Southeastern Utah mid-December fishing report
Reports of good ice fishing continue. This is usually followed by large numbers of anglers hitting the ice. Remember ice fishing safety precautions. Fish with a buddy and take along a rescue rope and floatation device.
Boulger Reservoir. Fishing for 12-14 inch rainbows has been good on the dam end of the lake in 12-15 feet of water. Try a 1/8 oz. jighead with a nightcrawler. Access to the reservoir is difficult.
Cleveland Reservoir and Electric Lake. Both are frozen over. No report.
Gigliotti Pond. A week ago, the ice was 4-5 inches thick. Fishing for 8-10 inch trout was good with Velveeta cheese.
Mammoth Reservoir. Fishing success has been sporadic, ranging from slow to good. Better fishing generally occurs in the early morning in about 10 feet of water. The ice is sandwiched with layers of frozen slush and topped with snow. Plan on augering through at least 10 inches of frozen composite. A number of tackle recommendations are out there. They include twist-tail grubs, glo-bugs, tube jigs, feathered jigs or Swedish pimples, tipped with bait. The most popular jig color is chartreuse followed by white. Common baits have been chub meat, meal worms and nightcrawlers. Tiger trout range from 12-16 inches. Closed to the possession of cutthroat trout.
Joes Valley Reservoir. The reservoir opened to fishing on Dec. 9. Ice has formed on the north end and on the edges. Ice-on is not expected until late December or early January. Boats may still be launched on the east side, although the ramp is snowy and icy. Aquatics Manager Paul Birdsey recommends trolling with a three to five inch, brown/white, diving crankbait (such as a shad-imitating Rapala). For those wanting to still-fish, Paul suggests using sonar to locate underwater structure. Especially productive are underwater shelves on the edge of drop-offs. At such locations, try a 3/8 oz. hammered nickel spoon with a chartreuse stripe. Bait the spoon with a piece of chub meat. Special regulations apply. Please refer to the fishing proclamation.
Lasal Mountains. Mountain reservoirs are frozen and inaccessible. No report.
Scofield Reservoir. This water is by far the most popular ice fishing destination in southeastern Utah. Scofield fishing reports can be reviewed on most fishing forums. Fishing success ranges from fair to excellent. On Dec. 8 Aquatics Biologist Justin Hart landed 20 rainbows, ranging from 8-16 inches and weighing from 0.75-1.5 lbs. Most fish were within the 12-15 inch size class. Justin used a pink jig, tipped with a piece of nightcrawler below 15 inches of line and a 1/8 oz. Kastmaster attractant. Justin fished a foot off the bottom in 20 feet of water and jigged the bait periodically. One of the anglers in his fishing party enjoyed great success with ratfinkies, tipped with wax worms and red salmon eggs under a slip float. Slip floats can be very useful, helping an angler detect and pick up light bites.
In general, the best jig or ice fly colors are pink, white and chartreuse. Good baits include minnows, wax worms, meal worms, salmon eggs and nightcrawlers. Best fishing occurs in 15-25 feet of water.
Virtually all anglers report a very light bite, and say they missed a lot of fish. Anglers report catching fish throughout the day and at varying times and locations.