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). Read the latest Bear Lake Fishing Report.

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
Find Fishing License Vendors and Gear Stores
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.

Ice Fishing

Cisco Fishing in Bear Lake in Garden City Utah
Cisco Fish Caught in Bear Lake
Cisco Fish Caught in Bear Lake

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. 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.

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.

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.

CAUTION TO POACHERS!
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

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Water levels are dropping but boats can be launched at all boat ramps that are on the Utah side of the lake (Bear Lake State Park marina, First Point, and Rainbow Cove)  You can also launch boats at the inlet structure in Idaho at the very north end of the lake at the Idaho State Park.  Surface water temperature is 73 degrees at this time. 

Fishing has been fair for cutthroat trout and even a few lake trout.  Anglers are doing best trolling parallel to shore on the east side of the lake from 1st Point to the scout camp and from South Eden up to Cisco Beach.  Start trolling in about 60’ of water and keep moving deeper until you locate active fish.  Use Rapalas, crankbaits with rattles and flatfish trolled with downriggers close to the bottom.  Also, dodgers with a squid tipped with nightcrawler has produced consistently. 

There has been little angler pressure by jigging, so we do not have an updated report on that method.  Once you find some active fish, keep circling around that area to stay on the bite. 

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.  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.    

Garden City Community Fishery Pond

This pond has been stocked with rainbow trout and wipers.  The water has been pretty full with a good flow of water going through the pond.  The fishing should be good for rainbow trout with worms under a bobber or casing with small spinners.  Don’t overlook casing wooly buggers using a fly rod or cast with a fly behind a bubble.  Please use the self-service creel cards and let the UDWR know how you did fishing. 

Laketown Reservoir

Laketown Reservoir has had fair good fishing and water level is about a foot below full.  During the heat of the summer, water levels can drop and pond weeds make it difficult to fish.  It has been stocked with rainbow trout and cutthroat trout brood fish (3 pounders) as well. Road conditions to the reservoir are very good after improvements made last fall.  Cast small spinners or spoons tipped with meal worms or night crawlers.  Green or brown wooly buggers are also a good bet at this time of year.  There are no services at Laketown Reservoir, so PLEASE clean up after yourself.  It is even a good idea to bring along a small trash bag and pick up any other litter you may see.  If you do fish, don’t forget to use the self-service creel cards and let the UDWR know how you did fishing. 

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 wildlife.utah.gov.