Bear Lake has received some snow, but boat ramps continue to be plowed and sanded. There are now some ice chunks floating in the lake, so be cautious with boating. There is also some pack-ice around the outside of the State Park Marina, but it is still easy to get through at this time. Launching access is available at all boat ramps around the lake. Fishing for cutthroat trout and lake trout has been very good for anglers. Jigging has been better than trolling but both methods have been working well. If you are jigging, use tube jigs or swim baits in ½ to 1 ounce sizes and 3-6” long. Tip them with a piece of cisco, sucker meat or Gulp minnows and fish the jigs right on the bottom. Reliable colors are white, green and chartreuse. Hot spots have been on the “rockpile” in 45-65’ of water. If you are trolling, use downriggers with Rapalas in F9-F13 sizes and Dodgers with a squid or whole cisco. Hot spots have been off the “rockpile” and along Cisco Beach, and 1st and 2nd Points. Some anglers have been casting from shore off the marina and Cisco Beach and have been picking up a few cutthroat trout and lake trout. The fishing should remain good in these locations for the remainder of the winter. Cast large (#5-#6) spinners (such as Mepps or Blue Fox) or spoons and let the lure sink and try to retrieve it where it is running close to the bottom. Large articulated flies in white rabbit fur or a sculpin pattern will also work for those anglers using fly fishing equipment. Remember the trout limit is two fish and the whitefish limit is 10. Cutthroat trout with a healed fin clip may be kept; cutthroat trout with all fins intact must be immediately released. Large lake trout take a long time to reach large sizes, and while they are legal to keep, many anglers are encouraging other anglers to release them. (January 03, 2020)
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