Idaho Fish Report

Bear Lake Fishing Report

by Utah Division of Wildlife

Bear Lake is finally ice free! Boats can be launched at the Utah State Park marina and the First Point, Cisco Beach and Rainbow Cove boat ramps where courtesy docks are in the water. You can also launch in Idaho at the North Beach State Park ramp. Lake levels are on the rise and are predicted to reach an elevation of 5,918 feet. Right now, the Rainbow Inlet Canal is letting in an average of 1,639 cubic feet per second each day. The lake level is currently at 5,912 feet. Cutthroat trout spawning season is happening now through the first part of July. During their spawning run, cutthroat trout don’t eat much. However, you can still catch fish during and after the spawning season. A good way to get cutthroat trout to bite during the spawn is to troll with aggressive-action lures that trigger reactionary strikes. Because water temperatures are still quite cold, cutthroats can be anywhere from near the surface in 5 feet of water all the way down to 100+ feet of water. Troll with jointed Rapalas, flatfish or crankbaits that have a lot of wiggle in their action. Rattling lures can also produce some reactionary strikes. If you’re casting from shore, use large spinners or crankbaits with rattles. Good spots to fish from shore are off the dikes at the Utah State Park marina and along Cisco Beach. Popular trolling locations are from the State Park marina northward to Fish Haven Creek in Idaho and along the entire east shore of the lake. Please be aware that areas in front of the mouths of the tributary streams are closed to fishing until the second Saturday in July. (The Swan Creek mouth is marked with ‘Closed to Fishing’ buoys.) On calm days, you can try letting out 150 feet or more of line behind your boat. Fish are easily spooked by boats in the shallow water, but they’ll quickly move back into the area after the boat passes. You can also use downriggers to get your lure to deeper depths. Try to troll with the lure as close to the bottom as possible. Once the cutthroat spawning run is over, the fish will begin feeding again, and using jigs tipped with cisco, sucker or other bait will work. Use a 1/2- to 1-ounce jig with a tube, twister tail or swim bait. You can also use a 1/2-ounce jigging spoon such as a Kastmaster or a Swedish Pimple. Jig right on the bottom, bumping bottom and coming up about 12 to 18 inches. 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! Lake trout fishing should remain good throughout the spring but will begin to slow when the water begins to warm up. Target lake trout in deeper water (60 to 100 feet) right on the bottom using the same techniques you’d use for cutthroats. Reminder: The trout limit is two fish. The fin clip regulation for cutthroat trout changed in January 2022, and any cutthroat trout can be kept 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.

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