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Cold weather leads to hot fishing, says DWR
Dec 26, 2013 | 932 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CUTTHROAT TROUT like this one can be had at several fisheries, now that the water is starting to freeze.  
Photo by Brent Stettler | Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
CUTTHROAT TROUT like this one can be had at several fisheries, now that the water is starting to freeze. Photo by Brent Stettler | Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
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BY SHAIN GILLET

Clipper Sports Editor

WOODS CROSSIf the winter weather has anglers weary about drudging outside in the snow to catch fish, it shouldn’t be.

Winter, believe it or not, is the best time to catch fish, according to Drew Cushing, fisheries biologist for the Utah Department of Wildlife Services.

The creation of a cold ice layer by the winter conditions leads to more fish swimming to the surface, he said, which means more fish for any angler willing to tread out into the snow.

“You can set your watch by it,” Cushing said in a press release sent to the Clipper. “When ice starts to form, the fish get very active, and they’re eager to bite.”

Having the ice form over the water means anglers can fish from anywhere. Being allowed to venture out in areas usually unreachable during the warmer months gives the angler all the advantage, and because the fish are so active underneath, finding them shouldn’t be difficult either.

“Ice is the great equalizer,” said Cushing. 

Another advantage due to fishing license changes is the ability to fish with two holes and a pair of poles.

Earlier in the year, the DWR announced they plan to change its fishing laws to allow for one angler to have two fishing poles, but only one license.

The changes will take effect in July, provided they are approved in the 2014 legislative session.

Until then, DWR says if anglers fish with two poles, they’ll need two licenses.

For safety, Cushing warns that anglers should wait until the ice is at least four inches thick before venturing out onto it. 

Since the ice is usually thinner around the shore, anglers should drill a few test holes, testing for depth along the way.

If the initial holes are at least four inches thick, said Cushing, then the ice will likely be thicker.

It’s also a good idea to carry ice spikes, which will help anglers get out of the water in case they fall through.

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