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Front Page » November 12, 2002 » Sports » Fishing report for southeastern Utah/center>
Published 4,340 days ago

Fishing report for southeastern Utah/center>


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Mountain lakes and reservoirs are icing over. However, ice anglers should wait two to three weeks for the ice to thicken to a safe amount.

Ice fishermen should always carry safety gear, including ice awls, a long rope with attached floatation device, and change of clothes.

Joes Valley Reservoir closed Nov. 1 and will reopen Dec. 14. When 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. The intent is to protect the big spawning splake, which congregate in shallow water and are very vulnerable to foul hooking. The big adult fish are needed to help control the Utah chub population, which was illegally introduced by fishermen using live minnows as bait.

•Duck Fork Reservoir. There are no fish in Duck Fork Reservoir.

•Electric Lake. Anglers may take a limit of eight fish using any legal bait. However, ice is forming along the edges, making bait casting difficult.

•Gigliotti Pond. The DWR has restocked the Gigliotti Pond in recent weeks. About 500 rainbow trout as well as some bluegill and bass went into the pond in early to mid-October. Anglers are encouraged to harvest these trout before the pond freezes.

•Huntington Creek. It's a good time of year for anglers to fish Huntington Creek.Water flows in the right fork are low due to reduced releases from Electric Lake. In a short while, snow and ice could make fishing tough. From Flood and Engineer's Canyon upstream to the dam, only artificial flies may be used. The limit is two fish. On the left fork, only artificial flies and lures may be used. Anglers are encouraged to harvest brown trout there.

•Huntington Reservoir (near the top of Huntington Canyon (Last week, fishing was good from a float tube using a black leech pattern. However, shoreline ice will soon preclude further open water fishing. Release of tiger trout is encouraged so that fish can grow larger. Please harvest any brown trout which is caught. The reservoir is closed to the possession of cutthroat trout and trout with cutthroat markings.

•Joes Valley Reservoir. The reservoir is closed to fishing as of Nov. 1 and will remain closed 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.

•Scofield Reservoir. "Open-water fishing is over for the year at Scofield Reservoir," remarked Louis Berg, DWR southeastern region aquatics manager. "Ice is just starting to form, but within a week, it is likely that ice will cover the entire lake."

•Straight Canyon. Water flows are optimal for fishing. This is a great time of year to catch brown trout by fly-fishing with nymphs. Be careful on the icy rocks and slippery slopes.

•Lake Powell. DWR Lake Powell project leader Wayne Gustaveson updated the following fishing report Oct. 30.

The lake elevation is 3,624 M.S.L. and the water temperature is 63 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

Each fall we sample fish populations with gill nets. Our first survey for 2002 was in Warm Creek. Anglers have done very poorly recently in the back of Warm Creek despite the presence of many schools of shad.

Netting results were quite surprising in that many striped bass, smallmouth bass and walleye were caught.

The fish are definitely there. They are just not being caught.

It was very gratifying to see that lower lake striped bass and smallmouth were really putting on weight. The fish were fat! They were not longer but much heavier than when last seen.

Foraging for shad in Warm Creek has been very good. The fish are happy. But fat, happy fish are tough to catch.

Predators are eating shad and avoiding just about everything else.

So how do anglers fish for fat fish? Feeding periods are short but very important.

Returning to the same good fishing spots on a recurring basis will let the angler know when they start to feed and put them in position to catch some nice fish for a short time.

A better approach is to use bait that mimics the natural prey such as threadfin shad. A disadvantaged shad may be eaten even though the bass stomach is already full of shad. Those techniques that may work in this instance include jigging spoons, trolled shad lures and shallow crank baits.

Some anglers prefer the active baits over anchovies for at least two more weeks when shad and stripers will move to more stable wintering areas.

Use a noisy lure like a rattletrap to attract attention or a loud vibrating lure like a spinner bait. One theory is that the size of the vibrating blade should be shad size to transmit a fish vibration signal to the predator.

Shad size is large, about two to five inches, so use the largest blades possible. Using shad colored hard and soft baits is a sound idea.

Spoons bouncing on bottom mimic a sick shad falling out of the healthy school. The slow shad is the one eaten when the quick swimming healthy fish are ignored. The click of the spoon hitting bottom with the accompanying wisp of silt may attract a glance from a resting game fish.

Another ploy is to fish deep habitat in open water. Look on the graph for a cut or submerged channel in the 20 to 40 foot zone. With shad occupying open water the predators lurk below.

Bass still like structure even in open water and they may be holding on the lip of a drop off in the middle of the channel instead of on the rocky point or cove visible from the lake's surface.

This is a different report but we are faced with the uncommon problem of pursuing fish that are not as hungry as we are accustomed to fishing for.Good luck in the pursuit. The reward is a bigger, fatter fish.

The smallmouth we captured in nets were well above the average nine to 11 inch mold. Things are really looking up for all Lake Powell fish this winter and next spring.


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November 12, 2002
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