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Early October southeastern Utah fishing report

Brown, brook and tiger trout are coming into spawning mode. Although tiger trout are a sterile hybrid of brown and brook trout, males develop brilliant color. As winter approaches, trout feed voraciously in preparation for a long fast, making them easier to hook. Take advantage of the beauty of fall and enjoy some fast fishing action as well.

•Duck Fork Reservoir. Aquatics Biologist Justin Hart and his party fished Duck Fork Reservoir this past week. They trolled from float tubes in 6-13 feet of water, and had good success using number three sinking line, tipped with olive beadhead leeches or wooly buggers. They cast and quick-stripped their lines for best success. Creeled trout ranged from 11-18 inches. Another angler, trolling from a boat, reported good success with Tasmanian Devils.

•Fairview Lakes. Todd Munford reported very low water levels.

"If you don't mind getting muddy, shore fishing is awesome for 14-16 inch fat bows," he stated.

Todd recommends casting into channels with a nightcrawler and marshmallow/PowerBait behind a full bubble.

•Ferron Reservoir. Conservation Officer Mike Milburn reported very good fishing on Saturday with nightcrawlers or salmon eggs near the dam. One party limited out with 12-13 inch rainbows in less than two hours. Kick boaters did well with leech or wooly bugger patterns.

•Gigliotti Pond. Recently restocked, good fishing is expected for the rest of the month.

•Green River. Anglers can find good fishing for 10-12 inch channel catfish right below large riffles on the edges of eddy pools. Good bait choices are worms, chicken livers, commercially prepared catfish baits. Use number six or eight hooks with a sinker to keep the bait near the bottom.

•Huntington State Park.Try gold Kastmasters for brown trout and plastic worms for largemouth bass.

•Mammoth Reservoir. No report. More than a week ago, worms or minnows fished along the bottom were effective. A gold Kastmaster proved to be a good spinner as well. Tiger trout range from 13-18 inches. This water is closed to the possession of cutthroat trout.

•Lake Powell. Lake level has stabilized at 3601 and surface temperature has been holding at 70 degrees. 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 that 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.

•Miller Flat Reservoir. Try a slip sinker and 2-3 feet of leader tipped with PowerBait on a number eight hook.

•Scofield Reservoir. A week ago, one angler had good luck, trolling a silver Rapala under four colors of leaded line. Spincasters should throw dead shiners, shiner-imitating crankbaits or streamers into water disturbances near shore. Aquatics Manager Paul Birdsey reported that the catch was slow last Saturday. He noticed a lot of algae in the water, which should die back in the next week or so. Tom Ogden has had good luck with a number eight beadhead Canada blood leech with rib or with a number eight beadhead wooly bugger.

•Willow Springs and Wrigley Springs Reservoir. Conservation Officer Mike Milburn reported slow to fair conditions.

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