The heat is on under the ice at Scofield Reservoir
On Nov. 6 Conservation Officer Mike Milburn fished Scofield Reservoir and interviewed a number of other anglers.
According to those interviewed and from Milburn's experience, the fishing was excellent. He ended up catching (and releasing) 18 fish, 13 of which were tiger trout. The rest were rainbows.
"I arrived at 9 a.m. and decided to fish below the old boat camp which is across the channel from the main state park," said Milburn in a report. "There were two young men already fishing in the area. They said they had caught three fish when I arrived. They were fishing in 25 feet of water, so I decided to try shallower water. I drilled a hole and found about 5-7 inches of good solid ice. I was in 10-11 feet of water near the wakeless zone buoys in the channel."
Milburn began there fishing with a small chub minnow on his standard rig.
Milburn's standard rig is a small silver attractor like a Kastmaster or Stinger from which he removes the hook. In its place, he ties on 10-12 inches of leader, and finishes the rig with a 1/32 or 1/16 oz. chartreuse jig head. The jighead is tipped with a small (one inch) minnow.
"I caught a 14-inch tiger trout within one minute of starting," he stated. "In the first hour, I caught six tiger trout that were all between 13 and 15 inches. I tried using a small piece of nightcrawler for awhile but didn't get any hits. As soon as I switched back to minnows, bites resumed."
Later in the morning things slowed a little, so he tried deeper water.
"I caught several rainbow trout, ranging from small 8-inch fish up to an 18.5 inch fish that weighed about three pounds. I also caught a few fish using a piece of nightcrawler."
Some other anglers near him, Brett Kidder and his brother from North Salt Lake, caught some nice fish, including one rainbow trout that Milburn estimated at four pounds. Kidder caught the big one at about 1:30 p.m. He was using a meal worm on a small ice fly.
"Gene Lessar and his brother Bob from Price kept a limit of 8 nice fish," stated Milburn. "They were using meal worms and also some pieces of chub on a small Kastmaster. They were fishing on the east shore where the old cabins are. They said they caught about 15 fish during the five hours they were on the lake. They fished in 15 feet of water."
Aquatics Biologist Justin Hart volunteered to share some of his secrets and experiences about Scofiled as well.
Hart likes to fish in 12 to 15 feet of water early in the season. When his tackle hits the bottom, Justin reels in a crank or two. He jigs the bait awhile and then raises it a foot or more at intervals, methodically sampling the entire water column. In terms of end tackle, Justin uses a 1/16-ounce spoon or Swedish Pimple tipped with a chunk of minnow about the size of a dime. He has also had good luck with a curlytail grub or ice fly and a piece of night crawler or chunk of minnow meat.
For locating fish, Hart offers a few recommendations. The west side just out from Madsen Bay boat launch offers good fishing.Fishing around the island is another good bet year-round.
The southeast side of the reservoir is ever-popular for good reason.Time of day is important too. For those who can stand frigid temperatures, early morning is a good time to dip a line.
Come Jan. 1, a new regulation change takes effect at Scofield. The trout limit jumps from four to eight fish, doubling angler opportunity.