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Hot fishing on the Fourth of July

The temperature isn't the only thing that's hot; so's the fishing!

If you're looking for a good place to fish over the July 4 holiday, Drew Cushing has some advice about waters you should try.

A kid with a largemouth bass at Sand Hollow.

Fishing for largemouth bass and bluegill should be hot at Sand Hollow Reservoir over the July 4 holiday.

Photo by Mike Ottenbacher, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Cushing, warm water sport fisheries coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says fishing should be "hot" at the following waters:

Northern Utah

Cushing says anglers are enjoying good wiper and walleye fishing at Willard Bay Reservoir this year. "The number of fish is up significantly over what it's been the past few years," he says.

DWR biologists and hatchery workers have stocked wipers into Willard Bay annually since 1992. This year, anglers are catching lots of wipers in the 15- to 20-inch range. And even larger wipers—some close to 30 inches long—are also being caught. Walleye spawning success has also been really good at the reservoir over the past few years. Many of the walleye anglers are catching are close to 20 inches long.

Mantua Reservoir should also be a great spot to fish over the holiday. The fish in the reservoir have moved to deeper water, but plenty of bass and bluegill are biting right now. If you can find a school of bluegill, you shouldn't have trouble catching your limit.

Central Utah

If catching a big fish is something you want to do, consider targeting cutthroat trout at Strawberry Reservoir. The cutthroats in the reservoir are big this year; some are up to 27 inches in length. Kokanee salmon are another fish to target at Strawberry. Cushing says kokanee fishing at the reservoir is the best it's been in years. To catch kokanee, try trolling pop gear and a pink triple teaser.

Deer Creek Reservoir is another water that has big, healthy trout. Cushing says rainbows in the reservoir are fat and up to 18 inches long. You can also catch walleye and yellow perch at Deer Creek this time of the year.

Northeastern Utah

July is the best time of the year to catch yellow perch at Starvation Reservoir. If you visit the reservoir, bring some bait and lures for rainbow trout too. Some of the rainbows are up to 23 inches long.

Southeastern Utah

Cushing says Huntington North Reservoir is the place to fish in southeastern Utah during the holiday. He says fishing for wipers, largemouth bass and bluegill should be good.

Southern Utah

Some of the biggest brook trout in Utah are found in the lakes on the Boulder Mountains. The mountains have plenty of lakes. Cushing says brook trout up to three pounds are found in some of them. Cutthroat, rainbow and tiger trout are also available to catch.

If you want to catch bluegill, Sand Hollow Reservoir is the place to go. The reservoir is home to some of the state's biggest bluegill. If you fish Sand Hollow, be prepared to target the healthy largemouth bass population that's in the reservoir too.

Lake Powell is another great spot to fish in southern Utah. Cushing says fishing is usually best early in the morning and later in the evening. Recently, anglers have been catching smallmouth bass, striped bass and walleye.

Statewide

  • The snow has melted, making the July 4 holiday the perfect time to fish lakes and streams at higher elevations in Utah. If you decide to fish in the higher elevations, you'll often have a quieter fishing experience. And a rod and reel, with some bait or a fly, are all you need to find success.
  • The DWR stocks lots of rainbow trout in these high-elevation waters. Good numbers of healthy fish are waiting for you.

  • If you like to fish from the shore in Utah, make sure you get out early in the morning or in the evening. As the temperature rises during the day, fish move to deeper, cooler water. Moving to deeper water often puts them out of reach of anglers who fish from the shore.
  • More information about where fishing is hot is available at wildlife.utah.gov/hotspots.
  • Two other websites — www.bigfishtackle.com and www.utahwildlife.net — also provide good, up-to-date fishing information.

  • Before you arrive at the water you want to fish, be sure to check the 2013 Utah Fishing Guidebook. Some waters have specific regulations. Check to see which regulations apply to the water you're going to fish.
  • You can get the free guidebook online.

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