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Colder days mean great fishing till waters freeze

Anglers taking advantage of good conditions

A benefit of colder days is that fishing heats up. And it will continue to be hot until it freezes.

Usually, some of the best fishing comes in the days just before ice-on and right after ice-off. Typically, by December, some of Utah's more popular fishing waters will start to freeze.

Until the freeze, anglers can take advantage of the unusually good access to cast a line.

Pushed by the natural urge to feed and get fat before winter, fish have moved into the shallows, where food is more abundant. This is especially true of the larger fish. And, in their hurry to gorge themselves, the fish — especially the larger ones — tend to be less wary and more aggressive.

At Bear Lake, for example, the surface water temperature is 51 degrees. As a result, the lake trout fishing continues to be red hot. The best success has come to those anglers who are trolling with downriggers, lead core line and even running flat lines using mainly flatfish and Rapalas along the rocky shoreline off of Cisco Beach, North Eden, South Eden and the Utah State Park marina.

They are also trolling in the Rockpile area. The lake trout move into shallower water at this time of year to spawn and are aggressive. Most fish are being taken mainly in water five to 30 feet deep. However, some fish are being taken as deep as 80 feet off the Rockpile.

Those fishing from shore along Cisco Beach and off the Utah State Park marina have been casting with Nos. 4 or 5 spinners, spoons and other lures, including large flies, and catching some nice fish.

Time of day does not seem to play a big part in success. Some anglers are also catching fish while jigging off Rockpile using 1/2- to 3/4-ounce tube jigs tipped with cisco or sucker meat.

The cutthroat fishing should also start to improve.

Though weather has been stormy, fishing has been good at Strawberry. Boat, tube and shoreline anglers have all been reporting good success using many different types of flies, baits and lures. The best techniques include trolling a dark black and green sparkly Wooly Bugger, casting pearl-colored tube jigs near weed beds or trolling minnow-imitating lures tipped with a worm or part of a dead shiner. Some anglers report catching and releasing 40-50 fish per day.

Even though there's snow on the ground, the high elevation lakes and ponds in the Uintas have not frozen and are producing good to excellent fishing.

Fishing for splake and lake trout at Fish Lake should pick up this month. Best fishing is by boat. Anglers can catch rainbows still-fishing with bait or trolling spinners or pop gear with a worm. Troll deeper for lake trout. For splake, try anchoring and jig with a spoon or plastic jig tipped with sucker or perch meat. Shore fishing for rainbows is best at Twin Creek using worms or spinners. The stream itself is closed to fishing. For a pick-me-up, try fishing for perch near the weeds. Use a small spoon or jig tipped with a piece of worm or just a piece of worm below a float. Most of the perch are small but it's possible to catch lots of them.

Fishing on the Ogden River has been good for those spincasting small silver Mepps and Panther-Martin with gold spoon and dark spotted body. Fly anglers are having good success with small dark nymphs.

One boater caught a three- to four-pound rainbow at Deer Creek last week. They are having good success for trout using mainly pop gear or Rapalas. Shore fishing seems best in the early morning and evening hours. Shore anglers are mostly using standard baits and are reporting fair success for trout and very slow success for perch.

Fishing remains good, as it has all summer, at Red Fleet. Anglers report good fishing for rainbow trout and bass. There are fewer reports on bluegill. Trout are now found more in the surface waters, with bass and bluegill heading deeper. Fishing is still best during the cooler evening and morning hours.

They are catching tiger trout at Duck Fork Reservoir. The colorful fish of catchable size offer some good sport-fishing. Only tiger trout can be kept from this lake and only artificial flies or lures may be used.

Fishing has been good at Scofield, although the lake level is very low. The dam cove has been good in the morning. The east shoreline has been best in the afternoon. Orange sparkle or pink PowerBait or a nightcrawler/marshmallow combination have been the best baits. Fishing from a small boat has been good north of the island or in the vicinity of the Boy Scout camp. Trollers have had good luck with monofilament line and gold Jake's or pop gear and nightcrawler. Fly fishing has been good from a pontoon boat or tube, using red or black Wooly Buggers or chartreuse Crystal Buggers on sinking line. Fly anglers are trying a slow-troll until fish are found and then staying in the general area. Try slow-stripping in eight to 14 feet of water.

They are catching some nice splake and tiger trout at Forsyth Reservoir.