SALT LAKE CITY – Even in the middle of winter, fishing opportunities abound in Utah. In Southern Utah, the Division of Wildlife Resources currently gives five Washington County community fisheries it’s second highest rating for fishing. In central-southern Utah, it rates Fish Lake as the prime spot for ice fishing. And for those in or willing to travel north, the only thing stopping you from a great ice fishing experience might be knowing where to go.
Washington County and surrounding areas
Anglers looking to fish in milder climates, might look to five community fisheries listed by the DWR in Washington County: Skyline Pond in St. George, the Tawa Ponds near the Canyons Softball Complex in St. George, Stratton Pond (or Grandpa’s Pond) in Hurricane and Razor Ridge Pond in Washington City, where the DWR rates fishing as “fair to good.” Rainbow trout have been stocked in all ponds and DWR rates these fisheries as fair to good, the best that Southern Utah currently has to offer. More information is provided here.
Although not listed in the current listing, Sullivan Virgin River Park pond has traditionally been stocked with Rainbow Trout as well. St. George News inquiry to DWR on current conditions is pending reply as this report is published, update will be made as received.
Sand Hollow Reservoir is currently rated “slow” for fishing, but for the determined most likely catch will be bluegill or large mouth bass. Quail Creek Reservoir (or Quail Lake) near Hurricane is currently rated “fair,” with most likely catch bluegill, large mouth bass or rainbow trout.
There are several other waterbodies in the DWR’s Southern Region, most of which are rated as recently as Dec. 31, 2013, from “slow” to “fair” for winter fishing, and several are closed are difficult to access in winter. Click here for a listing of Southern Utah waters with related fishing reports.
Utah’s best for ice fishing
“In my opinion, Utah has some of the best ice fishing in the country,” said Drew Cushing, warm water sport fisheries coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. “Utah provides a wider variety of quality fish to catch than any place I know of, and many of these opportunities are probably close to your home.”
Currently, Fish Lake is the prime spot for ice fishing in central to Southern Utah. Fish reported there is good to excellent for perch and rainbow trout in water 15 to 40 feet deep. Fishing for splake and lake trout is slow to fair. The lake is currently mostly iced over, with some open water.
To help you get the most from your ice fishing experience this winter, Cushing has compiled a list of the best waters in Utah, available here.
Visiting the Utah DWR’s fishing report is one way to learn which type of fish are in each water and where fishing is the best. Biologists, officers and outreach personnel update the report every few weeks. You can find fishing spots throughout the state and the latest reports starting here.
Other online sources, such as bigfishtackle.com and utahwildlife.net, are also good places to visit. And don’t forget your local fishing tackle shop or sporting goods store. People who work at these stores are often the first to know about good fishing in their area.
Ice fishing basics are available in six free videos produced by the Utah DWR. View them here.
Just because winter is here, it doesn’t mean fishing is over until spring.
“Winter can be the most fun, the most productive and the least expensive time of the year to fish,” Cushing said. “New lakes, new opportunities and new species of fish are waiting for you. I really hope you can get out and enjoy it.”
St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic contributed to this report.
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