and sunfish are also available if you're in the right place, at the right time.
(Sep 30) by Wayne Gustaveson
Lake elevation: 3,628 feet
Water temperatures: 70–74°F
Last week, we sampled young fish production in Lake Powell with electrofishing techniques. The windy weather reduced our catch, but we learned about the general success of most fish species. With lots of submerged brush, we expected brush-loving fish — like bluegill, crappie and largemouth — would be the most abundant species sampled. Bluegill were the most abundant species captured, and black crappie had a strong showing in the northern lake and the San Juan. Smallmouth bass were well represented lakewide and the largemouth bass catch was steady over the length of the lake. The brushy cover that is still submerged has been very beneficial in rebuilding the populations of those fish that anglers really appreciate. Striped bass are more of an open water fish, even at a young age, so they are not captured as easily as bass and crappie during the September shoreline sampling.
Windy conditions over the past week have slowed fishing considerably. It was not easy to fight the waves and catch fish while the wind was blowing hard. The strong winds reduced the water temperature from 77°F (last report) to 70°F degrees this morning. Fishing slowed down during the windy weather. September is going out like a lion, with more wind and rain forecast. As the weather settles down in October, fishing success will rebound once more even with cooler weather. The best fishing in the spring is at a water temperature from 62-72°F. That is repeated in the fall.
For this week, you'll find the best fishing if you graph bottom structure looking for striper schools. Shad have been hiding in the backs of canyons, protected by brush shelters. Stripers are moving in that direction. Open water boils have slowed considerably. Expect to find striper schools in 40 to 80 feet of water, toward the backs of canyons. Stripers periodically come up to feed on shad, and you can see them pushing shad schools along the canyon wall. You can use surface lures to catch them when they're visibly chasing shad, but spoons will be the most effective striper lures this week. Expect to find schools at a common depth. In past years, the best depth to find them has been 60 to 70 feet. When you find a school, remember the depth and look for them at the same depth in other bays or canyons. Striper schools will be very willing to chase your spoons.
Smallmouth bass may be easier to find and catch than stripers. They are in shallower water (10 to 25 feet) holding near the brushy points where tamarisk trees are becoming more visible as the lake level declines. Smallmouth bass are excited about all the tasty little bluegill that we found while electrofishing and are close to their brushy sanctuaries. Bass are running in packs, so when you find one fish there may be a bunch more in the same spot. Shad-shaped worms are working very well. Try either wacky rigged on a dropshot rig or impaled on a leadhead jig. You can catch bass along the entire shoreline of Lake Powell.
Walleye are starting up again and can be caught in the daytime occasionally while fishing for bass and stripers.
Bluegill hide in the submerged treetops, but you can see them in the brush near shore. Find a good-sized bluegill and feed it a live nightcrawler or Berkeley gulp minnow. Youngsters will really enjoy catching sunfish off the back of a houseboat.
Catfish are feeding steadily along the bottom in 10 to 15 feet of water. They like table scraps and will provide a lot of excitement as they join your party at dusk on the sandy beach.
October is often the best weather to cruise and camp at Lake Powell. There are fewer crowds, and water is calm and cool. It might be the best time to camp and fish in 2017.
Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, Walleye
(Oct 20) Lower: Flows are at the lowest and range from 150–190 cubic feet per second, which is fairly typical for this time of year. Anglers are catching 14- to 18-inch browns and 14- to 16-inch rainbows, and brown trout are continuing to show aggressive, pre-spawn behavior. There's a lot of moss on the lower Provo River near the dam, so we suggest fishing further away from the dam for better success. You should see this moss begin to break down with cooler temperatures. During the pre-spawn is a great time to use streamers in a variety of colors and trigger combinations. Reports also indicate a lot of subsurface productivity, so try using BWO, zebra midges, caddis larvae and pupae, nymphs and bling midges. Continue to watch for caddis hatches in the late evening and an occasional BWO hatch throughout early to late afternoon. Spin casting anglers have reported success using gold Blue Fox Vibrax spinners, Rapalas and brown trout pattern Rooster Tails.
Middle: The Middle Provo River is fishing similar to the Lower Provo River. There are evening caddis hatches and sporadic BWO hatches throughout the afternoon. Reports indicate browns are tucked into pools near shore and are becoming more aggressive as they near the spawn in November. Try using a variety of streamers, different types of midges, black woolly buggers and caddis larvae and pupae.
Brown Trout, Crayfish, Smouthmouth Bass, Walleye
FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY
(Sep 30) Great walleye fishing continues at the reservoir. For best results, try trolling a pink mini squid with a very silver dodger scented with garlic. This is the time of the year when walleye stock up for the winter months. They start feeding heavily on smaller forage fish and even on bigger rainbow trout. Please keep your limit of 10- to 14-inch walleye. Thinning the abundant walleye population will help yellow perch in the reservoir. To catch walleye, try fishing in 15 to 24 feet of water using Rapalas or jig heads tipped with worms. Jigs that imitate crayfish are also working well. The walleye are very aggressive and will bite on almost anything you cast at them. Fly anglers are finding success using size 6-8 bead head leeches and buggers in olive, black/orange and purple. If you catch a kokanee salmon, you must immediately release it. You may not possess kokanee salmon until Dec. 1. This closure protects the salmon during their spawning season. The water temperature is 73 degrees, and visibility is about six to seven feet. Rainbow trout will become more active as the water cools down. This spring, DWR biologists moved 250 crappie from Pineview and stocked them in Starvation to establish a new population of forage fish. If you catch crappie, please voluntarily release them so they can help establish this new population.
Bluegill, Bullhead Catfish, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Smouthmouth Bass, Walleye, White Bass
FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY
(Oct 20) Anglers are catching white bass and channel catfish. For white bass try using a 1/8 to 1/32 ounce jig head tipped with a nightcrawler and retrieve at a slow to medium speed. Reports indicate successful white bass fishing off the jetty's at Utah State Park. For channel catfish try using Magic Bait Catfish Bait, chicken livers incased in nylons or nightcrawlers.
Bullhead Catfish, Channel Catfish, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Wipers (hybrid), Yellow Perch
(Oct 20) Anglers report slow to fair fishing at Willard this week. The water temperature was in the low to mid 50s. One angler who trolled all morning caught a single average-sized catfish, while other anglers who were targeting wipers from both a boat and the shore reported few to no bites at all.
(Oct 14) The water temperature was in the mid to high 50s this week. Anglers who reported success this week were trolling below 1.5 mph. If you're fishing from shore, you could also try your luck with crankbaits. According to angler reports this week, the catfish bite was fair to good, but the walleye bite was slow. We received almost no reports regarding the wiper bite this week, but last week the wiper action had slowed down considerably. If you're still trying to catch a wiper, try fishing a mussel on the bottom or plastics low and slow.
(Oct 5) As the water temperature cools off, the wiper action is slowing down a bit. A few anglers are still reporting catching wipers. If you're still trying to catch a wiper, try fishing a mussel on the bottom or plastics low and slow. The catfish bite was also slower this week compared to last week. One angler reports bringing in only a single catfish after a morning of fishing despite using a variety of tackle. We have not received any recent reports on the walleye bite.
(Sep 30) The water temperature is approximately 65 degrees and the reservoir is full. Several anglers have reported good fishing for catfish. One angler reports good success for catfish by fishing the north end of the reservoir using a Gulp minnow tipped with nightcrawler. A nightcrawler alone has also done fairly well for catfish recently. A few anglers reported catching wipers both from the shore and by trolling, but we also received a couple reports of slow wiper fishing at Willard. If you're targeting wipers, try fishing in the evening using mussels or a lure that imitates a shad.
Channel Catfish, Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, Walleye, Yellow Perch
FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY
(Oct 20) The Oasis boat ramp has two lanes open and ready for launching, but the Painted Rocks boat ramp is closed. Please use extreme caution when boating as underwater hazards do exist.