Southeastern Utah late October fishing report
|Matt Serfustini of Price holds a five pound splake that was netted by the DWR at Joes Valley Reservoir.|
Conservation officers and aquatics biologists have been finding very few anglers on lakes and streams. Considering the fact that October offers some of the best fishing of the year, the absence of fishermen is disappointing. Even if sportsmen focus on hunting, they should pack along the fishing pole as well. Fishing can help pass those mid-day hours, when hunting is less productive.
Gooseberry Reservoir. Tom Ogden fished from a float tube on the 13th. He used #2 uniform sinking line and #10 scud patterns or #8 green wooly buggers. Tom described fishing as good for rainbows and cutthroats. Fish were in good shape and ranged from 12-16 inches.
Huntington State Park. The water level and fishing pressure are both down. A few anglers have been catching brown trout off the face of the dam. Aquatics Biologist Justin Hart recommends Kastmasters for the spawning brown trout. Small spoons, jigs and spinners will also be effective.
Mammoth Reservoir. One party of anglers reported catching limits of two pound tiger trout with nightcrawlers. Fishing pressure is almost nil. This water is closed to the possession of cutthroat trout.
Joes Valley Reservoir. Steve Henline reported catching a lot of smaller splake (11-14 inches), trolling a Rapala back and forth in front of Littles Creek and on the east side of the reservoir from the dam south. The reservoir closes to fishing on Nov. 1 to protect spawning splake. The reservoir reopens on Dec. 9.
Lake Powell. Lake level has stabilized at 3,601 feet and surface temperature was holding at 70Ã¯Â¿Â½ F. Game fish have taken this opportunity to move freely throughout the length and breadth of the lake. The fall weather is ideal for comfortable fishing conditions.
Striped bass are on the move in search of food. Schools that have been holding in the deep main channel have now fragmented as smaller groups of stripers are probing the weeds and brush, searching for sunfish in the southern reservoir. Stripers return to the depths to rest after each foraging journey. With wide ranging movements anglers can now find fish all the way from the depths to the shallows. Once located hungry stripers are still very easy to catch. The best strategy in the southern lake is to troll while intently watching the graph. When a striper is caught or located on the graph use your favorite technique to catch them. Chum and use bait, or drop spoons on the school or continue to troll. All of these will work with effectiveness dependent upon the mood of the school. The easiest school to find hangs out around Lone Rock in Wahweap Bay.
Shad numbers increase with distance traveled uplake. Shad presence changes feeding behavior. Striper schools are larger and more cohesive when feeding on shad. The same search strategy applies with the emphasis on graphing more than trolling. Begin the search in locations that have previously held striper schools. Areas like Lake Canyon, Bullfrog Bay, and Moki Canyon still hold large striper schools. It is just a matter of finding fish. Locating a school usually means than a large harvest is in store. With shad present there is always the chance of a little surface disturbance to give away striper location. When a school is found the best technique is vertically jigging slab spoons and then speed reeling spoons back to the surface. Use this strategy all the way to Hite.
Bass are feeding with a vengeance as they prepare for winter. Plastic tube jigs, spinner baits, and trolling crankbaits will results in a big catch of both large and smallmouth bass. They are feeding together and are willing to chase down baits. Target weeds in the southern lake and shad schools in the northern lake to locate bass. Topwater is a good choice in twilight conditions regardless of lake location. Bass are looking up for food in the Fall. They will come up to bump a surface plug every morning and evening.
Perhaps forgotten in all the harvest this year is the lowly sunfish. Fall is a great time to use a small hook and piece of live worm to catch a large stringer of these tasty panfish. Sunfish will be near cover. They don't move far just deeper into cover. Find a school, wait for them to settle down and then put on a bobber for a fun change of pace.
As an added bonus, schools of crappie are often found in the northern lake and upper San Juan.
Scofield Reservoir. Tom Ogden fished on the Oct. 15 and hooked three fish per hour. He fished from a tube using number six steady sinking line and number eight wooly buggers in a variety of colors (red, black and purple).
Wrigley Springs Reservoir. Randall Stilson reported good fishing a week ago with PowerBait.