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  • Utah Outdoor News

    Cold weather, hot fishing
    Location: Utah

    See what's striking at Bear Lake

    Photo "Only the toughest anglers make the trip. They trek to Utah's northernmost lake during the darkest, coldest months of the year. If you join them, you'll face frigid wind and water, and often a thick layer of ice.
    "But the payoff is worth it: you can hook a large, tasty native sport fish found nowhere else in the world.
    "Bonneville whitefish live and spawn only in the stunning blue waters of Bear Lake. Adult fish can be up to 23 inches long and are easiest to catch during the late fall spawning season and throughout the winter months.

    Not your average whitefish
    "The Bonneville whitefish is a completely different species than the mountain whitefish, which is found in many Utah streams and lakes.
    "The two species are similar in appearance and color, but that's about the only thing they have in common. Bonneville whitefish have larger mouths and a completely different diet.
    "After Bonneville whitefish reach roughly 12 inches in length, they begin feeding on other fish almost exclusively. In contrast, their river "cousins" feed only on insects.
    "And because Bonneville whitefish are lake dwellers, they don't develop the strong bones that mountain whitefish need to fight relentless river currents. These bones are often a deterrent for anglers, who find mountain whitefish too much of a hassle on the dinner plate.
    "Bonneville whitefish are a different story. Much less bony, they have a nice firm, white flesh and are easy to prepare. They are good deep-fried, baked, smoked or grilled.

    Angling from shore
    "Bonneville whitefish typically begin spawning around Thanksgiving and continue through the middle of December. During these months, they move to shallow rocky areas off the shoreline on both the east and west sides of Bear Lake.
    "This fall, lake levels are lower than normal, which will increase fish concentrations near the shoreline. This should make the fish easier to catch because they won't be as spread out as they are during high water years.
    "If you plan to fish from shore, chest waders or hip boots will allow you to walk out a few extra feet and cast your line further.
    "Popular spots to catch Bonneville whitefish from shore include Bear Lake Marina in Garden City and along the rocky shoreline on the east side of the lake at First Point, Second Point and Cisco Beach... Bear Lake Fishing Report

    News Source: Utah DWR - Nov. 20, 2007

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