Well I spent 3 days this week down in Utah Valley attending the yearly Moab conference (Moab Con 2011). Not moab as in the location in utah but moab the high performance computing scheduler (and more)... Anyway that's why this post is 'after the fact' instead of more 'real time'....
Well not really going to post much about the conference, as this is my fishing blog... The connection is the conference was just up the street from the Utah Lake State Park, Provo Harbor. So Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after I finished up with the daily activities at the conference I headed down to the harbor to test things out.
With how the weather has been I didn't set my expectations high. Mostly due to lower temps, though each day was forecasted to get warmer and warmer. Though also due to the unusual spring we are having resulting in higher, muddier, and colder water flow the Provo River is dumping into Utah Lake. In a way these three days were nothing more then diversions and a simple attempt to asses how things were on the lake for white bass.
Tuesday: Erik joined me this day at the harbor. We parked along the south side near the small boat launch point into the river. We started moving out west along the south dike fishing both into the river flow as well as into the outer harbor see if anything was interested. The wind was blowing some, enough to conflict with good casting bot not enough to shut us down.
After getting all the way down the south dike without anything we headed back to try further up the river toward the bridge at the entrance to the park. Nothing still... We then move then drove out of the park for one last try along the river up further from the park entrance. We found a reasonable spot to try and spent a bit there without any action. So with a bit of the stinky skunk in the air we called it a day and headed home.
Wednesday: I was by myself on Wednesday. I went back down and parked again near the small boat launch along the south dike into the river. It was warmer and less windy then the day before. So I had higher hopes... One of my first few casts into the river rewarded with me a tell tell tug tug that felt like a white bass. I had cast into the river up stream from me on the shore line. As I brought the jig down along the rocky shore the fish hit. I figured it first for a bump of a rock that I knew I might drag into so near to the shore. However the fish tugged back and did a little jump and spit my jig out. It was enough to encourage me to spend a while in the area in hopes there might be a school. Well a while later and no further takers... So I moved on down along the dike.
Along the way I started to notice the carp in the outer harbor where I could see them patrolling the shore and occasionally they would jump or just run their backs up and break the surface. I started to watch for "social gathering" where the carp gather up together and poke their noses out of the water. Found a gathering near the bend where the dike turns north. Flipped out the jig just past them and brought it back through them and thump one of them was on! Oddly enough I was using my newer 5' ultra light pole with 4# test on it. That had not cross my mind until I was working on this carp. Well drag was set well so I figured it was a fight best won by just wearing the carp out. Well it took a bit of time but I did manage to get the carp into the rocks along the shore where I could reach it (no net with me). Measured at 23.5", didn't have my scale with me to get a weight. Dropped him up on the dirt near my tackle bag and chalked a score for some catfish cut bait.
Called it quites shortly after that and packed up my stuff and put the bait (carp) on a stick and headed back. Though the thoughts of what others watching might be thinking as I packed my carp out had me laughing to myself.... Though regardless of what others think carp still put up a good fight and thats fun to be had!
Thursday: Erik was able to join me again this day. We headed down earlier in the day as the conference ended just after noon. Based on the carp fun from the day before we headed out and parked in the same area again and as before we headed west along the south dike. We fished again both into the river flow as well as into the outer harbor. I was a bit more focused on the outer harbor side looking for carp to fight with. I came more prepared today with my heavier pole and slightly higher test line, 6#. I did not see any gatherings to target right off but I was seeing the carp swim around solo and in small groups of 2-3. I spent much of my time trying to get a jig to them but did not hook up on any of them. Erik was mostly working the river flow and possibly having a laugh or two at my expense for the effort I was putting out for the carp.
Well we got the the bend to the north in the dike and started down that length. That is when we spotted a shallow flat bottom boat out on the west side of the dike. It looked like the boat was pulling in a gill net. I did not see, though we were too far to read, any obvious markings to say the boat was something official or not. So we just watched it as we moved north along the dike. As we got close enough to see there were two people working the boat pulling in the gill nets. The nets did not have as many fish in them as I would have thought. Though I don't know how long they were out there. The few fish we saw them pull up looked to be "golden" in color so we were figuring carp or suckers. That pretty much said they were part of the June Sucker Recover Program. Well they finished up and we moved down and fished into the lake water just past where they had been working the nets. After a few minutes Erik hooked up on a white bass. The only for fish for the day. One could say that each day did in fact get better and better... ;)
Well we packed up our stuff and started the walk back. As we neared the vehicle we saw the same boat that was running the nets up against the shore near the small boat launch into the river flow. There was DWR stocking truck there and they were filling up large tubs of water in the boat. As we got close they started to net big scoop of fish from the stocking truck and transfer them into the tubs in the boat. I walked up and joined a few others that were watching. One of the workers came over and spoke a bit with us letting us know they were planting june suckers to help in the recovery. We were told they don't just dump them in at one point as the walleye home in on them and eat many of them up. So they instead use the boat to distribute them around the lake for better survivability. Here are a few pics I took.
Well that pretty much wraps up the multi day event. Not much catching but still got the chance to do a bit of fishing which is always a good thing!