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Posted by Don on June 8, 2009 in Angler Improvement Articles with No Comments

by Don Allphin

After receiving several emails from anxious readers wondering why the white bass run stopped as abruptly as it began, I decided to offer an alternate fishing opportunity while there is still too much water entering Utah Lake.  White bass will still be caught in the lower Provo River but not until the runoff decreases.  But don’t stay at home, high water offers another fishing opportunity.

When the lakes floods, fish move to the shallows and take over newly-flooded areas.  So, in the case of Utah Lake, any patch of reeds near the lake or near any inlet or outlet will hold both mud and channel cats.  And, since this is their pre-spawn period, catfish are ready to bite and are waiting for your bait.

Several reports from anglers point to a burgeoning catfish bite from Lincoln Beach and Bird Island to Mud Lake and the east side of the lake through Provo and Orem.  Let’s take a look at how to target catfish while the lake is high.

First, from the shore, I recommend wearing some chest or hip waders and finding small open pockets of water in and around a patch of reeds.  Don’t be too concerned with water depth but I like water between a foot and four feet deep. Then, rig your line with either a large treble hook (number 2) or an EWG (extra wide gap) 3/0 worm hook 24 inches below a swivel and an oval slip weight (number six or eight) or a large bobber.  If you prefer using a bobber, place a couple of small split shot weights about six to eight inches above the hook so you bait will stay near the bottom.  Finally, use worms, shrimp, or white bass meat as bait.

Always remember when fishing for catfish that they are very aggressive and will come from great distances to find your bait.  Don’t stay in the same area for long periods of time if you aren’t getting bites.  Move around until the fish find you.

When fishing from a boat, always anchor your boat and if you have a fish finder, try to locate a trough or a depression in the bottom.  It doesn’t have to be huge, but if you find a ledge that goes from 1 to three feet of water, that would be a good place to look for fish.  Always keep in mind that early mornings and late evenings and on through the night will be the best times to catch some keeper cats.

This pattern should hold through August and should peak in July.  Good Fishing!

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