Idaho Fish Report
Bear Lake Fishing Report
by Utah Division of Wildlife
Boat launching is available at the Utah State Park Marina on the west side of the lake. Launching is also available at the First Point and Rainbow Cove ramps on the lake's east side, but the water level on the east side is low. The First Point and Rainbow Cove ramps are now considered "use at your own risk" due to the concrete at the end of the ramps having a drop-off of nearly a foot or more. If you use either of these ramps, make sure you don't back your trailer tires over the bottom edge of the ramp, as it might be very difficult to pull your boat and trailer back out. Not going off the end of the ramp will also prevent costly damage to your trailer, especially if you're towing a larger boat. The "low water concrete ramp" at Cisco Beach is now usable, but you'll need a four-wheel-drive vehicle, as the shoreline above the ramp is rocky. If you need a dock in order to launch, please launch at the Utah State Park marina, as it's the only launching ramp with a boat dock close to it.
The Bonneville whitefish spawning run is "on," and anglers are doing fair to good fishing for whitefish. The best spots have been off the Bear Lake State Park marina and Cisco Beach in about 7 to 15 feet of water. With the lower water level this fall, locations that have been productive over the past few years (Gus Rich Point and Second Point) either don't have water or are too shallow to hold whitefish this year. When fishing for whitefish, tip a small 1/16- to 1/8-ounce jig or spoon with a small piece of nightcrawler, and fish the lure close to the bottom. You can do this by casting out and bouncing the lure back to your boat or by jigging it vertically under your boat. Use light rods and reels with 4- to 6-pound monofilament line or a superline with a 3- to 4-foot monofilament leader. The bites are light, so pay close attention, and try to keep your line tight. Anglers who are fishing for whitefish are also doing well catching both cutthroat trout and lake trout. If trout are the only fish you want to catch, vertically jig using a 1/2- to 1-ounce jig with a 4- to 6-inch tube, twister tail or swim bait tipped with a piece of cisco meat or a nightcrawler. Let the jig bounce right on the bottom, lifting it up about 12 to 18 inches and then dropping it back. Many of the strikes happen when the lure is falling back to the bottom, so pay attention to your line. If you notice the lure/line stops sinking, set the hook and hold on! Try fishing in depths between 15 and 65 feet deep.
Those who prefer to troll are catching both cutthroat trout and lake trout using minnow-type crankbaits and flatfish trolled close to the bottom. Try the rockpile area, Cisco Beach and from Second Point north to the Idaho state line.
If you’d like to fish from shore, you can catch whitefish by fishing off the Utah State Park marina, Cisco Beach and even Second Point using the same technique mentioned above. Wearing chest waders and then wading out so you can cast your offerings into slightly deeper waters can increase your success rate.
Reminder: The trout limit is two fish. There is no longer a fin clip regulation for cutthroat trout, so you can keep any cutthroat trout up to your two fish limit. Lake trout take a long time to reach a large size. While large lake trout are legal to keep, many anglers are encouraging other anglers to release them. If you plan on releasing fish, try to land the fish quickly and then get it back into the water without any delays. You may consider using a 'descending device' that allows you to decompress the fish and release it into deeper water.