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Bear Lake Whitefish Run

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Bear Lake Whitefish Run
Just wondering when you typically start fishing bear lake.


I researched this forum and saw December 6th and December 18yh with confirmed catches. I want to take a weekday off work but would hate to waste it.

Thanks!
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Re: [Uncle_Arnie] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Every year is a little different...depending on water levels, water temps, weather patterns, etc. But traditionally the whities start showing up right after Thanksgiving. The historic best fishing happens the first and second week of December. After that it can dwindle slowly until about the end of December.


During the whitefish run there can also be some good shallow water fishing for cutts and macks. Those fish will hit a lot of the same things you use for whitefish but if you want to target them, use spoons, crankbaits or plastics...tubes or twisters...with a bit of worm or cut bait on them.



Attaching my writeup on the Bonneville Whitefish. Hope it helps.

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Re: [Uncle_Arnie] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
The most difficult part of blindly scheduling a day, will be picking a day when the weather doesn't blow you off the lake... Seems like I like to pick wavy days... but like Pat said first part of December is usually when it starts to get good, we have made several pearl harbor day runs in the past and did well... But I have rode over to the lake several times and not been able to fish and had to turn around and go back to Hyrum to fish.. When you can hit things right, it's a really fun run to fish, but it's not easy to have all the stars align, at least for me... Good luck... Jeff
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Re: [Uncle_Arnie] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Thank you both for the replies!

It gets so tough in the wind moving a 16th oz jig across the bottom. Tried it in powell just for practice and a few blue gills bailed me out. Doubtful I'll get that lucky with the illusive white fish.


I think I'll plan for the first week of december and just keep an eye on the weather.

Thanks again!
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Re: [Uncle_Arnie] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Plan for the first week of December sometime (by the 5th it has typically been in full swing in past years) and watch the weather report for Garden City and if you pick a day that shows 5-10 mph winds or less then you should be safe to plan for it.

We use 1/8 oz jigs and on occasion 1/4 ounce jigs to keep in constant contact with the bottom and it helps with the wind or small waves. 1/8 oz seems to be the best overall. 1/16 are what I use if it is dead calm and I don't need to cast far. I use 6 pound fluorocarbon leader on 10 pound braid or nanofill. Use a double uni knot to attach the leader and not a swivel. 6 pound mono works just as well. Heavier than that and you will be handicapping yourself.

Keep your jigs within 3" of the bottom and make sure you are bouncing bottom with each jig. Don't jig too hard or high or you will be wasting your time, think twitching, not jigging.

We use small red and green tubes, white tubes, pink tubes, etc...or 2.5" black shad gulp minnows tipped with a smidge of worm. We fish anywhere that has 3-6" diameter cobble on the bottom in 10-15 feet of water. Good spots are 1st point, 2nd point, Cisco beach, and just off of the marina sometimes.

If you want to target some nice cutthroats and maybe a few lakers then casting spoons, spinners, or larger jigs will almost always get you into a few. Trolling works awesome too, but you tick off the other guys that are still fishing in boats if you troll back and forth close to them. Also, if you have an I-troll or auto-pilot, do not use it to try to keep on the fish. It will scare them away for about 75-100 yards most times. Use an anchor to stay on a spot once you've settled on one. The electric motor scares the whitefish off believe it or not.

If you have a small boat then I recommend you launch as close to your fishing spot as possible and be ready to get off the lake if it looks like a storm is moving in. If it is a larger heavy water capable boat then you should be fine to launch from the State Park marina and go anywhere you want. Launch ramps are at the marina, 1st point, Cisco beach and rainbow cove.

I am the local fire chief up here in Garden City and we do lots of boat rescues due to people getting caught off guard by the weather. If you fish Powell then you probably already know the drill. Be prepared for rough conditions just in case they show up, but don't think it's always rough because it is usually quite nice and fishable in the mornings.

I fish the lake most weeks and will report as soon as I start seeing whitefish show up. Enjoy your visit up here and be safe!

Mike
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Re: [gmwahl] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Thank you for the detailed answer Mike! I'll keep an eye out for your post.
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Re: [gmwahl] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Lots of good details as usual, Mike. I'm just not sure what sizes of boats you are talking about. I have a 17.5' Tracker with a 90 hp outboard. Is that a big or little boat? I would like to come up but am leery of big, heavy water.

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"Blessings upon all that hate contention, and love quietness, and virtue, and Angling." - Izaak Walton
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Re: [gmwahl] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
gmwahl wrote:

Also, if you have an I-troll or auto-pilot, do not use it to try to keep on the fish. It will scare them away for about 75-100 yards most times. Use an anchor to stay on a spot once you've settled on one. The electric motor scares the whitefish off believe it or not.

I sure wish that I would have remembered that on the one trip I took my boat up there, after whitefish, last year. That was a big mistake on my part and it will never happen again.


"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago."
- Zane Grey
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Re: [catchinon] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
If you know what you're doing then a 17.5' tracker should be plenty ok if you have a high enough freeboard, but if it were me I would only make a cross lake run with that boat this time of year if you know it's a fairly nice day. That boat can take 2 1/2' waves I'm sure, but if we get a northern howler or winds from the northeast then the waves can stack up to 4 or more feet with close troughs and that would be very dangerous indeed to be out in an open bow boat in those conditions. In that situation my advise to people is to beach the boat and risk the damage rather than fight a 7 mile run across the lake from the east side to the marina. Luckily you can see that weather coming most times and can make it back with nothing more than a bumpy, wet ride. My cautions are meant mostly for those who aren't very experienced with big, rough water or those with 12-16' aluminum boats.

There is no need at all to be scared of Bear Lake, but respecting its potential is a wise idea. If any of you guys feel like you need some guidance on the Big Blue, then you can get hold of me when you are up here and I'd be more than happy to line you out on good fishing spots and how to fish in the weather that throws a curve ball at you.

I guess I may seem OVERLY cautious, but I love seeing our visitors get the most enjoyment out of their trips up here and I'm not too keen on responding to them in emergencies and seeing them harmed by our beautiful, but unforgiving weather.

Mike
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Re: [kentofnsl] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Hey Kent,

Ya, it really does make a difference and can shut the bite down for everyone in the immediate area. It usually takes about an hour for the fish to come back in. Our local fisheries biologist can attest to this as well and he's the best I've ever seen at catching these fish.

Mike
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Re: [gmwahl] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Thanks again everyone. Pat - your .pdf is exceptional quality. Mike - I'll be in touch as it grows closer.

Be safe out there everybody!

Thanks!
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Re: [gmwahl] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
gmwahl wrote:


Ya, it really does make a difference and can shut the bite down for everyone in the immediate area. It usually takes about an hour for the fish to come back in.


I don't doubt this at all, but puzzling why motoring to an area (before anchoring up), with the main outboard, doesn't also shut the fishing down for, "about an hour".


"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago."
- Zane Grey
(This post was edited by kentofnsl on Nov 21, 2019, 8:47 AM)
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Re: [kentofnsl] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Kent, I have no idea why.....for the life of me I can't figure it out, but it does make a difference. Maybe it's the frequency or sound that the electric motor puts out....I don't know. I've noticed when we use our electric motor it shuts it off for a bit and we don't have an autopilot, just a transom mount trolling motor.

Mike
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Re: [gmwahl] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Hey Mike I'm hoping for a better year this time, and hope to see ya up there for at least one trip... Looks like some weather coming in around Thanksgiving, so maybe that next weekend will be a good one for me to start on, unless I come during the week... How is the water level this year? I know at different levels it makes different spots better than others... Is this one of those years when that area off Gus' might be good? If so I might try it in my toon again... Thanks for all your info, you really put out the full story on how to catch them, that's sure appreciated... Thanks Jeff
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Re: [SkunkedAgain] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Hey Jeff,

The lake level is up about a foot higher than last year, so that means plenty of habitat to hunt the whities in. Gus's point is hit or miss, but it's close if you can't make a long boat run. It should be ok.

The weather is bound to throw us a curve ball....always does. I sure hope you can time it for a good weather day and when you do, let me know if you're headed over and I may be able to swing it to get out there with ya.

I'll be at your folks place hunting pheasants on the 5th, so I'm pretty sure that the 6th I'll be on the water. It should be prime then.

Mike
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Re: [gmwahl] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
There are 2 apps that you should be using for wind information - Windfinder & Windy. I have both on my phone AND computer. They are great tools and can save you that long drive for nothing Jeff. Wink

Click on either picture below for a larger view.

Windfinder:




Windy:


Invaluable tools year round for fishing - provided you have cell phone coverage or internet access. Doesn't work in the remote areas of Lake Powell but can give you an idea of what to expect when you get there.


Smile
Bob Hicks, from Utah
I'm 77 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
Free men don't ask permission to bear arms. - Glen Aldrich
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter dont mind. - Dr. Seuss
(This post was edited by dubob on Nov 20, 2019, 6:00 AM)
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Re: [dubob] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Thanks Bob Ill check those out. I found that it can be calm at 6:00 and by the time I get there the wind is up to 10 mph and 2 swales. Hopefully they are getting better on predicting future wind speeds. Thanks Jeff
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Re: [gmwahl] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Thanks Mike,
Good info... I was really wanting to be there on the 6th, but I have to make a SLC run for my MIL hospital check up so I know I won't be there that day... Hope you guys have a good bird shoot this year... Sounds like Dad is about out of birds, but he bought some more to make sure he could finish you guys and some others out this year... Makes a difference when you try to cut down numbers, but a thousand birds... I think he's been wishing he would have kept the numbers up, but I'm sure when it turns winter he'll be happier if he can go fishing with me instead of trying to hide pheasants in snowed under habitat.. Anyway I hope to see ya on the pond sometime during the run... One of these days I need to watch you close enough to see how you do it... I haven't watched Scott fishing but if you say he's the best, he must be good, because I think you're pretty amazing when I've fished around you... Later Jeff
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Re: [gmwahl] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Okay, Here is another question. I have a State Parks pass so I can park and launch at the State Park on the west side and run across to fish the east side. I know there is parking on the east side near the launches at Cisco and First Point. Is there a charge at these launches? Does the State Parks pass work there as well, or is it a different charge?

Next question, I will be coming from Provo, so if the weather is not great, I think I like the route through Evanston. Is there an issue dragging a boat into Wyoming and then back into Utah?

Thanks for any light you guys can shed on these questions.

John
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Re: [brookie] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
brookie wrote:

Okay, Here is another question. I have a State Parks pass so I can park and launch at the State Park on the west side and run across to fish the east side. I know there is parking on the east side near the launches at Cisco and First Point. Is there a charge at these launches? Does the State Parks pass work there as well, or is it a different charge?

Yes, your Utah State park pass also works on the east side ramps.

brookie wrote:


Next question, I will be coming from Provo, so if the weather is not great, I think I like the route through Evanston. Is there an issue dragging a boat into Wyoming and then back into Utah?

I almost always drive through Evanston pulling my boat this time of year. I do this because, although it is a little longer, it takes me the same amount of time to drive there as opposed to going through Logan and there are far fewer curves. This time of year, I have never found the boat-checking station open in Evanston. If I did find it open, I would stop and explain where I was headed.


"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago."
- Zane Grey
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Re: [kentofnsl] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Thanks Kent, I think I am about ready to make the trip. Now just to wait for good reports and weather.
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Re: [brookie] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Man it's only a little over a week out, so it could start getting good soon... Plus I'll be the trout show up before the whities do, so it could be getting better soon... Good luck and let us know how you do... Later Jeff
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Re: [SkunkedAgain] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
That "little over a week" sounds good. I have Wed, Dec 4th off work - if the stars align and we have good weather along with a good fishing report I am on it. If not I will just have to watch and wait. Haven't really fished much since the end of August when we finished with the Kokanee. So I am really ready.
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Re: [SkunkedAgain] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Well, I haven't been out for the last week, but one of my buddies has been out almost every day and the last couple of times he's been out he has jigged up a whitefish. They are probably going to be running by thanksgiving this year.

Mike
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Re: [brookie] Bear Lake Whitefish Run In reply to
Hey Mikes report sounds even better, if the weather allows your timing might be perfect. Im thinking serious about taking a day off that week as well. I may see you there. Later Jeff
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