Best ice fishing spots for 11 fish species in Utah

Best ice fishing spots for 11 fish species in Utah

(Paul Thompson/Division of Wildlife Resources)

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WINTER WONDERLAND — Temperatures have plummeted around Utah, creating some excellent ice fishing conditions.

If you have a hankering to get out and catch some monster fish this winter, Utah has a variety of great ice fishing spots.

"In my opinion, Utah has some of the best ice fishing in the country," DWR warm water sport fisheries coordinator Drew Cushing said. "Utah provides a wider variety of quality fish to catch than any place I know of, and many of these opportunities are probably close to your home."

Before you go out on the ice, be sure to check the ice and make sure it is safe. Ice conditions can change from day to day, so even if an online report says ice conditions are good, drill some test holes to see how thick the ice is before you venture out too far. At least 4 inches of solid, clear ice is needed to safely support an angler's weight, DWR said. Click here for reports on ice conditions.

You should also dress warmly and make sure you have all the necessary equipment before you head out. If you want to catch a specific fish this winter, Cushing listed the best ice fishing spots for various fish species. Here are the recommendations:

Yellow perch

  • Mantua Reservoir
  • Rockport Reservoir
  • Starvation Reservoir
  • Pineview Reservoir
  • Fish Lake
  • Echo Reservoir "Catching perch at Pineview can be fairly easy," Cushing said. "Just locate the spot on the bottom where the perch are and then put your bait in front of the fish."

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  • Pelican Lake
  • Steinaker Reservoir
  • Mantua Reservoir Largemouth bass- Pelican Lake
  • Mantua Reservoir Rainbow, cutthroat and brown trout- Deer Creek Reservoir
  • East Canyon Reservoir
  • Fish Lake
  • Starvation Reservoir
  • Steinaker Reservoir
  • Scofield Reservoir
  • Strawberry Reservoir

    "Strawberry provides fantastic fishing for big trout and lots of them," Cushing said. Tiger trout

  • Birch Creek Reservoir
  • Currant Creek Reservoir
  • Scofield Reservoir Lake trout- Fish Lake
  • Flaming Gorge Crappie- Pineview Reservoir Cushing says crappie can be tricky to catch because they suspend at various depths. "But if you catch a crappie at a certain depth, keep fishing that depth, and you should do well," he said. "Pineview has a good population of crappie."

Kokanee salmon

  • Causey Reservoir
  • Electric Lake
  • Porcupine Reservoir
Cushing said the best ice fishing for kokanee salmon happens at the start of the ice fishing season. "After ice forms on Causey, salmon fishing can be fantastic for about two to three weeks."

White bass

  • Utah Lake Cushing said Utah Lake is another area where the best fishing happens early in the ice fishing season.
"Fishing for white bass usually tapers off around mid-January," he said. "The harbors at the lake are the best places to catch white bass through the ice."

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Faith Heaton Jolley


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