Bear Lake is entirely open water and surface water temperature is 47 degrees. Launching access is available at the Utah State Park marina, First Point, Cisco Beach and Rainbow Cove boat ramps where courtesy docks are in the water. The spring runoff has raised the lake level just over 2 feet from its lowest point last fall. The current elevation is 5918.5 feet. Runoff should continue for at least another month.
The cutthroat trout have started their spawning run up the tributary streams. The spawn will last through the middle of June. Fish that have not spawned will likely not be eating, once they spawn and return to the lake, they will begin feeding heavily. The UDWR also stocked 170,000 cutthroat trout into the lake this past week. The larger cutthroat trout that are feeding will be eating some of the stocked fish. Therefore, try trolling or casting with minnow-type lures in the shallower water. The stocked fish will quickly disperse throughout the lake but some of the best spots to try right now are off the Bear Lake State Park marina northward to Fish Haven Creek in Idaho. Terrestrial insects are becoming more abundant and the cutthroat trout will key in on these throughout the morning and evening hours off the mouths of South and North Eden canyons, where they are blown out onto the surface of the lake with the canyon winds.
Most anglers have been trolling but some are jigging. When jigging, start in depths of 50 to 65 feet, depending on location. Use tube jigs or swim baits in ½ to 1-ounce sizes and 3 to 6-inches long tipped with cisco, sucker meat or Gulp minnows. Reliable colors are white, green and chartreuse. When trolling use minnow type lures, flatfish, and dodgers with a squid. Troll with lures off downriggers, close to bottom, watch your sonar for suspended fish that may be active at this time of year. The water is still very cold; trolling flat lines far behind the boat with crankbaits can be productive.
Remember the trout limit is two fish. Cutthroat trout with a healed fin clip may be kept; cutthroat trout with all fins intact must be immediately released. (May 17, 2019)