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  • Utah Outdoor News



    Melting Ice, Hot Fishing at Scofield Reservoir
    Location: Utah


    Fishing that will keep your kids excited -- and you pulling fish out of the water from the comfort of your lawn chair -- is about to begin at Scofield Reservoir.

    Scofield is one of Utah’s best trout fishing waters. And it’s less than two hours from the Wasatch Front. The easiest way to reach the reservoir is to travel on U.S. 6 out of Spanish Fork. At Colton, turn west off of U.S. 6 and travel about 10 miles on state Route 96 to the reservoir.

    Fast fishing Fishing at Scofield is usually best just after the ice has melted. That's when hungry trout, trapped under a sheet of ice all winter long, finally gain access to the water's surface and to food.

    A fishes' metabolism surges in the spring. That surging metabolism stimulates a feeding frenzy of sorts in the fish. But the insects trout eat aren't active until early summer. So the nightcrawlers, salmon eggs and other commercial baits you toss to the trout are even more enticing to them.

    From late April until June, the water temperature is comfortable near the shore, so the trout move in close to shore to school. It's a great time for lawn chair anglers to compete successfully with anglers who are fishing from boats, float tubes and pontoon boats.

    Fishing from the shore is especially good for energetic youngsters who get bored easily and need to run around a bit. It's easier to entertain your kids if they're not confined to a boat!

    Fishing tips for Scofield Reservoir, including the best baits to use,the best times to fish and how to create the “Scofield Special” -- abait that lures in big cutthroat trout -- are available atwww.j.mp/ctM5sG.

    Simple equipment

    In early spring, you can catch trout easily using just about any kindof tackle. A "Barbie" rod and reel tipped with a worm is assophisticated as you need to get!

    Although nightcrawlers are the best all-around fish catchers, you maywant some additional insurance. Take along some PowerBait and cheesehooks. A jar of salmon eggs is a good bait to take with you.

    A dead minnow is another good bait to try in the spring. You can catchredside shiners and Utah chubs at Scofield using a minnow trap. You canalso catch Utah chubs on a rod and reel using small hooks andnightcrawlers.

    After you’ve caught some minnows, please remember that the minnowsmust be dead before you can place them on a hook and use them as bait.

    If you like to use artificial lures, Jake's Spin-A-Lures, Kastmastersand Triple Teasers are the best to use at Scofield. Spinners andcrankbaits are also effective for the tiger trout and Bear Lakecutthroat trout in the reservoir.

    The best spring fly pattern for Scofield is a brown or green sparkleleech in a size six to 10.

    Fish in the morning or evening

    As a general rule, you'll find more success if you fish during theearly morning or late evening hours. Trout suffer from a midday slump. When the sun is high, the trout rest. Like many wild animals, troutfeed most actively at dawn and dusk.

    The time of day you fish is important if you want to "hook" your kidson fishing. You need to fish only when the bite is fast and frequent. Kids can develop patience elsewhere. Fishing should be non-stop fun!

    The "Scofield Special"

    Sergeant Stacey Jones, a Division of Wildlife Resources conservationofficer who works at Scofield, says many anglers catch a lot of big fishat Scofield using a bait called the "Scofield Special."

    Jones says the "Scofield Special" is an egg sack created from the eggsof a pregnant female trout. Once you’ve harvested a pregnant fish andcounted it as part of your daily bag limit, you can remove the eggs anduse them as bait.

    To create a "Scofield Special," wrap the eggs in a small piece ofnetting. Then attach the netting to your fishing line with the hookburied inside the sack. (This is much like placing a chunk of PowerBaiton your hook.)

    Jones says it's critical that you make your egg sack the size of amarble. Anything larger is a waste and a turnoff to the fish.

    Jones says the natural predatory nature of trout bring them right tothis bait. It’s especially deadly for larger cutthroat trout.

    If you're going to use fish eggs as bait, please remember that you mustkeep the fish you harvest the eggs from. It is illegal to "squeeze" afish for eggs, and then release her. The trout will die.

    The only lawful way you may use fish eggs is to keep and count the fishthe eggs are removed from as part of your bag limit.

    Use single hooks

    An unfortunate aspect of spring fishing at Scofield is the high amountof "hooking mortality" that takes place.

    Hooking mortality happens when anglers catch fish using treble hooksand then release the fish. As long as the fish is legal to keep, it’svery important that you keep and include any fish you catch on a trebleor a barbed hook as part of your bag limit. Using barbed hooks greatlyincreases the chance that any fish you catch and release will swim offand die.

    "Anglers need to understand that when they throw a fish they caught ona barbed hook back into the water, it’s the same as wastingwildlife,” Jones says. “It’s very important that anglers eitherchange hook types when fishing with bait or egg sacks, or keep the firstfour legal fish they catch."

    If a fish has been deeply hooked, Jones says it’s better to clip thefishing line and leave the hook inside the fish. “Hooks that are leftinside a fish will quickly rust and disappear,” she says. “Clippingthe line greatly increases the chance the fish you catch and releasewill live to be caught again another day.”

    Three kinds of trout

    Rainbow, cutthroat and tiger trout are the three trout in ScofieldReservoir.

    DWR biologists introduced tiger trout to the reservoir in 2005. Someof these fish are five pounds or larger now.

    The DWR stocks 80,000 seven- to nine-inch rainbow and Bear Lakecutthroat trout, and 120,000 four- to five-inch tiger trout, everyyear.


    News Source: Utah DWR - Apr. 30, 2010

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