Never been fishing? Here are 3 good spots for new anglers
SALT LAKE CITY — If you’ve been seeing Instagram and Facebook pictures of your friends’ fishing trips this summer, and you want to give fishing a try, July is a great time to go. Not only is the weather amazing, but fishing is good around the state.
In particular, here are three awesome fishing locations for beginning anglers. Fish at the following lakes are easy to catch with a variety of techniques, so not having any experience shouldn’t matter — you can still be successful and reel in some fish.
Located in the heart of the Wasatch Front, Utah Lake is easy to access from many nearby cities, making it the perfect spot for a quick after-work fishing trip.
Located in the Ashley National Forest in the northeast corner of the state, this fishing spot will help beginners feel the allure of fishing. This area is perfect for a weekend getaway to the mountains (the north slope of the Uintas, to be exact), and the higher elevation will provide some relief from the summer heat. And there are other activities to try as well: a campground is nearby and there are several hiking and ATV trails in the area. But remember to stay on the trails to help protect wildlife and habitat.
You can catch rainbow or brook trout here, and they’ll take just about any bait or lure, making for some great shore fishing with very little gear required.
You can catch rainbow and tiger trout and kokanee salmon at Moon Lake, which is also located in the Ashley National Forest, but on the south slope of the Uintas. This high-elevation, 2-mile long lake is very scenic and near many hiking trails, which are also open to horseback riding.
While beginners can have good success fishing from shore for the rainbow and tiger trout, trolling (moving your fishing line slowly through the water) from a boat is recommended for kokanee. Using a spinner or spoon fishing lure will be effective at this waterbody.
Utah Lake State Park
At 148 square miles, Utah Lake is the largest freshwater lake in the state. Located in the heart of the Wasatch Front, it’s easy to access from many nearby cities, making it the perfect spot for a quick after-work fishing trip.
July is a great time to catch channel catfish at the lake. They are easy to catch from the shore using a variety of baits.
How do I get started?
First, you need some fishing equipment. A good option is to tag along with someone who fishes so you can use their gear, or ask them if you can borrow it for the afternoon. However, if you don’t know anyone who fishes, it doesn’t take all that much equipment to get started. And it’s quite inexpensive.
Here are some basics for your first fishing trip (all of which can be found at most sporting goods stores or online):
- How do I get started?
- Bobbers (about 50 cents each)
- Extra fishing line to connect your bobber to a hook (about $4 for a small spool)
- Fishing hooks (about $2 a pack)
- Snap swivels (about $2 a pack)
- Bait ($2-$6 depending on what you choose)
- Lures like spinner baits and spoons ($3-$6 each)
“A lot of this equipment is a one-time purchase,” DWR sportfish coordinator Randy Oplinger said. “Once you have it, you can use it for many fishing trips to come. Fishing with a bobber and bait is relatively easy. Just cast the line out and then watch the bobber. Once it starts ‘bobbing’ up and down, quickly reel the line in and enjoy the thrill of catching your first fish!”
You need a fishing license so you can legally fish in Utah. They range in price from $16 for a 3-day license to $34 for one year. You can buy one online or from any license agent around the state. Then, make sure to familiarize yourself with the fishing regulations for where you are going. Those can be found on the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website.