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Anglers Edge

Posted by Don on April 13, 2008 in Angler Improvement Articles with No Comments

by Don Allphin

A reader reports that the ice is mostly off on Deer Creek though Jordanelle is still ice-bound.  Strawberry still has an incredibly thick sheet of ice but the afternoon slush is acting like glue to most four-wheelers and even snow machines.  My point here is simple:  maybe it’s time to shift gears from battling spring ice conditions on your favorite haunts and look to ice-free Utah Lake for some walleye action.

Walleye spawn at a prime temperature of 48 degrees.  They have no problem pulling in and out of spawning areas depending on weather conditions.  They stage in areas within several hundred yards of their future nests but may travel up to a mile or two up a river in one night, if the urge hits them.

Anglers report that fishing for walleyes on Utah Lake is still slow in comparison to years past.  I recall from a journal entry that I caught 6-fish limits of walleyes in 1978 in early February.  However, with warmer weather forecast over the next week or two, and the full moon on its way this week, it just might be the time to hook into some great “eyes.”

Rather than going over each bait or lure used to catch walleyes, I hope a little analysis of where and how they spawn might get you in the mood to do some exploring.  First, always remember that walleyes stage for up to a month at times before they spawn.  The females find sand bars in and among the rocky, gravely areas they will ultimately use to lay their eggs when the timing is right, and they will remain almost lifeless on the bars, waiting and preparing for the big event.  Then, when its “their time” they move to the shoreline and with several males surrounding them, they deposit their eggs.  Generally four males accompany each female but I’ve seen up to seven or eight with a particularly large female.

I fish with ¼-ounce red marabou jigs, and I do so early in the morning or late in the evening.  Sometimes I’ll put two jigs on at a time with a split swivel  but that is not necessary.  Then I fan-cast from the shore to an area

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