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Fine Morning at Utah Lake - 9/20/2018

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Fine Morning at Utah Lake - 9/20/2018
I fished out of Utah Lake State Park on 9/20 with a long time fishing buddy from Arizona. Doug and I got there just as the gate opened. A bit early for the baby whites but we stuck around long enough to get a couple of dozen and headed out into the lake. Water temp was just over 67 and the wind was NW at about 10 MPH, but dropped to less than 5 as the morning went on. Between 7:30 and 11:30 AM we got 11 cats from 22” to 30”, all on white bass.

After ambushing the bait, we started dragging fresh whities on a couple of different floating bait rigs. Doug got the first cat about a third of the way down the channel and it was a healthy 27 inches. We got almost to the jaws and I got one, another 27” kitty. We went quite a way out before the next fish. Doug got another one just barely over 27. The next one was mine and it was the smallest fish thus far at 26 ¾”. Four fish and all within ¾” of the same length! I told Doug that this was not typical, but it was great.

We headed North, then NW and finally W and the cats came one or two at a time about every 30 minutes. At 6 fish I finally got one under 23” so I had one for the freezer. About the 7th fish Doug said it felt significantly different weight wise. He took it patiently and we saw several tail swirls before we saw the fish. “Those are good looking swirls.” I said with a grin on my face. Then I saw the head, “That’s a great fish, Doug!” His reply was: “No, it’s just a 27 incher with a big head.” Then I netted it and when it hit the deck I said, “You did it, you broke 30”!” Well the fish was just barely 30” and 11.2 lbs. It came at almost 10:30 A.M.

We hit a decent spurt right after that. 2 of the last 4 fish were eaters, so I ended up with 3 to clean. I had put them in an ice chest so I could bleed them out before time to go and not get the blood in the water. At about 11:30 we had a fish hit that came off right after being hooked. Five minutes later another one did the same thing. It looked like they were shutting down right on time. I had a class to teach at 2 P.M. so we had planned to be at the ramp at noon.

I went to work filleting and when that was done I picked up the cooler to dump the bloody water and then reel in the lines and go home. As I bent over to dump the water I slipped and knocked my favorite rod out of the holder and into the lake. Thinking I had time to grab it, I lunged forward and as I reached for it my shirt sleeve caught on the rod holder. I helplessly watch it fade out of sight.

“Have you got a marker?” Doug hollered. “Yes,… somewhere,” I said as I realized it wasn’t where I normally keep it. As I rushed around frantically, Doug pushed the anchor button on the i-pilot. “Oh yeah, I do have one of those” I said.
We each rigged a rod with a weight and a treble hook, but I wasn’t optimistic. We only had 15 minutes until I had to be back so I could get cleaned up and to my class on time. I told Doug I wasn’t optimistic, I had recovered rods in UL twice before, but time was against us. We casted and casted and I looked at my watch and thought, “I have time for two more casts.” I decided one would go way farther West and the other way farther East than we thought the rod was.

Halfway thought the western toss I felt the line. I couldn’t believe it! When we got the line I started pulling hand over hand and realized that the bait runner must still be in free spool. 300 yards of nanofil made an awful mess in my boat, but we got the rod back.

Much better to re-spool a reel than have to buy the whole outfit and then re-spool! I’ve decided to re-spool with 150 yards and more mono backing this time. I really gotta stop putting rods in that lake.

All in all, it was a great day with Doug, swapping fish stories and catching up on family and friends. I’m glad that he still comes with me after he’s chased 300 pound Bluefin. What a great fishing buddy!
image/jpeg Bait.JPG (2.34 MB)
image/jpeg Dougs First.JPG (2.30 MB)
image/jpeg My First.JPG (2.92 MB)
image/jpeg Doug's Second.JPG (2.10 MB)
image/jpeg Blue Flig.JPG (2.65 MB)
image/jpeg Big Flait.JPG (2.09 MB)
image/jpeg Fiesty Eater.JPG (3.93 MB)
image/jpeg Flait again.JPG (2.81 MB)
image/jpeg Doug's 11 Plus.JPG (2.05 MB)
image/jpeg 30 inches.JPG (2.97 MB)
image/jpeg Fligged again.JPG (3.22 MB)
image/jpeg Another eater.JPG (3.70 MB)
image/jpeg Final Fligger.JPG (3.37 MB)
(This post was edited by Piscophilic on Oct 3, 2018, 7:36 PM)
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Re: [Piscophilic] Fine Morning at Utah Lake - 9/20/2018 In reply to
Great report and pics and thanks for sharing your rod and reel recover story. Sounds like you had the bigger cats dialed in that day.

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Re: [wiperhunter2] Fine Morning at Utah Lake - 9/20/2018 In reply to
Thanks for the reply. I don't often see that many good fish in a day. I wish I knew what was "dialed in." Just glad when it happens.
(This post was edited by Piscophilic on Sep 24, 2018, 6:11 AM)
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Re: [Piscophilic] Fine Morning at Utah Lake - 9/20/2018 In reply to
LOL, yea I hear you, some days are a lot better than others, glad you got into them that day at least.

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Re: [Piscophilic] Fine Morning at Utah Lake - 9/20/2018 In reply to
Sounds like one of those fine days when things just work out right. Glad you were able to show your visiting dignitary a good time. And glad the fish voted for the fligs again.

I keep telling everybody...every year...that some of the biggest fish of the year start hitting as the temps drop in the fall. Something primeval about doing hand to fin combat with a big ol' whiskerfish.