Utah Walleye Fishing Reports


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Utah Walleye Fishing Reports

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Revised 05-23-18


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.

Bear River

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

(May 18) Anglers have been catching 16- to 22-inch rainbows and some smallmouth bass. Anglers have had success fishing from shore on the northeast side of the dam. Nightcrawlers tipped with an Atlas Mike's marshmallow have been the hot ticket. You can also try using Rooster Tail spinners, Kastmaster spoons or Luhr-Jensen Shyster spinners, and recover the lure at a medium to fast retrieval speed. For those who are trolling, try using popgear, Mack's Lures Wedding Rings or D&H Custom Lures spoons. Troll at 1.8 to 2.0 miles per hour with the lure suspended in 12 to 25 feet of water. The smallmouth bass fishing should start to pick up as temperatures warm.

(May 3) Anglers have been catching 16- to 22-inch rainbows, 20- to 22-inch browns and some smallmouth bass. Anglers have reported success trolling at 1.62.2 mph with the lure approximately 60 to 70 feet behind the boat and suspended in 10 to 15 feet of water. Try using fluorescent orange, fluorescent chartreuse or fluorescent pink Mack's Lures Wedding Rings. Another good option is Christenson's Lakeshore Tackle spinner squids (in green glow or pink glow) behind a Black Tiger Sun Jelly dodger. Tip your lure with a half-inch of nightcrawler and scent with Pro-Cure Nightcrawler Super Gel. Shore anglers have reported success using Rapala Original Floating lures, Rapala Husky Jerk lures, or Garlic PowerBait under a bubble with about a three-foot leader line. For those targeting smallmouth bass, try dropshotting with a Gary Yamamoto Senko and use either a nose or wacky rig. Bass fishing will start to pick up as water temperatures begin to warm over the next few weeks.

Regulations

Holmes Creek Reservoir

Bluegill, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Walleye

(May 5) Holmes Creek Reservoir is a great place to fish if you want somewhere close to home to enjoy this nice weather in relative solitude. Likely owing to the solitude, we didn't receive any angler reports this week. In the past couple of weeks, anglers have reported good fishing for planter-sized rainbow trout. The reservoir was heavily stocked and fishing has been decent with a PowerBait or worm rig. One group of anglers did well tipping their worms with marshmallow last week. They caught several trout over the course of two hours.

(Apr 27) Fishing at Holmes appears to be fair to good, according to angler reports. One group of anglers caught seven rainbow trout between the two of them within a couple hours in the afternoon. They had the most success using PowerBait or a nightcrawler tipped with marshmallow.

Regulations

Jordan River

Brown Trout, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Sunfish, Walleye, White Bass

No recent reports.

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 18) by Wayne Gustaveson

Lake elevation: 3,609 feet Water temperatures: 6370F

Striped bass are now actively spawning. Unlike bass, stripers do not build nests on the gravel bottom or protect the young. Male stripers have been ready to spawn since the first of April. Females are now experiencing the spawning trigger which is a rapid water temperature rise. Stripers spawn on the surface which makes a surface disturbance similar to a striper boil, but the event occurs after dark when no one is there to see it. Having witnessed a few of these night time spawning events I can attest that the experience is unforgettable.

My first spawning event occurred on the Warm Creek side of the Castle Rock Cut in 1984. We located a dormant striper school there in the afternoon and returned on a moonless night. When the night sky was fully dark, we cast white bucktail jigs into the spawning cove, which was 30 feet deep and about 50 yards long. Striped bass males are extremely aggressive when spawning. It was not possible to reel in the jig without getting hit or catching a fish. Occasionally a large female was also hooked. We harvested over 150 stripers weighing 3-4 pounds with a few larger females, including the biggest which weighed in at 22 pounds.

Striped bass spawning will continue for the next two weeks over the length of the lake. It is now possible to see visible striper schools during the day in the clear water. We have seen schools at Buoy 25, and along the east wall of Padre Bay, Last Chance and Rock Creek. They tend to move around so I suggest trolling the shoreline at dusk. Mark the spot where a large concentration of fish is found and return there after dark to find the spawners. We recently tried to locate a spawning school before the sun came up by trolling in 12-25 feet with Lucky Craft pointers. When the first fish was caught (4:30 AM MST) we immediately cast randomly around the boat and caught male stripers on every cast until the sky began to lighten up (5 AM). No more fish were caught after light intensity increased at 5:30 AM. These spawning events can be found over the length of the lake.

Bass fishing continues to be the best target for daytime anglers. Smallmouth bass are found over the length of the lake along sloping slick rock shorelines with broken rock habitat. Common holding depth is 3 to 20 feet. They can be caught on green or smoked color plastic jigs, either single or double tail, Senkos, and Ned rigs. It is fun to throw topwater lures at first light and again in the evening. There are still many shorelines that have clear water which makes it necessary to throw very long casts to prevent spooking bass prematurely.

Largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill will be near any submerged brush pile. Since that is not common at the current water level, look for shaded areas with rock habitat. Use the same lures as listed for smallmouth bass. When trying for bluegill, downsize the bait and add a piece of night crawler to increase the catch.

Walleye are now at their feeding peak for the year. They will be caught more often now, in the next two weeks, than over the rest of the summer. Walleye congregate in shallow, murky coves following a wind event or a tour boat wake in the main channel. They can be caught now by trolling across a main channel point with a diving lure that hits bottom at about 12 feet. It is wise to troll a floating lure as quagga mussels may cut the line as the lure hits bottom. If it is a floater, you can double back and find it on the surface and use it again. Slowly dragging a single tail grub with a night crawler attached along the bottom can be very effective. Using a bottom-bouncing rig with a night crawler harness, slow trolled along a level bottom works as well. Walleye are one of the best fish to eat fish found in Lake Powell. Keep walleye and stripers to help balance the population. There is no limit on these species so keep all you can catch or give away.

(May 11) Lake elevation: 3,609 feet Water temperatures: 6370F

Lake Powell has stabilized with just a bit more water flowing in than going out. Without a large muddy inflow, the crystal clear water remains in more than half of the lake. In the main channel (and halfway back in most canyons), the visibility is close to 25 feet. There is a mudline in the main channel right at Castle Butte (Red Canyon Buoy 124). Some side canyons have clear water despite the milk chocolate color in the main channel. Clear water is unusual in May and is caused by a combination of factors. Quagga mussels are the biggest culprit because they constantly siphon and filter lake water on a regular basis. Lower than normal spring water temperatures slowed down plankton production. Lack of rapidly rising water has prevented sand bank sloughing that muddies the water each spring. For now, the water is clear, except in the backs of some canyons.

This week, expect to find many different species of cooperative fish. Many anglers are reporting catching largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, green sunfish, walleye, stripers and catfish on a single trip. This is the Lake Powell Grand Slam! The best technique is to use a single-tail plastic grub on a leadhead jig. Adding a piece of live worm or a gulp minnow for scent seems to entice more walleye and sunfish to participate in your fishing excursion.

The best place to fish is halfway back in the side canyons, where the water color changes from clear to slightly stained. Look for large boulders or rocky coves with lots of habitat in about 25 feet of water. It seems that there are more active fish grouped up in certain hotspots in each canyon than you'll find in the back of the canyon or at the mouth. Catch the first fish and then concentrate on that spot to find more.

Smallmouth bass are the fish species most caught this week. Again, try a variety of habitats in your chosen location. Once you catch a smallmouth, focus on that area to catch many more. Reports this week indicated that slick rock outcroppings held more fish than isolated rock slides in the channel. After the spawn is over, bass will move to the rock slides, but during spawning season, look for shallow areas where nest building is detected. Toss topwater lures early in the morning for exciting results.

Largemouth bass follow the same pattern, but they like to be near a tree or submerged bush. If they cant find that, bass will use a rock for protective cover. We found a three-pound largemouth guarding a nest under an overhanging rock. We could see his snout peeking out from under the rock and dropped numerous jigs to the spot. Mister Bass swept away the grub numerous times before finally picking it up and then joining us in the boat. We admired him for a moment and then put him back to protect the kids.

Stripers are still in prespawn mode, which means they're active at night and early morning. They are harder to find during the day. Bait fishing is not as successful as you'd normally find in May because the majority of striped bass are in spawning condition. This means they are less likely to be in the normal main channel fishing spots. These fish eat plankton and wait for the spawning trigger, which is getting closer now with the hot weather experienced this week. You can catch stripers while trolling in stained water over the length of the lake. For the most success, use medium- to deep-running lures that get down to depths of about 15 feet.

We have a new fish entering the picture in big numbers this year. Bluegill are bigger and much more numerous than ever before. Large schools have been reported this week hanging out behind the floating restroom in Good Hope Bay. They can be caught using a small hook with a piece of worm. We were able to see bluegill schools in clear water and enjoyed watching them interact with our small jigs and worms. The big males with the bright orange chest are impressive to catch.

You can catch walleye while bottom bouncing or dragging a plastic jig with an attached nightcrawler along the bottom in 20 to 40 feet of water. The next three weeks will be the best time to fish for and catch a walleye over the length of the lake. Fifty walleye were caught using these angling techniques and then tagged in Good Hope Bay this week as part of a migration study to learn more about fish movement in the upper lake.

The lake water is clear, but anglers are still catching a wide variety of fish in good numbers. The secret is to find one of the thousands of locations where the schools reside and then to fish that spot on a regular basis.

(May 4) Lake elevation: 3,609 feet Water temperatures: 5964F

It's typically springtime weather. There are some warm days followed by cool and windy conditions. The water temperature reaches the mid-60s, but then drops back into the high-50s when the wind blows. Inflow and outflow at Lake Powell are getting closer, but there is still more water flowing out than coming in. Water in the southern lake is still amazingly clear. Conditions in May are generally warmer, calmer and more conducive to catching a wide variety of fish species. Here is what to expect.

Striped bass are spread between the main channel and the main canyons. Fish in spawning condition will be in the big bays and main canyons, and will be most active at night. Look for them in the shade of the tall canyon walls at first light in the morning. They will eat plankton close to the surface, but their main purpose is to wait for the rapid warming spawning trigger. That trigger is when the surface water temperature increases almost 10 degrees in one day. The best fishing method for striped bass is trolling and graphing until a school or a few individuals are seen. Catch a fish by trolling and then watch the graph to see fish below your boat which you can catch on spoons.

The other striped bass contingent is in the main channel looking for food. You can catch these fish using bait at depths of 30 to 50 feet. Schools are widespread over the length of the channel from the dam to Dangling Rope and beyond. The best spots change on a daily basis as the schools rove up and down the channel. Keep moving along the channel walls until you find a feeding school.

Large and smallmouth bass are actively spawning now. You can see their shallow, guarded nests in crystal clear water at depths from three to 10 feet. Sight fishing is excellent because male bass moved back to their nests after the wind cooled the water and caused the nests to be abandoned. Bass fishing will be excellent throughout the month of May.

Crappie are spawning, but without much brush they are more likely to use rocky structure and murky water as spawning habitat. Male crappie make a nest on the bottom and behave much like male bass as they guard the nest until the fry hatch and swim away.

Walleye are most active and catchable during May. They are usually nocturnal, but this month you can catch them day and night. Low light is the best time to fish. They congregate at dusk and dawn under the mud lines caused by wind or waves. With the high water clarity right now, fishing at deeper depths (30 feet or more) may help you catch more walleye in the southern lake. In the northern lake, find murky water leading toward the mudline and you will find walleye holding there. Try trolling close to a steep cliff wall, particularly if there is a submerged ledge where walleye can hang out in their preferred habitat. Walleye like to park on a ridge or ledge where they wait for food to swim by. Dragging a bottom bouncer and worm harness is often effective on humps, ledges and flat bottoms. Casting a double or single tail plastic bass jig and then maintaining bottom contact is also effective. It works even better if a piece of live worm is attached to the hook. The most productive depth to catch walleye is 15 to 35 feet.

Bluegill and green sunfish increase their feeding behavior as water warms to 65F. It only takes a few more degrees until spawning will occur. The bluegill activity level is now increasing. Fish size has also increased recently and anglers have catch many larger bluegill. Larger bluegill feeding voraciously makes a whole new sport fishery possible in Lake Powell. You can catch big fish in large schools in 12 to 25 feet of 64F water. Look for a submerged bush near shore or a large rock pocket to find a school of bluegill.

Catfish are getting more active and will spawn in late May.

(Apr 27) Lake elevation: 3,610 feet Water temperatures: 5864F

The water level is still declining. About 16,000 acre feet of water flow into the lake while 24,000 acre feet flow out. The water temperature is climbing and the early morning temperature now at 59F. Hopefully the warming air temperature will allow the runoff to increase and allow the lake to rise. The water is still crystal clear in the southern lake. You can see the bottom in 30 feet of water in some locations.

These warming conditions have ushered in the expected behavioral change in the adult striped bass that are waiting to spawn. Each spring, adult stripers migrate back to where they were spawned (similar to salmon running upstream to their nursery location). Stripers spawn at night, so they are not that easy to find during the day. Stripers spawn on the surface, so there are no nests to mark the location of the spawning. The evidence is that large schools of stripers swim during the early morning on the surface as they wait for the 10 degree temperature spike that allows spawning to occur. That trigger is an early morning water temperature of 6264F, which increases to 74 or above in the afternoon. While waiting for the temperature increase, the striper schools pass the early morning hours by swimming aimlessly near the surface, feeding on tiny microscopic plankton. When the morning sun hits the water, the school drops down to 40 feet or deeper and waits for that spawning trigger. Usually spawning occurs between May 10 and June 10.

Over the years, we have found some of those spawning locations. Some pre-spawn holding locations are marked by high canyon walls on the east side of the lake that offer extended shady periods. The sun is rising at about 6:30 a.m. MDT. The eastern sky begins to lighten 30 to 45 minutes earlier, and the events described above occur between 5:45 and 8 a.m. or when the sunlight hits the water in different locations.

As we checked out a spawning location in Padre Bay yesterday, my heart skipped a beat as I saw a school of stripers slurping plankton on the surface. We deployed a number of fishing techniques to see what would be most effective. We trolled over the school with small crankbaits trailed way behind the boat. The school sounded and then returned to the surface about the time our lures were in range and we caught a few three-pound stripers. We fast trolled Clouser Minnow flies just under the surface and caught a few fish. We stopped in casting range of the feeding school and cast jigs, small crankbaits and flies and caught a few fish. When the school left the surface, we dropped spoons down to the fish where we could see them on the graph at about 40 to 80 feet and caught a few fish. It was intense, breathtaking and very satisfying to be back interacting with spawning stripers again. The sun hit the water way too soon and the morning action was over. We checked a few more spots by trolling in the backs of canyons at a water depth of 25 feet in murky water. We ended up with 34 stripers total at the fish cleaning station.

Those fishing bait in the main channel came in about the same time and most had 10 to 20 stripers from the morning trip. Fishing has improved and will continue to be good to great for all of May.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass have been guarding many nests in the southern lake. Anglers seeking spunky bass were smiling as well. Fish size and health is great right now. Walleye fishing is heating up in the northern lake.

Spring spawning season is here with the daily air temperatures in the 7080F range. There will be some afternoon winds, so the best fishing will be in the early morning over the next 10 days.

Regulations

Provo River

Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, Walleye

(May 18) Lower: Fishing has been best in the mornings and evenings. Watch out for midge, blue-winged olive (BWO) and Skwala hatches. Try using sow bugs, Skwala dry flies, BWO emergers and midges. You may have some success with streamers in warmer temperatures.

Middle: The Middle Provo River is fishing similar to the Lower Provo River. Fishing has been best midmorning. Midge and blue-winged olive (BWO) hatches are occurring regularly, and Skwala hatches are increasing. Try using cased-caddis nymphs, sow bugs, hares ears, BWO Barr's emergers, streamers, Skwala stonefly dry flies and nymphs, and a variety of midge larvae and pupae.

(May 3) Fishing has been best from midmorning through the afternoon, and higher flows have pushed fish to the river edges. There is a lot of surface activity on sunny afternoons. Midge hatches will continue throughout April, and blue-winged olive (BWO) hatches are underway (and intense at times). There have been reports of some Skwala stonefly hatches throughout the Middle Provo River. Try using cased-caddis nymphs, sow bugs, hares ears, BWO Barr's Emergers, streamers, Skwala stonefly dry flies and nymphs, and a variety of midge larvae and pupae.

Regulations

Starvation Reservoir

Brown Trout, Crayfish, Smouthmouth Bass, Walleye

FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY

(May 18) Walleye fishing should be picking up. Kokanee fishing has been extremely slow. The water temperature is hovering in the mid 50s and the visibility is about four feet. The reservoir is full and spilling. Biologists have been conducting surveys and have found high densities of smaller walleye. We encourage anglers to harvest these small walleye to help balance the fishery and produce healthier walleye populations. Also, if anglers catch crappie, we are asking them to please voluntarily release them so this population of crappie can get established in the reservoir.

(May 5) Walleye fishing should be picking up. Kokanee fishing is extremely slow. The water temperature is hovering around 48 degrees and the visibility in the water is about four feet. The reservoir is very full and spilling. Biologists have been conducting surveys and have found high densities of smaller walleye. Anglers are being encouraged to harvest these small walleye to help balance the fishery out and produce healthier walleye populations. Also, if anglers catch crappie, we are asking them to please voluntarily release them so this population of crappie can get established in the reservoir.

Regulations

Utah Lake

Bluegill, Bullhead Catfish, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Smouthmouth Bass, Walleye, White Bass

FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY

(May 18) Anglers have been catching white bass, walleye and channel catfish. The white bass spawn is kicking off, and anglers are harvesting stringers loaded with fish. For white bass, try using curly tail grubs or minnow-imitating lures. For channel catfish, try using chicken livers, nightcrawlers or shrimp.

(May 3) Anglers have been catching white bass, walleye and channel catfish. The white bass spawn will really ramp up over the next few weeks as temperatures warm. For white bass, try using a Mister Twister Curly Tail Tri Alive grub, Zak Tackle Curly Tail, or Southern Pro Triple Tip grub, and tip it with a nightcrawler or maggot. Popular locations to catch these fish are Lindon Boat Harbor, American Fork Boat Harbor or Lincoln Beach.

Regulations

Willard Bay

Bullhead Catfish, Channel Catfish, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Wipers (hybrid), Yellow Perch

(May 5) We received reports from boat and shore anglers that the water temperature was in the mid-60s, but the wipers weren't active during the evening. Fishing was slow for several shore anglers. One angler caught a decent-sized wiper, but the fish got loose before the angler could get it on the boat. Wiper fishing could improve in the coming weeks.

(Apr 27) The reservoir's water temperature is in the mid to high 50s. According to the angler reports we received, fishing is fair for wipers and catfish. Multiple angler reports indicated that the fish caught were in shallow water: only about 10-15 feet. One fly fisher said that bouncing a red and black bugger off the rocks at that depth did fairly well.

Regulations

Yuba Reservoir

Channel Catfish, Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, Walleye, Yellow Perch

FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY

(May 18) Fishing has been slow, and the bite has been hit or miss. For northern pike, try using spinnerbaits, jerkbaits or crankbaits with a fast retrieval.

(May 3) For northern pike, fish on the southernmost end of the reservoir and focus on shallow areas adjacent to weedlines. Try using spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, crankbaits or large plastics with a fast retrieval. Look for any type of lure that makes noise or vibrates in the water to attract northern pike to strike

Regulations









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