Utah Walleye Fishing Reports


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Utah Walleye Fishing Reports

walleye logo for utah fishing
Revised 05-26-17


Links give descriptions of the lake and facilities available. Check proclamtion for details on fishing restrictions as these may not be complete.

WHIRLING DISEASE -- For waters indicated, please prevent the spread of WHIRLING DISEASE by cleaning mud from waders and equipment. DO NOT TRANSPORT any parts of fish caught here to other waters. Click here for DWR information.

FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY -- For more information on individual lakes and fish species: Click here for DWR information.

Bear River

Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Bullhead Catfish, Channel Catfish, Crappie, Cutthroat Trout, Green Sunfish, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Walleye, Whitefish, Yellow Perch

No recent reports.

Deer Creek Reservoir

Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Yellow Perch

(May 26) Angling pressure has been steady, and anglers have been catching 14- to 18-inch rainbows, 18- to 21-inch browns, walleye and smallmouth bass. There have been reports of smallmouth bass showing spawning behavior, but you can expect the spawn to begin in early June. For smallmouth bass, try fishing near Rainbow Bay and around the island. Look for shallow flats that extend out towards deeper waters. When fishing plastics for smallmouth bass, try using curly tail grubs, stick worms, crawfish pattern, and tube jigs with a 1/8- to 1/4-ounce jighead. You can also try using minnow-imitating lures, crankbaits and spinnerbaits for smallmouth bass. Anglers have had success trolling for rainbows and browns using popgear with a Mack's Wedding Ring Spinner tipped with a nightcrawler or while jigging a Live Yellow Perch Rapala.

(May 10) Angling pressure has been steady, and anglers have been limiting out on 14- to 18-inch rainbows. Anglers are having success using traditional methods and gold lures. Try using gold Jake's Spin-A-Lures, gold Blue Fox Vibrax Spinners or gold Panther Martin Classic Teardrop Spinners. Anglers have reported catching 16-inch walleye using chartreuse Gulp! Minnows on a VMC Neon Moon Eye Jighead and Gary Yamamoto 4-inch DT grub.

Regulations

Holmes Creek Reservoir

Bluegill, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Walleye

(May 26) One angler reports that fishing was good for bass at Holmes using plastics.

(May 19) Some anglers report no bites at all, while others have been very successful. One angler reports that fishing was good in the middle of the day.

(May 12) Anglers report catching decent-sized trout at Holmes this week.

(May 6) Anglers report good fishing for rainbow trout using worms and PowerBait. Don't forget to obtain a Walk-in Access number before fishing at Holmes Creek Reservoir (as well as nearby Andy Adams and Hobbs reservoirs).

(Apr 29) Similar to last week, anglers report good fishing for rainbow trout using worms and PowerBait. As fishing picks up, don't forget that this is a Walk-in Access property. Avoid a citation by obtaining a Walk-in Access number before fishing at Holmes Creek Reservoir (as well as nearby Andy Adams and Hobbs reservoirs).

Regulations

Jordan River

Brown Trout, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Sunfish, Walleye, White Bass

No recent reports.

Lake Powell

Bluegill, Brown Trout, Channel Catfish, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Striped Bass, Rainbow Trout, Walleye

STOP QUAGGAG MUSCLE

FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY

(May 26) Lake elevation: 3,614 feet Water temperatures: 6366F

Lake Powell is rising rapidly. If you're visiting over Memorial Day weekend, make sure to readjust your tie lines at least once a day for boats tied to shore. Don't leave your car parked on low, flat spots near the lake shore at Lone Rock or other camping areas. The lake could rise rapidly and cover the car while you are camping uplake. Once your equipment is safe, then you are free to enjoy the beauty and grandeur of Lake Powell.

Fishing will be great because the water temperature is still in the magical 64F zone. However, it will take a bit of investigation to find fish. Bass and other shoreline dwellers will not move on shore as quickly as the lake comes up. Newly covered brush in shallow water may not be occupied because it takes fish a while to move into the new habitat. Instead, look for old habitat that is 10 or more feet deep to find fish congregations. One technique that works well in rising water is to find a recently submerged island or long point. Cast to the shallow part of the structure and then work the bait deeper to find the holding depth. Once you discover the depth, the next cast should go to the same spot without taking time to work from shallow to deep water. I predict that you will be more successful in catching larger fish by targeting depths of 10 to 25 feet of water instead of casting in water that is less than 10 feet near shore.

Walleye may be the most likely fish to catch in these conditions, particularly in the northern lake. They prefer a flat bench near shore or a shallow ridge in open water. In either habitat, walleye will be near the edge of the drop off. Use a bottom bouncer with a worm harness trolled slowly along the ridge at 1 mph. Make sure the bouncer weight hits the bottom often and that you can feel when it hits. Trolling 'banana lures' like Wally Divers is very effective in the warming water conditions. Troll across points where you make bottom contact and you can catch fish as soon as the lure breaks free from bottom structure.

Here is a word of caution for when you're using this shallow trolling technique in areas with quagga mussels. Transitioning from shallow to deep water allows the trolling line to hit bottom slightly before the lure. Mussel shells are sharp and can cut the line before the lure hits the rocks. If you use a floating lure in this circumstance, it is possible to return to the spot where the lure grounded out and find it floating on the surface. I used one floating lure last week and recovered it twice after the line was cut by mussels, before losing it for good on the third try.

Bass are still in rocky structure, and bigger is better when looking for rocky structure. Drop a plastic grub on the shady side of a rock for a consistent catch. Brown, green and chartreuse grubs in single or double tail are all working. Finding fish holding habitat is more important than choosing the right color grub. In locations with many small bass, it is wise to keep 20 of the smallmouth to allow the remaining bass in that cove to get bigger.

Largemouth will now be in shallow water in the thickest bush they can find. Nice green bass may also be hiding under the shade of the flotsam in coves that have thick floating debris.

Striped bass are near spawning. That means you can catch the big healthy fish at night. The rest of the population is moving toward the backs of canyons looking for shad. However, shad are small in number and size. Stripers are still eating plankton and crayfish. They can be targeted by trolling shallow running lures along shore at a depth of 15 to 25 feet. Each time you catch a striper, make sure to cast lures to the same spot to find followers.

Bait fishing for stripers is picking up dramatically in the Bullfrog area. Most of the canyons above and below Bullfrog Bay will have schools of stripers holding right at the intersection of the canyon and the main channel. Chum with anchovies to get the school started and then enjoy the action for the next hour.

In the southern lake, bait fishing is still working but the daily catch has declined from incredible to 15-to-20 fish per trip. The standard spots near the dam and Navajo Canyon are still producing, but the tall walled canyons in Last Chance, Rock Creek and Wetherill are holding a lot of fish. If you can find one of those hungry schools, your catch rate will soar.

Bluegill are near spawning and anglers are catching surprisingly large fish. Channel catfish are two weeks away from spawning and will provide great fishing in June.

Overall, fishing should be great over the Holiday weekend. The water is clear from Wahweap to Bullfrog, but muddy upstream from Cedar Canyon in the main channel and above Neskahi Canyon in the San Juan.

(May 19) Lake elevation: 3,610 feet Water temperatures: 6366F

The surface water temperature for most of the week was 64F. End of report! (For those that need a bit more information the details are below.)

Striped Bass adults prefer a temperature of 64F. At this comfort level, trophy-sized fish, adults and juveniles have free reign and can travel in any direction, to any depth and to feed anywhere. Trophy-sized fish cannot handle warmer water and must stay in the 64F range. You can find adult fish close to the warm surface layer by shallow trolling and casting. Young stripers are near the surface eating plankton (until they find young shad). They are also susceptible to trolling and casting.

Large and smallmouth bass spawn when the water temperature is between 60 to 66F. Male bass guard nests and can often be seen in shallow water. Females feed ravenously, as they are very active and excited about spawning. Bass are in shallow water and are very catchable on open water reefs and along the rocky shoreline. This activity level along with desire to feed more in warmer water makes bass very active and easier to catch.

Crappie are nearing the end of their spawning season. Feeding has become the higher priority. Crappie are still very active and quite catchable.

Walleye have completed spawning, but are reacting to the warming water by feeding at a higher level. They are known to feed early and late, but this temperature range has them feeding extremely well at mid-day (10 a.m.2 p.m.). Walleye are very active and will continue to increase in activity as the water temperature increases into the low-70s. They will do even better as the water continues to warm.

Bluegill and green sunfish increase their feeding behavior as water warms to 65 to 70F. It will take only a few more degrees before spawning will occur. The bluegill activity level has increased dramatically. Fish size has also increased recently and anglers have seen many larger bluegill. These voraciously feeding, larger bluegill add a whole new sport fishing possibility in Lake Powell. Big fish are now available in large schools in 12 to 25 feet of 64F water.

Even channel catfish are responding to the warming water. They spawn as the water warms into the 70s. That is a ways off, but their feeding level has increased. Catfish are now easier to catch.

In summary, this is the best time to fish in the springtime. The very best water temperature for spawning, feeding and activity is available to all sport fish in the lake.

Therefore, it is not surprising that our fishing trip today was awesome. We motored uplake to Face Canyon and then tried trolling and casting for bass and stripers. Our trolling lures were rattletraps (Lucky Craft LV's) and mid-depth crankbaits (Lucky Craft pointer SPs, Bevy Shad). We trolled close to shore, targeting rocky reefs and points where the depth quickly fell from 1015 feet down to 3040 feet. Trolling was very successful. We seldom went more than five minutes without catching a striper or smallmouth bass. Each time one of us hooked a fish by trolling, the other angler would reel in fast and then cast to the shallow shoreline to get another hit. When we had worked over a productive shoreline and failed to get another hit, we moved on. We found great success using this technique and moving from Face Canyon to the Buoy 25 coves and shoreline, to Gregory Butte coves, to the mouth of West Canyon and Dove Canyon, and finally to Dungeon Canyon.

Our catch included 30 stripers, 25 large and smallmouth bass, and two large bluegill (caught by trolling). The weather was agreeable. It was a mild day in between windy events with a pleasant air temperature. And it was great to catch so many fish with short stays in many locations. Spring fishing is now at its peak. If you want to catch fish, now is a good time to come to the lake.

(May 10) Lake elevation: 3,606 feet

Water temperatures: 6267F

Dan Miller from Paonia, CO caught a 29-pound striped bass near Bullfrog on May 6. The big fish was caught on a four-inch Berkeley Smelt. May is the best month to catch a trophy striper at Lake Powell.

Bass have moved back on to the spawning beds after the cold spell that slowed things down last week. You can see nests from Bullfrog to Wahweap where visibility is still between five and 10 feet. There is no chance of sight fishing in the northern lake where visibility is three feet or less.

Sight fishing is unique because you can often see a male bass often hovering over the light-colored circular rock depression. Usually your boat will be too close to the nest when you see it to actually catch the guarding fish, but it is possible to return to the site at a later date, throw a long cast and catch the male guardian. Larger females are usually in close proximity, so you can catch them by fishing the deeper water next to the nest location. Yamamoto five-inch senkos are working well now for nesting bass while other smallmouth can be caught on plastic grubs. The green, watermelon and green pumpkin colors are all working well.

Walleye fishing is hot! There were at least four tagged walleye caught over the weekend, which is more than were caught in 2016. The walleye contest did not start until July last year, which made it tough to catch large numbers of walleye. May is definitely the best walleye fishing month at Lake Powell with the water temperature in the 60s and low 70s.

Jason Johnston reported catching 80 walleyes, 11 stripers and 1 smallmouth bass fishing from 7 a.m.3 p.m. last Saturday and Sunday in the Halls area. All of the fish were caught on crawler harnesses with two- to three-ounce bouncers in 15 to 45 feet. The best speed was 1.2 mph, and orange beads with silver or gold blades produced the most fish.

Walleye are very active now and can be caught all day long. They are abundant from the Escalante to the Colorado River inflow. Most of the tagged fish are near Bullfrog and Good Hope Bay. The best technique is to use a live worm or artificial bait, like Berkeley Gulp Minnows and Smelt. Maintain bottom contact while slowly moving the bait along a flat bench in the 10 to 30 foot range. When filleting the walleye don't forget to take the cheek meat for a special dinner surprise.

Striped bass fishing is slowing down in well know areas like the dam. Its time to expand your range while chasing stripers to canyon walls further uplake. There are many untouched bait fishing spots in most canyons, including Warm Creek Wall, Labyrinth Wall, Padre Canyon, Last Chance and Rock Creek. Look for the high cliff walls near the back of the canyon for best results. Just chum an area and fish for a short time to find fish. If you don't catch any fish, then move to the next likely spot.

The mature stripers are preparing to spawn. They respond to rapid warming and spawn at night. That makes them good angling targets at dusk and dawn, but not easy to catch during the day.

This is the peak of the spring fishing season with fish that are willing to respond to your favorite techniques. Expect great results through the rest of May.

(May 3) Lake elevation: 3,604 feet Water temperatures: 5762F

Cool, windy weather challenged our walleye tagging trip. The water in lower Good Hope Bay was murky but fishable. The visibility was about three feet. That's fine for walleye, but may inhibit bass and stripers from finding our baits. The catch rate for bass was slow and stripers were uncommon. So we used bottom-bouncing techniques to target the walleye that are abundant in the northern lake. The water temperature ranged from 5762F during the day, which proved to be a bit cool for these walleye.

The best walleye trips last year were when the water temperature ranged from 6580F. We had a large group of anglers, however, that managed to tag almost 200 walleye from Seven Mile Canyon to Red Canyon. Now that our tagging trip is done, the water temperature is going to climb into the 60s. That will turn on walleye fishing lakewide. May is the magic month and the best time to catch a tagged fish from Wahweap to Good Hope Bay. Here are some helpful hints.

We found walleye most often on flat benches that averaged 20 to 25 feet deep. Sometimes there was a bench or flat extending from a steep cliff wall. Trolling close to the wall and over the bench will put the nightcrawler right along the ledge where the fish are holding. Other productive habitats included an open water ridge where the shallow peak was near 20 to 25 feet. The surrounding water was much deeper, often falling to 70 to 100 feet. Walleye liked to park on top of the ridge and wait for food. Trolling a bottom bouncer along the ridge top was very effective. The most common technique was to just fish near shore where the underwater ledges were near 20 feet. The lakewide message is to know the depth and fish on flat surfaces near the 20 foot mark.

The best technique during our trip was to make bottom contact with a bottom bouncer rig that weighed one to three ounces. Heavy rigs worked on the cliff wall bench where the weight would make a distinct thump as it contacted the bottom. Each time the weight came off the bottom, it would make another distinct jolt with bottom contact. This worked when fishing almost straight down (jigging) on a shallow small bench where the rig would not be as effective on the deep water side of the bench.

Lighter bottom-bouncer rigs could be slow trolled over large shallow flats where the nightcrawler was displayed over a large flat area until it made contact with a hungry walleye. The most successful presentation in colder water was to impale whole nightcrawlers on a two or three hook harness. That may change as the water warms and walleye get more aggressive.

There are other techniques that will work better in the upcoming warmer days including trolling a walleye lure (banana-shaped crankbaits) over rocky main channel points that are 12 to 20 feet deep. Target the 12-foot depth so that the lure hits the bottom on the top of the point and then swims into open water where a waiting walleye will often bite. When you catch a walleye, retrace your steps and then troll over the ridge again or cast worm harnesses or a bass grub adorned with a piece of worm to catch more fish. Walleye tend to live in groups. Catching one fish by any method is a sign to return to that site and work that area extensively to catch more fish in their gathering spot.

If you want to win a prize for catching a tagged fish, you must pre-register for the contest online. If you catch a tagged fish, send a picture of the tagged fish, the tag number and a report to waynegustaveson@utah.gov. I will then award you with a prize for catching the tagged fish. We appreciate your efforts in helping us learn more about walleye population numbers, travel patterns and habits in Lake Powell.

Bass, stripers, bluegill and crappie have not changed their habits much since April because of the recent cold, windy weather. Anglers are still catching stripers on bait in the main channel. The best locations are still in the southern lake, with the addition of Moki wall close to the mouth of Moki Canyon at midlake.

Healthy stripers will start looking for a spawning sites and switch over to their nocturnal spawning habits. Expect stripers to be super aggressive before dawn and lethargic during the day. This is the time for fly anglers to fish sinking lines and clouser minnows to catch large female stripers in deep water.

Bass have pulled off their nest sites in the cooler water, but they will return to spawn again as the water warms this week. Crappie will follow their lead. I did see annual weeds going under the rising lake on the last trip, which means bass and crappie hatched in the next two weeks will have some cover to help them survive.

It is time to go fishing. Each species is reacting positively to the warming water and will be catchable with various angling techniques in the days ahead.

Regulations

Provo River

Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, Walleye

(May 26) The Provo River is running high, so please use extreme caution, especially when wading past your knees. Fish are very active and aggressive right now. The high flows have isolated fish within 10 to 15 feet of the river's edge. Anglers are observing mayfly, midge and stonefly hatches as well as plenty of scuds. Try using worms, egg patterns, mayflys (emergers, nymphs and pupas), stonefly nymphs, blue-winged olive (BWO) emergers/adults and midge emergers/adults.

(May 10) Lower: Anglers have been consistently catching 10- to 15-inch browns. Remember to match the hatch! The blue-winged olive (BWO) hatch is on fire with plenty of nymphs, emergers and dries. Midge hatches are happening mid-morning to early afternoon. Try using a variety of BWO nymphs or adults, shrimp patterns, midge larva and dry flies. The flows are beginning to become more consistent, but anglers are still seeing some day-to-day fluctuations.

Middle: Anglers have been catching 13- to 14-inch rainbows and browns. The blue-winged olive (BWO) hatch is hot, and the fish are very active. Anglers are having success using BWO emergers, nymphs and adults. Midge hatches are occurring regularly. Try using midge emergers, pupa and adults; shrimp patterns; and sow bugs. The Middle Provo River is seeing consistent flows with great water clarity.

Regulations

Starvation Reservoir

Brown Trout, Crayfish, Smouthmouth Bass, Walleye

FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY

(May 19) Shore fishing was good over the weekend. Fishing has been best in the early morning until about mid afternoon. Try using PowerBait or spinners from shore. The reservoir level is at 83 percent and rising about a foot every five days. Most fish that have been caught were in less than 20 feet of water. Anglers are picking up bass and walleye when the skies are overcast before 11 a.m., and trout in the later afternoon.

(Apr 29) Shore anglers report good fishing over the weekend. Try using PowerBait or spinners from shore. Biologists and their crews have been netting some perch in Big Sand Wash Reservoir and relocating them to Starvation and Red Fleet Reservoirs. The perch have been on the decline in Starvation for a few years so the DWR is trying to give them a boost. They netted 1,140 perch over a three-day period with 530 going to Starvation. The reservoir water level is currently holding steady at 74 percent full.

Regulations

Utah Lake

Bluegill, Bullhead Catfish, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Smouthmouth Bass, Walleye, White Bass

FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY

(May 26) Fishing has been good. Anglers have reported catching 18- to 22-inch walleye, 22- to 28-inch channel catfish, bullheads, crappie and white bass. The white bass spawn has begun, and anglers are having great success. For white bass, try using 1.5- to 2-inch chartreuse, pearl or white-colored curly tail grubs with a 1/8-ounce jig head tipped with a nightcrawler or mealworm. Utah Lake State Park, American Fork Harbor and Lindon Boat Harbor are all excellent locations to fish during the white bass spawn. The recent cold front slowed the fishing a bit, but as the weather warms up, you can expect to catch plenty of white bass.

(May 11) Fished with my brother Terry this morning at Utah Boat Harbor. The bite started about 9:00 and lasted until 12:30. Terry caught 1 white bass and 4 cats. I caught 5 catfish with the largest at 26 inches and weighing 7.6 pounds. Not bad for my trout rod with 6 pound test line. We used worms, stink bait, chicken gizzards, hot dogs, and shrimp. Almost all the fish were caught on shrimp.

(May 10) Fishing has been hot! Anglers have reported catching 18- to 22-inch walleye and 22- to 28-inch channel catfish as well as crappie and white bass. White bass fishing is gearing up, and you can expect on warmer days to catch plenty of white bass and crappie. For white bass, try using 1.5- to 2-inch chartreuse, pearl, or white-colored curly tail grubs with a 1/8-ounce jig head, or gold Blue Fox Vibrax spinners. Utah Lake State Park, American Fork Harbor and Lindon Boat Harbor are all excellent locations to fish for white bass as they spawn. For walleye, try using minnow-imitating lures and spoons that vibrate and rattle in order to attract walleye and encourage a strike. Anglers have reported incredible walleye fishing.

Regulations

Willard Bay

Bullhead Catfish, Channel Catfish, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Wipers (hybrid), Yellow Perch

(May 26) The crappie and walleye bites are picking up! Anglers report catching large numbers of crappie as well as some decent-sized walleye and catfish. However, the wiper bite is very slow.

(May 19) The water is murky and contains debris. Many anglers are reporting very poor fishing for wiper. However, anglers report catching some decent-sized walleye.

(May 12) Many are going for wipers but not all are finding success. While some anglers have been skunked, others are limiting out quickly. Anglers recommend shad-colored crankbait, jigs, and mussels. Try fishing the north outlet between 6:00am and 9:00am for a greater chance of success. Besides the hit-or-miss fishing for wipers, anglers report decent fishing for walleye.

(May 6) Wiper fever is hitting Willard Bay and anglers are coming out in droves. A large numbers of anglers are reporting that fishing has been good for wipers using mussels from the shore or Rapalas when trolling.

(Apr 29) Reports from anglers vary. They saw slow, fair or good fishing, depending on when they were at the reservoir. Fishing started off slow this past weekend and steadily improved as the week went on, becoming fair to good for wipers in particular. Anglers report fair fishing for catfish and walleye as well.

Regulations

Yuba Reservoir

Channel Catfish, Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, Walleye, Yellow Perch

FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY

(May 26) Angling pressure has been steady. For walleye, try using Strike King Redeye Shad, Rapala Shad Rap, Gary Yamamoto 4-inch DT grub or UV Buck-Shot Spoon. For northern pike, try using minnow-imitating lures or crankbaits.

(May 10) Angling pressure has been steady, and anglers have reported catching 12- to 14-inch walleye. For walleye, try using Strike King Redeye Shad, Rapala Shad Rap, Gary Yamamoto 4-inch DT grub or UV Buck-Shot Spoon.

Regulations








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