Ice Fishing for Lake Trout Pups at Flaming Gorge

Thanks for tuning into KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle along with Rob Keith with the Wyoming Game and Fish and Rob we are at Flaming Gorge today. What are we after? We are after lake trout pups today. The small lake trout less than 28 inches. We’ve got way to many in the reservoir right now and we need people to help us harvest them. Alright, we brought lots of kids up to help you do that. Good, it’s a lot of fun catching these pups. Let’s go catch them. Alright.
Hey a little tip when you come ice fishing bring the kids, they love pulling the sleds. They just got nervous because they heard it crack.
So I drilled five holes today so I have a sonar that is going to be in the middle hole. I’ve got two lake trout holes and I’ve got two shallow holes. I’ll fish deep in the lake trout and I’ll fish ten to twenty feet under the ice in the shallow holes.
Then I’m going to set a couple of jaw jackers with tip ups would work for the last two rods out of the six that I can use. I hoping to get some burbot or some lake trout on those.
Walk backwards, walk backwards. Nice.
That was right on the bottom.
50-70 feet is a good depth range to be looking for the lake trout pups. At least when they are feeding that’s a good rule of thumb and then just look outside those depths if you are not finding them.
First fish of the day.
Right now and actually for over a decade now we’ve had way too many pups in the reservoir here. The fish we are catching today are anywhere from 18-24 inches. These fish are stunted compared to what they were back in the early 90’s. In the early 90’s an 8-9 year old fish was easily 30 inches maybe a little longer. Right now, the same 8-9 year old fish is 23 inches. So they are just not growing as fast.
Oh I missed him again. Dang it!
First one.
What did you get him with? This little yellow two and a half inch tube and a little piece of sucker meat.
So we need folks to come out, help, catch these little fish, and get them out of here. Take them home, they are great eating, especially this time of year.
We need to get these little fish out of here or we are not going to have the trophy component in 20 years from now. It’s a Friday but there’s got to be 60-70 people out here. This is great. So people are coming out. But there is still opportunity. Oh yeah and with the weather that has forecasted, the ice should crawl down reservoir and people just follow the safe ice and keep catching pups.
Oh he had it in his mouth and I blew it.
Oh he got him! Dog.
So that’s how you hook set? These little weak wrist hook sets don’t work? Oh man drive the steel to them buddy.
I can put it back in and you can reel it in the rest of the way. Ok.
What kind of structure should they look for. Especially depth and structure? I tend to look for is I’m looking for an area where there is a flat that goes out and meets the river channel and drops off abruptly. So you might be fishing a flat from 50-70 feet of water and then you go 30 yards away and you drop into a 100 foot or more of water. So you want to be on that flat? You want to be on that flat but adjacent to that deep water. Because the fish going to roll out of that deep water.
What we’re looking for.
And come out onto these flats to feed.
Get him? Yup. Oh good job.
I use tube jigs typically around 2-3 inch long, really vary the color. I’ve got white and green on now, but I’ve used a luminescent, clear body. I’ll use darker colors. A little bit of sucker meat on the jig.
Here he comes.
and I think a critical part is some kind of sonar, whether it be a flasher or one of the actual fish finders so you know when the fish is down there looking at your lure.
Oh! Missed him again. Dad you suck.
Should I let Adam reel this one in? Do you need some footage of Adam reeling in a fish. He might. It might be awhile.
Man we are getting our butts kicked. Ryan is out there catching a few and we are not doing anything. We haven’t caught much. But we are warm at least here in the tent. Yeah that’s true.

Oh! Got him? Yup. Nice. Finally! HOLY CRUD! That stinking fish only took ten minutes to hook, but we got him.
Welcome back to KSL Outdoors and beautiful Flaming Gorge.
Oh he’s a little guy, but he’ll work.
There’s been a lot of people out here. So I think anglers are going to find that as ice forms further down reservoir to hit those new ice areas and target those pup lake trout, even rainbow trout, burbot.
Good looking rainbow.
It’s going to be better on new ice.
And you like to see more anglers up here doing this. For sure. There is a lot of anglers that do target them through the ice. Ironically enough ice anglers are the ones more prone to harvest more lake trout.
Oh nice pull him back, very good. Nice! Good job.
It’s a good opportunity for kids to load up the dinner plate.
Biologist hope that anglers will respond to their call to come up and
Going to be a good eater. Catch these smaller lake trout, much like they have with the invasive burbot.
Next Friday, the Flaming Gorge Chamber of Commerce will once again host the annual Burbot Bash. Last years bash was the biggest yet.
Yeah it was a really good turnout last year.
9, 3, 0. Yes!
And I think we should see an even better turnout this year just because it was such a successful year last year and they hand out a lot of money. Yea, they do. That draws a lot of attention regardless of the people that are here to help out the resource and yeah if you are looking for a way to come out and target these burbot. We did a YouTube video that is like 9-10 minutes long, that shows you everything. It shows you everything. I send it out all the time whenever people call me. I get a lot of that this time of year, people calling and asking questions how to target burbot. Watch this Youtube video first..
Gary Yamamoto grubs, luminous white just hit them with a black light…
And then call me if you have any question and you know what. Nobody calls back.
We’ll put a link on our Facebook page and our if you are looking for that so if you are coming out for the Burbot Bash make sure to check that video out. It’s good information from Mosley and he’s done a lot of burbot fishing. Yup a little bit.
What did you see in the nets this year? We saw a big increase in burbot again. Unfortunately, a big increase in densities. What was really alarming we saw a big increase in the Utah portion of the reservoir. Where they almost tripled in abundance in the Utah portion.
When burbot were discovered in the Green River drainage, biologists knew they’d eventually have an impact on the fishery here at the gorge…
Oh, coach got one!
And they have.
Smallmouth bass are hurting on the Wyoming side. Because of the burbot. We’ve actually, starting Jan 1st we are going to catch and release only. On the Wyoming side for smallmouth. So no harvest for the foreseeable future.
There he is. Woo, that’s a good one.
Got to see him come up off the bottom. Look at the jig and I saw it just barely twitch and then I waited for it to barely twitch again and I set the hook.
Hey we are with Colton Christenson with Christenson lake shore tackle. A lot of people think of you guys your company as kokanee tackle but I just found out you do rods to. We do, we do seven different glow rods. All for ice fishing. All for ice fishing. We designed them for specifically burbot, but we use them for rainbows, perch. We’ve got ultra light all the way up to your heavy rods.
We are looking at coming out with a bunch more ice fishing gear. We have some lures we are designing right now for ice fishing and we may see a tent here on the way soon. Very cool. So if people want to find your rods. Where do they look? They can look at Sportman’s Warehouse and a lot of smaller outlets, they can also find us on-line at
I look forward to this all year. You can come catch somedays catch a lot of fish, good sized and they are perfect for the smoker. I take all of these home, put them in a brine and smoke them and the whole family enjoys them.
Little guy huh? Not as big as the ones Ryan has been catching. Or not as slimy as the ones I’ve been putting in the hole. That’s true. But, are you hungry? Yes. Want to go cook some fish? Yes.

Welcome back to KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle here with Ryan Mosley. Ryan you’ve had my family over many times and we’ve caught kokanee and lake trout and we’ve cooked them up and everyone in my family eaten them except for Taylor. But, your recipe is so good, I think today, she’ll even eat them. She might. You know I actually just got her to eat some of my smoked lake trout dip and she actually downed it. I saw that. I was actually impressed. I had to tie her shoes to get her to eat. So, smoked lake trout, you can obviously smoke it, they are great smoked. Oh they are awesome smoked! You can grab like a chunk of this, it’s fantastic. Or make this great dip that you have here, that’s half gone. A lot more palatable, it’s already half gone. I’m not going to say who ate that. It was Jared, not me. Fantastic this way to. But, your recipe that I’ve had numerous times, just on the BBQ grill and it’s always good, everybody ate it, except for Taylor. So we are going to get her to eat it today. Show me how to do it. Ok, alright the first thing. I’ve already oiled these fillets right here. Just some olive oil right? Just some olive oil, you can also do melted butter, mix in a little honey. I’m going to season them with a little lemon pepper. Now somebody forgot one of the ingredients. What was it? That would be garlic salt. Yeah. That’s actually a key ingredient. I wasn’t going to mention it. Somebody forgot it. I wasn’t going to mention it on camera anyway. So bring garlic salt, don’t forget garlic salt. Then what are you throwing on there now. I have some Italian bread crumbs here. Now I’ve noticed you like these for kokanee and lake trout. All of it. I do, it’s fantastic. A lot of times like when I’m telling you I’m feeding you kokanee, it’s actually lake trout. I figured. It’s that simple. That simple. When I put this on the grill. I’m actually putting it flesh side down. I char it real quick and then I finish it off on the skin side down. Alright let’s go hit the grill.
Alright so I’ve got the Camp Chef two burner Explorer, it’s all cranked up. It says 550 degrees. I don’t know that’s pretty hot. Oh, yeah that’s pretty hot. These are really simple right? Right, all we are going to do is flash them real quick flesh side down first. Why do you do that? I like that charred grilled taste in them. We put a little olive oil on the grill so they wouldn’t stick. Yea exactly and they’ve got olive oil on the flesh to, so. Yup, we are just going to leave that down for a minute or two and then we’ll flip them skin side down and they’ll finish until they flack. Pretty easy. Well if I’m doing it, it’s real easy. What do you normally do? We brought some salad. What would you normally do with something like this? My wife does noodles salads, bake potato, scalloped potatoes, different things. I’m not real particular about it, the fish is good in itself. Yeah, there is all different kinds of sides you can do with it. I noticed you took out the bones above the ribs, so there is no bones. I do, take those laterals out. Those don’t really bother me, they are not big bones, but they bother people so I take them out.
Yeah beautiful. Taylor since you are our non-fish eater in our family. Here we go. A little lemon and one little bite right? You can do it. Oh yeah so done Ryan. Take a bite, honest truth, take a bite. That’s not that bad. That’s not bad? Not that bad. But you are not going to eat this whole fillet. No. That’s good, more for us. Get out of here. Get out of here! Hey these are a great fish to come catch and as we’ve shown, I enjoy them. They are a good fish to eat. They are phenomenal fish to eat. Yeah and I feed them to my family all the time, I eat them all the time. Look at me, I’m normal. Semi. Yeah right. Hey we’ll have more here as we dine on these beautiful lake trout in a moment, but first down a different trail in tonight’s Utah Field Guide.
In addition to the Burbot Bash at Flaming Gorge next week. There’s also the Fish Lake Perch Tournament going on Saturday the 21st from eight to two. Last year more than eighteen hundred anglers caught nearly thirty five thousand yellow perch. Biologists hope that thinning the abundant perch population will help the newly introduced kokanee salmon thrive. So if you can’t make the Bash, head on up to Fish Lake next Saturday and win some prizes.
To get you ready for the Burbot Bash or the Fish Lake Perch Tournament, our friends over at Fish Tech Outfitters are holding a free ice fishing seminar next Wednesday from seven to eight thirty at the store. There you’ll get some tips for ice fishing and meet up with some of the most knowledgeable ice anglers in Utah. Mickey Anderson from Fish Tech and James Bradshaw from Maniac Custom Lures will be on hand to answer your questions and give you some tips and techniques to ensure you and your family are successful this year. For more information log onto our KSL Outdoors page at
Well the fishing has been tough for me today. Kind of getting my butt kicked, but at least the weather is nice. If you do bring your kids out, bring some sunscreen, some sunshades, it’s actually pretty bright out here. Hey let’s check that recreation forecast now by turning it over to the guys and gals in the weather department.

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