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Fishing report for southeastern Utah

By Sun Advocate

The best fishing of the year is underway. DWR 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 all fishing. At 6 a.m. on Nov. 1, 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, aquatics manager, 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. 16 by Wayne Gustaveson, DWR Lake Powell project leader.
The lake elevation is 3,625 M.S.L. and the water temperature is 67 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fishing conditions remain quite constant under warm and sunny skies with cool nights. It is a great time to be at Lake Powell.
Fishing in the upper half of the lake is best with stripers contributing to the catch along with the dependable smallmouth bass.
From Bullfrog to Hite, including the San Juan expect to see a quick, but productive striper boil about once per day. Be most attentive at dawn and dusk.
Most of the boiling action will be near shore or in the back of a short cove near deep water. Shad are still commonly found in almost every canyon.
Stripers visit them on a regular schedule and are easily caught when they are attacking shad either on the surface or at depth.
Scan the graph for shad or striper schools which will generally be grouped in one isolated section of any canyon where bottom depth is about 60 feet. Drop spoons or troll directly over or through fish schools.
Anchovies are not very productive when shad are present while reaction baits like jigging spoons or a fast-trolled shad lure will tempt fat stripers to eat one more fish.
Look specifically for boils and deep-feeding stripers in Trachyte, Farley, Red Canyon, Bullfrog Bay by the houseboat field, the Rincon and San Juan upstream from Cha Canyon.
Lower lake stripers are still eluding us. They boil one day in Dungeon Canyon and the next in West Canyon or Gunsight. It may be best to avoid the location of a recent boil because stripers are likely to be at another point on their large feeding circuit.
The only striper advice is to fish for smallmouth in the lower lake and keep one eye on the graph just in case a school swims under the boat. Keep a spoon tied on just in case the graph lights up with the wavy zig-zag lines so characteristic of feeding stripers.
Bass fishing was better this week in the lower lake. Bass have shown a renewed interest in chartreuse colored grubs and tubes. The second best color was white and variations of white including daiquiri.
Fishing location is probably much more important than color. During a weekly trip, it took a while to find bass. We fished great looking near rocky points in the main channel across from Friendship Cove. Grubs thrown to the shallow end of points were ignored. But working the grub deeper to the next terrace at 15 to 25 feet produced an occasional bass.
Pulling back further from the point and allowing the grub to work between 30 and 45 feet was better. But the most productive method was to work the grub on the bottom of a 45 to 60 foot trench between two good looking points.
Success improved if a breeze was blowing to keep the grub bouncing slowly and steadily along the bottom.
The graph was mostly void of fish at this location but each time a fish trace was seen at 45 to 60 feet the grub could be dropped directly below the boat to get a strike from a hungry smallmouth.
An occasional striper was caught while grubbing and spooning the deep water between rocky points.
Target big drop-offs and deep terraces on the edge of the main channel and main canyon. For most productive fishing this week think deep and ignore the shallow water.

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