I know a lot of Utah folks post here, so I wanted to ask if Deer Creek has some good float tubing water. I'm thinking about trying to fish there after ice off
I fish Utah Lake a lot. But you are right. No fun if the wind comes up. That's why I usually go early and I pay close attention to the forecast...wind speed and direction. I choose my spot to launch and fish based upon the wind direction. And if the wind speed forecast is above about 5 mph I don't go. Catfish are the big draw for me. They are plentiful, they bite well and fight well. And, contrary to what some believe, they are safe to eat. Properly filleted, skinned and processed they are great for frying or smoking. The white bass are usually abundant and easy to catch. But the last two or three years (in the drought) the numbers have been going downhill. But they are great sport when you can find a few. Lots of crappies and bluegills at different spots around the lake. Even some perch, although they are not very common on Utah Lake. Walleyes are the bonus catch. Utah Lake has a great population of walleyes but they can be tough to find and catch on any given day. However, if you show up at the right places at the right times...with the right stuff...you can catch them over 10 pounds. I usually catch several in the upper 20 inch range each year...usually while casting for white bass or other species. If you fish just for walleye you will usually catch only the other stuff. Hopefully the lake fills up again this year. The last two years it has dropped way down to "low pool" status. That really hurts the white bass spawn and white bass are a main part of the predators' diet. So low white bass numbers make for tougher fishing, both for white bass and the bigger fish that feed on them. There is also some decent fishing for largemouth bass on Utah Lake. But, again, the low water messes up that fishing. Largemouths like the cover of shoreline reeds and flooded structure. In the low water there isn't much of that available. But some still show up inside the harbors. In recent years there has also been a number of northern pike showing up. They like the same kinds of conditions as largemouth bass and quite a few are taken inside harbors and around other structure in the lake. Then, of course, there are the bullheads. At times you can't keep them off your lures and/or baits. They can be fun, although pesky at times. Last but not least are the carp. The lake is full of them and there is an eradication program to reduce their numbers to help restore the June sucker population. More and more anglers are discovering how great carp are as battlers. I catch quite a few every year on the small jigs I fish for white bass. And a growing number of fly flingers are targeting carp specifically. They pull hard. Here is a picture of a 5 species "grand slime" I got one day fishing off the Knolls. White bass, bullheads, walleye, channel cats and carp...all caught on the same lure...fishing the same way in the same area. [inline "WEST SIDE GRAND SLIME.JPG"]
Most of my Tube trips are quick, early morning Deer Creek runs. Normally I'll hit the water at sunnup and fish for 2-3 hours and be back for the beginning of the work day. My favorite of all types of fishing is topwater bass fishing there during the summer months in my Tube. But I've caught perch, crappie, trout, LMB, SMB, and Walleye from my Tube there. Normally, as TD suggested, I target Trout when the water is less than 60 degrees, and Bass when the water is greater than 60 degrees. The perch, crappie, and Walleye were all surprise guests. I don't normally target them as DC isn't plentiful with those species right now.
Don't overlook Jordanelle, Utah Lake and Willard Bay. Lots of good fishing for fish without spots or stripes. Pull harder and taste better too.
Wow Tubedude thanks for all the info! This will help me with my fishing goals this year, which is catch more non trout species then trout species this year
As I mentioned, a lot of walleyes are caught on the lures being fished for smallies. They include cranks in crawdad and perch finishes but plain old gold and silver minnow patterns work too. I am attaching a picture of a small wallie I caught on a "pale perch" colored Roadrunner type lure I was fishing for perch. But fire tiger is a good color too. Crappies will hit almost any kind of small tube jig or twister...as well as small minnow-imitating cranks and spinners. Most of the ones I know of have been caught on small jigs being fished for perch...like the one I caught off the end of the island in the attached picture. It was 15" and hit a red/chartreuse tube jig I use a lot on perch lakes. But all white or all chartreuse work well too. And always good to tip your jigs with a piece of worm or perch meat.
Also, what are the crappie caught on? Standard panfish gear?
This is all great info! Thanks! What patterns of Crankbaits work for the Walleye?
I got one of those too. My wife.
"Yes there is some great opportunities to rube at DC. Salzburg and Charlestown come to mind." Did you mean Walsburg and Charleston? And did you mean tube instead of rube?
A few random notes...from a fellow float tuber who loves Deer Creek. 1. Don't forget. Deer Creek is now listed as an "infested" lake (Quagga mussels)...so you have to have your float tube decontaminated...along with waders, fins, net and anything else that gets wet. 2. You can catch trout anytime after iceout...on all the standard trout flies, lures and baits. Flies and spinners near the top are especially good until the water begins warming in late spring. Actually, trout can be taken all year, but during the summer they usually hang out in deeper water...especially during the day. You need downriggers or something else to get your offerings down to the fish. 3. Perch are not very plentiful these days, but they start hitting best after about mid June...when they move in toward shore for the summer. Lots of different jigs...tipped with crawler...or just plain crawler. 4. Smallmouth bass move into the rocky shorelines to spawn when the water warms above about 60. They usually stay shallow until late fall, when the temps cool down again. Almost any plastic, spinner or crankbait will catch them. They feed mostly on crawdads and the fry of perch and crappies so use patterns that represent them. Also, there is some great topwater action next to rocky shorelines in late summer. 5. Crappies are showing up more often these days. Some of the better spots are back in Walsburg Bay, around the outside point of the island and along the rocky shoreline below the Heber Creeper tracks. 6. Walleyes? The spawn is actually not the best time to find and catch active biters. That is when the locals snag the fish running up into the Provo River. But sometimes you can find some along rocky shorelines where they might spawn at night if the wind is blowing to aerate their eggs. The bite gets much better post-spawn...from around the first of May through late June. That's when you can catch them both around rocky shorelines...on plastics and crankbaits...and over the flats between the island and Charleston...using standard bottom bouncing crawler gear. And don't overlook night fishing during the summer. Some big ones are taken at night during the "full moon in June"...and in July and August too. During the fall the wallies move back into shallower water along the shores and are often caught early and late in the day by anglers working the rocks for smallies.
Yes there is some great opportunities to rube at DC. Salzburg and Charlestown come to mind. Also near and around the island. Just as a reminder since DC is listed as infested with quaggas you will need to decon your tube, waders, fins, nets and anything else that gets wet once finished.
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