Southeastern Utah fishing report for early November
The best fishing of the year continues at southeastern Utah waters. Divsion of Wildlife Resources southeastern region aquatics manager Louis Berg says that "Just about everywhere, the best fishing of the year is in progress as hungry fish feed in preparation for winter. Hunters should bring a fishing rod along to fish the lake or stream nearest their hunting spot. This is a good way to kill time during the middle of the day, and will help ensure they bring some meat home.
Beginning Nov. 1, Joes Valley Reservoir will be closed to fishing. Beginning at 6 a.m. Joes Valley Reservoir will be closed to fishing until Dec. 14. Once the reservoir reopens to fishing, the trout limit will be two, of which only one can be over 22 inches. All trout 15 to 22 inches must be immediately released. This amendment to the 2002 fishing proclamation was made to protect the large adult splake, which come into shallow water during the new closed period. We need protection for those large splake as well as those between 15 and 22 inches to help control the Utah chub population. The growth and survivability of trout at Joes Valley Reservoir has decreased as chub numbers have increased.
Where have bag limits been liberalized?
An eight fish limit is currently in effect at Electric Lake. Tackle restrictions, requiring anglers to use artificial flies or lures only, have been suspended. These changes will remain in effect until the end of the year.
The daily bag and possession limits have been doubled at Cleveland and Miller Flat reservoirs, Ken's Lake, Lloyd's Lake, Monticello Lake, and Recapture Reservoir. These regulations are in effect until Nov. 1.
Abajo Mountains. Foy Reservoir continues to provide good fishing with baits and lures. Lures in the morning and evening are recommended. There is very little fishing opportunity at Monticello Reservoir now that the dam, outlet and spillway are under construction. Repair work will be completed this month. The lake will not be restocked until 2003. Fishing has been good at Blanding number three. There has been very little angler pressure at Recapture Reservoir, where the daily bag and possession limits have been doubled for all game fish until Nov. 1. The daily bag and possession limits for all game fish have also been doubled at Lloyds Lake until Nov. 1, due to low water conditions and expected loss of fish.
Benchs Pond. Good fishing continues.
Cleveland Reservoir. The daily bag limit is eight fish until Nov. 1. The water level has been dropping rapidly.
Duck Fork Reservoir. There are presently no fish in Duck Fork Reservoir.
Electric Lake. Anglers may take a limit of eight fish using any legal bait. Worms and PowerBait have worked very well.
Ferron Reservoir. Anglers are encouraged to harvest brook trout, which were illegally planted. The brookies have multiplied rapidly, stunting their own growth and depriving the other trout species of forage and space.
Gigliotti Pond. The DWR hopes to restock the pond within a week or two. Louis Berg expects to get 500 rainbow trout as well as some bluegill and bass.
Huntington Reservoir (near the top of Huntington Canyon). Fishing with artificial flies, lures and baits has been good. One angler reported catching several 18 inch tiger trout as well as one 22-incher. Release of tiger trout is encouraged so that fish can grow larger. Please harvest any brown trout you catch. The reservoir is closed to the possession of cutthroat trout and trout with cutthroat markings.
Joes Valley Reservoir. Beginning on Nov. 1, fishing regulations will change at Joes Valley Reservoir. The reservoir will be closed to fishing from 6 a.m. on Nov. 1 until Dec. 14. When the reservoir reopens to fishing, the trout limit will be two. No more than one trout may be over 22 inches. All trout 15 to 22 inches must be immediately released. This regulation change will protect the large spawning splake, which are very vulnerable in November and early December. In addition, splake from 15 to 22 inches are needed to help reduce the chubs, which were illegally introduced as live bait.
LaSal Mountains. Ken's Lake is very low. The daily bag limit has been doubled for all game fish until Nov. 1. Fishing is expected to be good at most LaSal mountain lakes.
Lower Fish Creek. Flows are low. From the railroad bridge approximately one mile below the Scofield Reservoir dam downstream to the confluence with the White River, only artificial flies and lures may be used.
Millsite Reservoir. Some splake stocked approximately two years ago survived and are now presenting anglers with an opportunity to catch them. Most of the splake appear to be 13 to 16 inches in length.
Petes Hole. Fishing continues to be good with baits, olive wooly buggers and Jake's Spin-a-Lures. The daily bag and possession limit is four trout.
Potter's Ponds. Good fishing has been reported for both ponds.
Price River. Flows are low. Recommended fly patterns include the Hare's Ear or Double Ugly.
Scofield Reservoir. Louis Berg reports that fishing is excellent for 12 to 22 inch rainbow and cutthroat trout. Best success appears to be with nightcrawlers, or with a brown tube jig, tipped with cut bait.
Lake Powell. Report updated Oct. 24 by Wayne Gustaveson, DWR Lake Powell project leader. He provides the following report:
The lake elevation is 3,625 M.S.L. and the water temperature is 63 to 66 degrees Farenheit.
Winter storms are approaching and Lake Powell fish are moving deeper. Winter patterns are quite predictable. There is no reason to put away the tackle box because both bass and stripers can be caught in cool water. Bass will continue to hit until water temperature hits 55 degrees. After that they become more dormant. A few more storm fronts will cool the water rapidly or continued calm warm days will prolong the bass fishing.
Bass fishing is becoming more sporadic with a few great hours surrounded by longer periods of inactivity. Last week bass were deeper. They move up and down on their own schedule. Fish vertical habitat where the bait can be fished progressively deeper until fish are found. Then concentrate fishing efforts at that depth. When bass are deep a good graph can increase catch. Watch for fish traces on the bottom or swimming under the boat and put a lure in front of the fish. Many times the specific fish seen on the graph can be caught.
Take chartreuse colored lures along. That color is more visible at depth where light is fading and has been very effective recently in taking bass. Bass will still chase shad every time they get a chance so keep a topwater lure tied on and ready. Many of the surface disturbances seen recently are smallmouth bass chasing a school of shad. Two very good topwater baits are the Sammy and Skitter Pop.
Stripers are staying deep most of the time and feeding very well. It is now a real bonus to see a boil as stripers feed quickly and efficiently on shad both on the surface and at depth. Striper ambush spots are quickly found by ravens, gulls, coyotes and blue herons.
Follow the other predators to find stripers. The infrequent boil is the best way to quickly fill a big cooler with stripers. Deep stripers are best targeted with spoons and heavy jigs or deep trolling with down riggers or leaded line.
A graph is almost essential to effectively fish the deep schools. Find stripers and shad and work the spoon hard off the bottom. The white marabou jig (half to one ounce) is effective and easier to fish. It does not require as much work as the spoon vertically jigged under the boat. Fishing deep is the most effective striper catching method right now and should be used while waiting to see the boil.
The best spots to find stripers now include: West Canyon, Reflection, upper San Juan, Rincon, Good Hope Bay and the canyons near Hite. The Wahweap area is still slow for stripers except for the occasional boil.