Ice fishing can lure those not hitting the slopes for winter fun
SALT LAKE CITY — It’s been heaven in Utah for skiers and snowboarders because of record snowfalls, but for those who don’t hit the slopes, ice fishing is an option for a great winter activity.
Within two hours of Salt Lake City are several reservoirs, including Echo, Rockport, Pineview, Mantua, Scofield, and Strawberry.
Look for perch, trout, crappie, bluegills, and kokanee salmon in these areas
Further north at Flaming Gorge and Starvation Reservoir, look for burbot and walleye as well, though the best ice is typically near the Wyoming state line.
Panguitch Lake and appropriately named Fish Lake in Southern Utah offers perch and trout.
“Winter is a good time to go fishing because ice gives everyone the opportunity to walk to the best areas — the places where the fish are hanging out,” Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Sportfish Coordinator Randy Oplinger said.
“It evens the playing field because you can access places that during the summer are only available if you have a boat. Fish are also hungry and active in the winter, and that can make them easier to catch.”
In addition to warm clothes and a thermos of hot chocolate, ice fishermen need a Utah fishing license, an ice auger, ice lures, and something to sit on.
Since some fish have a more subtle strike in winter, a spring bobber is also a good idea.
DWR also cautions people to check the ice depth; four inches is considered the minimum level for safety.
Those new to the sport are invited to attend an upcoming ice fishing seminar on Thursday, January 19 at 6:30 pm at the DWR Springville Office and are encouraged to register in advance and find tips on DWR’s Fish Utah map.