Burbot fishing has been good on the north end
by Utah Division of Wildlife
The reservoir has now stabilized at 6,006 feet. Fishable ice extends through most of the reservoir. There is fishable ice near the dam in Sunny Cove and Dutch John Draw (12 inches) but the bay area is still open water. Currently, all of the launches except Mustang Ridge are iced in.
Known ice conditions are 12 inches in Sheep Creek; 14 inches in Linwood Bay, Lucerne and Antelope Flat; 16–18 inches at Brinegar Ferry Crossing; 20–25 inches at Buckboard; and thicker as you move uplake. Snow has been melting in the afternoon, so expect slush on the ice and muddy roads on warm days. There are abundant anomalies on the ice, like springs, gas vents and pressure ridges, so always use caution by fishing with a partner, wearing floatation and having hand spikes, rope and/or a throwable device.
Lake trout: Recent fishing reports indicate that lake trout fishing success has been variable through the ice. Good spots to try are Linwood Bay, Anvil Draw and Brinegar Ferry Crossing. A recent pattern that has worked well is to fish along cliffs or steep drop-offs. Start looking for fish in 50–80 feet of water: start shallower early and go deeper later in the day. If you're not marking fish, move. If you're not catching marked fish, change up your presentation.
Good lures to vertically jig through the ice are jigging spoons such as Crippled Herrings, jigging raps, blade baits, and 3.5-inch tube jigs in ¼- to ⅜-ounce weight and tipped with a small piece (i.e., size of your thumbnail) of sucker or chub meat. White, glow and chartreuse are good colors to start with. This is a great time of year to target lake trout, specifically small ones that are overabundant. Please help the resource by harvesting some of the overabundant lake trout under 25 inches. This size class of fish makes exceptional table fare.
Kokanee salmon: Opened to harvest on Dec. 1. They're not commonly caught through the ice, so there are very few reports. If fishing over the main channel, watch your sonar for large schools 10–20 feet under the ice. The schools will typically pass through quickly, but can be caught on small spoons and jigs, in vibrant colors (pink, orange) tipped with Gulp maggots or a piece of mealworm.
Rainbow and cutthroat trout: Fishing has been very good through the ice in 10–20 feet of water using small spoons and jigs in white, pink and chartreuse, tipped with a small amount of bait like Gulp maggots or worms. If you're using more than one rod, jig one and deadstick the other. Trout will commonly hit either option, but may show more preference to one technique. Jaw Jackers can be a great deadstick option for anglers targeting trout in the shallows.
Smallmouth bass: No recent reports. Remember, the limit in Utah is three fish and catch-and-release only in Wyoming. In Utah, please minimize harvest of the larger bass, considering that they're older, slow-growing fish.
Burbot: Burbot fishing has been good on the north end through the ice, and there have been a few recent reports from the Sheep Creek area as well. Target burbot at night along rocky points and shorelines in 10 to 40 feet of water, using glow-in-the-dark lures like Yamamoto grubs, Radical Glow tubes, Ned's Bait Box plastics and Northland Buckshot spoons. Tip the lure with a small piece of sucker/chub meat, recharge the glow frequently, and jig or deadstick the presentation a couple inches from the bottom. Take advantage of the special ice fishing regulation that allows up to six poles or tip ups, but make sure your name is marked on each device. Please remember all burbot must be killed.
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