Utah is widely known for its world-class skiing, and Sundance Film Festival, but Utah also boasts monster fish! Capturing one requires perseverance, planning, knowledge, and the help of an expert guide who may increase your odds of success.
Hyrum Lake in northern Utah is a trendy ice fishing spot due to its higher altitude location, where freezing occurs earlier than nearby lakes. Sometimes, anglers can find fishable ice as soon as the week after Thanksgiving!
Utah’s towering red rocks, majestic mountains, and hidden pine forests draw anglers back again and again for fishing adventures. But the incredible fishing keeps them returning: Utah is home to many species, such as trout, bass, tiger muskie, and crappie, that lure anglers back for more!
State fishing laws are designed to keep fishing healthy and enjoyable for everyone, which makes knowing and following them before feeling important. You cannot obstruct waterways, use chemicals, explosives, electricity or poisonous bait, firearms, pellet guns, or archery equipment (except where permitted in specific rules such as “Taking Nongame Fish, Archery Tackle & Crossbow Fishing or Rules Specific to Lake Powell), etc. for taking fish or crayfish (exceptions exist as detailed under “Taking Nongame Fish, Archery Tackle and Crossbow Fishing).
Some fish species can be caught using bait alone, while many more require lures. An appeal is an artificial yet very realistic-looking imitation of what a fish might eat in nature and comes in all shapes, sizes, and materials – from weightless versions to models of nightcrawlers on worm hooks or artificial dough on treble hooks – that imitates this food source in an attempt to attract their prey.
Flaming Gorge Reservoir and other Utah waters utilize trolling techniques to target trout, kokanee, bass, and tiger muskie. Long lining with dipsy divers, weighted line, or down riggers is one popular method of covering large bodies of water; another popular technique involves vertical jigging, where anglers sit on the bottom while bouncing either baited or unbaited small jigs in front of fish to attract their attention.
Ice fishermen can fish most Utah waters, except Bear Lake, Flaming Gorge Reservoir, and Fish Lake, where only artificial flies and lures may be used, and catch-and-release is encouraged. Fly fishing at these waters is immensely popular; popular fly patterns include scuds, ant patterns, and blue-winged olives for winter/spring fishing, while several insect hatches provide exciting fishing throughout the summer/early fall seasons.
Utah fishers typically use heavier lures than flies when fishing for Utah fish. Surprises come in shapes and colors designed to mimic different baitfish species or natural items found in Utah waters; many tackle dealers can provide insight into what works in specific waterbodies. Bobbers — long plastic or Styrofoam floats attached to your line that act as strike indicators — are famous as strike indicators; some even come equipped with flashing strike indicators when struck! Nightcrawlers or artificial dough baits are typically placed onto worm hooks; other artificial lures include spinners, spoons, and jigs.
Some anglers prefer trolling with Rapalas or other minnow-imitating lures, while others use spinners such as Mepps or Vibrax models to cast. Ice fishermen also often employ standard trout lures such as gold spoons tipped with wax or mealworms as classic trout size lures; fly anglers may find success using small sculpin or bunny fur leach patterns for success.
Pliers are essential when fishing. No matter whether you intend to keep the fish they catch or release them back into the waters. A good set of pliers will allow you to remove hooks with minimal damage; for even greater efficiency, you could invest in a fish cleaning kit, including a net and a unique tool designed to remove scales and fins from your catch.
Strawberry Reservoir in Uinta National Forest offers one of the best locations to catch large lake trout in Utah during autumn and spring months, boasting fish that have reached maturity – reaching over 30 inches long! Conveniently located near Heber City, Strawberry Reservoir makes an excellent place to catch large lake trout without traveling too far away from Heber City. Currant Creek Reservoir also features similar-sized trout and is less popular with visitors. Both lakes feature fishing piers and public restrooms, allowing an easy fishing experience!
Your choice of bait can have an enormous effect on how and how successfully you fish. Some anglers find that using nightcrawlers or artificial dough on small treble hooks works very effectively, while other fishermen favor minnow imitations that come in an assortment of colors and styles, or spinners, crankbaits, or jigs are popular lures that work. Since various fish species react favorably to different bait options, experiment until you find what works for you!
One of the most sought-after Utah fish to target is rainbow trout. These predatory fish have proven themselves successful targets when presented with lures like Rapalas or Mepps that feature wax or mealworms tipped onto standard attractions like Rapalas or Mepps. Gold spoons tipped with waxworms can also prove effective.
Scofield Reservoir provides anglers with excellent lake trout and cutthroat fishing opportunities, although weekend crowds often make the fishery unmanageable. The best results have been reported near the north beach jetty and rockpiles at Utah State Park Marina and deep waters near these points on both sides of the lake.
Currant Creek Reservoir provides another excellent option for trout fishing in northern Utah and boasts Blue Ribbon fishery status and superior facilities for anglers. Situated approximately 40 miles northeast of Heber City and less crowded than Strawberry Reservoir, you may catch trout, yellow perch, and slab-sized crappie here.
If you want a larger fish, try fishing for tiger musky. These aggressive, toothy predators have been known to attack crappie anglers who accidentally hook them while jigging. Though these fish can be caught year-round using similar techniques as other muskies, you may need to experiment with lures and bait to find what works best.
Anglers looking to fish Utah’s popular species can utilize various equipment. Ranging from fishing rods and reels, bait, lures, bait stations, and containers, plenty of fishing gear can be used. Big Fish Tackle in Utah provides high-quality equipment with knowledgeable staff on site – among other places! Darby Doyle works on DWR wildlife blogs, annual guides, and backup public information officer duties.