Fishing & Ice Fishing

Fishing & Ice Fishing
Fishing & Ice Fishing in the Bear Lake Valley

Anglers come from miles around to enjoy the various fishing opportunities found in the Bear Lake valley. Bear Lake is home to a trophy cutthroat trout fishery where the Idaho State record cutthroat of 19 lbs. was caught. Lake trout also inhabit the lake and may grow to 30 lbs. Trolling and jigging from boats can be done throughout the year (winter and spring months being the most productive).

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There are four endemic fish species in Bear Lake: the Bonneville Cisco, the Bonneville Whitefish, the Bear Lake Whitefish, and the Bear Lake Sculpin. The January-February spawning run of the Bonneville Cisco draws fishing enthusiast who dip nets to capture the small swift fish.

Anglers also dunk worms, cast lures and float artificial flies on many of the area lakes, reservoirs, streams and creeks. Float tubes are especially popular at Montpelier Reservoir. The Montpelier Rearing Pond has easy access for small children and physically-challenged individuals who wish to fish.

The Idaho Fish & Game Take Me Fishing Trailer visits the Montpelier Rearing Pond a couple times a summer. Fishing gear for use by the public for free, fishing instruction, and if you register at the trailer— no fishing license is necessary!

Find Bear Lake Boat Ramps on our map
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Explore Pugstone Sporting’s Awesome Fishing Map of Bear Lake
Bear Lake Fishing Report

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources – Bear Lake Utah Hunting and Fishing information. Buy hunting and fishing licenses.

Idaho Fish and Game – Bear Lake Idaho Hunting and Fishing information. Buy hunting and fishing licenses. Idaho fishing license vendors.

Have you been fishing on Bear Lake?  Please take a moment and fill out this survey to help us collect valuable fishing information for Bear Lake.

Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing on Bear Lake in Utah and Idaho

Bear Lake is ice covered four out of five years and jigging for trout and whitefish is a favorite activity for those who brave the cold outdoors to fish.

Bear Lake has four species of fish that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, with the Bonneville Cisco being the most well known. They move in close to shore to spawn in mid January and can be dip-netted through the ice. Visit our Bear Lake Monster Winterfest page to learn more about Cisco fishing.

The Montpelier Reservoir is also a close place to go ice fishing. Located only minutes east of Montpelier, Idaho, active rainbow trout are the main attraction.

True Bear Lake Valley outdoor enthusiasts love and respect the wild resources that we have here. We welcome all hunters and anglers to come and enjoy, however, poachers are not welcome here! The Bear Lake valley is patrolled by both Utah and Idaho law enforcement and conservation officers. Poachers of our fish and game are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law in order to protect our natural resources. Eyes are everywhere and poaching misdeeds are reported to the local authorities. If you witness any poaching activities, please call Idaho Citizens Against Poaching at 1-800-632-5999, or the Utah Poaching Hotline at 1-800-662-DEER.

Bear Lake Fishing Report

Monday, July 2, 2022

Boats can be launched at the Utah State Park, First Point and Rainbow Cove ramps.  Water is getting a bit lower on the east side so when you launch at First Point and Rainbow Cove be aware that the ends of the concrete ramps at both locations can have a drop off.  Make sure you don’t drop your trailer tires over the edge so it becomes difficult to pull your boat/trailer back out.  This will also prevent costly damage to the trailer on larger boats!    

Surface water temperature is about 71 degrees and cutthroat and lake trout are staying deep.  Recent reports have shown anglers are catching fish trolling with jointed minnow lures in bright colors (yellows/oranges) in water 80-105’ deep using downriggers.  Try to keep your lure close to the bottom, or in some cases digging into the bottom.  Trolling from Swan Creek north to Fish Haven Creek has been one good spot along with trolling off the Cisco Beach/Rainbow Cove/Idaho State Park on the eastern shore of Bear Lake.  There is a lot of recreational boat traffic starting in the later morning, so fish from sunrise until about 11am. 

If you prefer to jig, try off the outside edges of the “rockpile” east of Ideal Beach resort in the early morning hours.  Once again, target fish in 80+ feet of water at this time of year.  Use a  1/2- to 1-ounce jig with a 4-6” tube, twister tail or swim bait tipped with a piece of cisco or other fish meat. Let the jig bounce right on the bottom and lifting up 12 to 18 inches. Many of the strikes happen when the lure is falling back to the bottom, so pay attention to your line. If you notice the lure/line stops sinking, set the hook and hold on!

Reminder: The trout limit is two fish. There is no longer a fin clip regulation for cutthroat trout so any cutthroat trout can be kept up to the two fish limit. Lake trout take a long time to reach a large size. While large lake trout are legal to keep, many anglers are encouraging other anglers to release them.  If you plan on releasing fish, try to land the fish quickly and then get the fish back into the water without any delays.  The warm surface water temperature is hard on the fish in the summer.  You may consider using a “descending device” which allows you to release the fish into the deeper, cooler water.

More information: If you’re looking for fishing information between the emailed reports, you’re welcome to call our Bear Lake office answering machine at 435-946-8501. We try to provide updated weather and fishing condition information as conditions change.  The next update will take place on Monday, February 14th.  Please call after 5 p.m.!

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
371 West Marina Dr.
Box 231
Garden City, UT  84028
(435) 946-8501 phone & fax

Where else can you get 365 days of fishing, fun, food and memories for just $34 (or get a combination license for just $4 more so you can fish and hunt)? Buy your license at