Bear Lake The Bear Lake area received about a foot a snow this week and the temperatures have been well below freezing. Bear Lake is all open water, but there are some large sheets of ice and ice chunks floating on the lake. You can launch a boat at the Utah State Park marina, First Point, Cisco Beach and Rainbow Cove boat ramps in Utah and courtesy docks are in the water at all locations. Boat ramps have been plowed and sanded, except the Cisco Beach ramp. You can also launch a boat on the Idaho side of the lake at their East Shore State Park ramp and North Beach ramp, and those ramps have not been plowed.
The cutthroat trout and lake trout fishing is fair to good. Anglers have been catching cutthroat trout and lake trout by jigging off the Gus Rich Point/Rockpile area as well as off the pump house and Cisco Beach. Trolling has also worked well in these areas. If you are jigging for trout, use tube jigs or swim baits in various colors in 1/2- to one ounce sizes and 3 to six inches tipped with cisco, sucker meat or Gulp minnows. Reliable colors are white, green and chartreuse. If you are trolling, use minnow-type lures in #9-13 sizes and flatfish in size U-20 or larger. A squid behind a dodger can work well this time of year, too. Whitefish fishing along the weed beds south of Gus Rich Point and between First and Second Points in depths of 25 to 35 feet should also be good at this time. Use smaller jigging spoons (castmasters, buckshot, Hopkins) and tip your lures with worms or rubber salmon eggs. You can even add a small dropper ice fly about 8 to 12 feet below the main lure, and tip that with a maggot. As for shore fishing, try casting or still fishing with cisco off the Cisco Beach, Second Point and State Park marina. If you are casting, you can use large spinners, spoons or even crankbaits.
The trout limit is two fish. Cutthroat trout with a fin clip can be kept; cutthroat trout with all fins intact must be immediately released. Large lake trout take a long time to get big, and while they are legal to keep, many anglers are encouraging other anglers to release them.