Great Lake: The lake is currently in very good condition, especially if you plan to fish the high traffic areas. Ice averages 8-15 inches across the lake. The area in front of the pump chute can be very dangerous as the water comes out of Shadow Mountain, so please use extra caution in this area.
Rainbows and browns have been eager to hit a well-presented tungsten jig in the shallows very early in the morning. CLAM Pro Tackle’s Drop Kick and Caviar machines have been a pretty solid bet for this year. Concentrate your efforts in 5-12 feet of water, and as the day warms up, slide into deeper water and use a flashier type of rig like a small spoon.
Lake trout are still making typical Grand Lake presentations. Small tubes and grub type rigs have been very good of late in the 30-60 foot range. If fishing for lake trout in deeper water, keep an eye out for suspended fish. Late in the season it is not uncommon to see fish suspended in depths over 100 feet deep.
Williams Fork: Some areas still have some mud on top of the ice and are difficult to navigate when traveling on foot. The lake is about 44% of capacity, so regular walks are a bit longer than in previous years. Fishing for all species except lake trout has been pretty slow for us lately.
Late trout are very hungry and have been hitting small grub-style rigs like a Simcoe bug when they approach with a small piece of sucker meat. Again, load this template with a little crayfish or shrimp scent for best results. We are focusing our efforts in 40-70 feet of water right now for hungry lakers.
Lake Granby: With recent sub-zero temperatures and lighter snow storms mixed in with some very strong winds, the lake is starting to firm up pretty well. There are still some very problematic, muddy and wet areas around the center of the lake so please use extreme caution, the mud monster is not 100% gone yet. The black ice is an average of 8 to 12 inches below the frozen slush layer that is about 14 inches thick right now.
The rainbows and browns are starting to pile up in the entry areas. As soon as the runoff starts, these will be great areas to concentrate. Right now, the key to rainbows is to fish early and stay as calm as possible on the ice. Small tipped jigs with a wax worm are the best fishing. Lake trout continue to produce quite well, even as we approach spring. We are still finding fish at almost every depth in the lake. With high water this year, pay close attention to shoreline features and structure for an early morning bite in the shallows. As the day progresses, we move into deeper water in search of the numbers that appear.
If you find a fish right now, you’ll usually find a whole bunch. About 40-50 feet of water has been producing the best for us. JCP grubs and small tubes have been our top producers in more “natural” colors. When fishing for these lake trout, don’t forget to load that jig with some smelt and tip them with a very small piece of sucker meat no bigger than a fingernail. Many of our fish have been chasing baits up to 15 inches off the bottom, and it’s a lot of fun when you can get them to bite in those conditions.