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Catch big pike at Yuba

NEPHI — Want to know what it feels like to catch a fish that's more than three feet long and weighs almost 20 pounds?

A large male rainbow trout
DWR Biologist Jordan Nielson shows the huge northern pike biologists found in gillnets during survey work at Yuba Reservoir on April 14. After taking a couple of photos, the pike was released back into the reservoir

Photo courtesy of Scott Root, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

You might find out if you grab your fishing gear—including a foot or two of metal leader—and head to Yuba Reservoir in the next few months.

On April 14, Division of Wildlife Resources biologists were conducting gillnet surveys at this reservoir in central Utah. What they found when they pulled one of the nets out of the water took their breath away.

Inside was a huge northern pike. The fish was more than 43 inches long and weighed over 17 pounds.

That puts this pike close to the current Utah state record. The current record was caught at Yuba in 2002 by Henry Fenning. That pike weighed 25 pounds and was 43 inches long.

The official Utah "catch-and-release" northern pike record is a 49 3/4-inch fish caught by Logan Hacking at Lake Powell in 1998.

Hacking's fish was not weighed.

Not the only big pike!

The huge pike biologists caught and placed back in the reservoir on April 14 isn't the only big pike biologists have caught at Yuba during gillnet surveys this spring. Other big and healthy pike—and big and healthy walleye—have been caught at the reservoir too.

Biologists conduct gillnet surveys by setting nets in the reservoir for an hour or two and then pulling the nets back to the surface. After measuring and weighing the fish, the fish are released back into the water.

Tips

May and June are usually the best months to catch northern pike and walleye at Yuba.

To catch pike, DWR biologists suggest the following:

  • Fish in water that's five feet or less deep. Fishing from the shore works great!
  • Use lures that imitate minnows. These lures include plugs (crank baits), jigs and spoons.
  • Tie a foot or two of metal leader between your fishing line and your lure. Northern pike have sharp teeth. Using metal leader is a good way to keep the pike from biting through your line!

Getting there

Yuba Reservoir is just off I-15, about 30 miles south of Nephi in central Utah.

For more information about fishing at the reservoir, call the DWR's Central Region office at 801-491-5678.

Updated fishing reports for Yuba are available online.

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