FLAMING GORGE: Until the weather warmed up a week ago, the ice on the reservoir had been increasing. Many of the smaller bays, especially those on the west side, have some fishable ice, but thickness varies considerably. Bays on the east side also have ice, but is more likely to be broken and refrozen, creating weaker ice. There are also a few places with open water in the main stem, so check all ice carefully before venturing out. In Utah, Lucerne and Antelope Flats have an apron of ice forming in front of their ramps, keeping boaters from launching. Boats could launch at Sheep Creek, Cedar Springs and Mustang prior to the last set of storms, but ice in the canyons restricts boaters to the bays.
Kokanee salmon: The reservoir has reopened to the take of kokanee, but there haven't been any recent fishing reports.
Rainbow trout: Spoons, jigs and crankbaits are working from the shore, ice and boats. Most anglers are ice fishing with good results. Those who are on shore and in boats report schools and good fishing off rocky points and in the backs of some of the bays.
Lake trout: Anglers report fair to good fishing through the ice and in open water. Schools, small groups and singles can be anywhere. If you find a group, try holding your position and drop a vertical presentation, such as a jigging spoon (chartreuse) or three-inch tube jig (white). Tip your lure with a small chunk of sucker meat and vary jigging activity until you figure out the behavior pattern. Also try trolling through or just above the school, and along the shorelines where they are cruising for food. Try different crankbaits or brightly colored spoons. Keep your limit of small, tasty lake trout to reduce competition and help both the lake trout and kokanee fisheries.
Smallmouth bass: There haven't been any new reports because the bass have gone deep.
Burbot: Fishing has been fair to exceptional from boats and through the ice. Try fishing for a few hours, starting around sunset, and focus on the rocky points, cliffs and old channels. Burbot will hit during the day, generally in the deeper waters; however, they become more active during the twilight hours when they move into the shallows to forage. Whether you're on shore, ice or boat, fish the bottom or just slightly above it in depths from 10 to 50 feet. Use just about anything that glows (spoons, tube jigs, curly-tailed jigs, minnows, jigging spoons, etc.) and tip your lure with some type of bait. (Cut bait, like sucker meat, is recommended.) Place your lure within inches of the bottom and recharge the glow frequently. It is common to catch a fish immediately after reglowing and dropping a lure. You'll help the Flaming Gorge fishery by harvesting as many burbot as possible. There is no limit on burbot.