Thanks for tuning into KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle along with my baby here, 7 year old Ethan. What are we doing today? Going ice fishing. That’s right we are going ice fishing. Every year just before Christmas the kids and I always try and get out ice fishing. Well they had to go to school today. You got to sluff school huh? Lucky you. Hey we are going to meet up with my good friend Kevin Phillips, we are going to talk about some ice fishing here in Central Utah.
Let’s go get on the ice. Are you ready to go catch a fish? Alright let’s do it.
Our destination is one of Utah’s most popular tiger trout fisheries, Huntington Reservoir.
Alright you got the shovel? You lead the way. Let’s go get some fish. Oh, there is a lot of snow.
We arrived just after sunup to whiteout conditions, but luckily we’re prepared.
There’s a foot out here! Oh easy, that’s what I was thinking.
Joining us is an old friend of mine Kevin Phillips.
(KEVIN PHILLIPS, Huntington Angler) I met you here we were thinking it’s been 9 years ago with old Reece Stein. Yeah, old Reece, good guy, great guy. He was a lot of fun. Back then, we saw you were fishing with a handline in the snow and it was freezing cold and you are doing it again. Yeah. Why is that Kevin? What is it about the handline? Love to handline for ice fishing.
Actually how I got started doing it was getting down and watching the fish in the hole at Joe’s Valley fishing for Splake.
Kevin is a retired coal miner who moved to Utah from Kentucky nearly three decades ago. He fell in love with Utah and the fishing opportunity here and now that he’s retired, that’s what he does. He fishes and he’s dang good at it.
There what is? already! I haven’t even got my tent set up. little dark ones. (fish release) just a small one.
I like to start off on the bottom and then just jig the heck out of it for a little bit and raise it up if you don’t get bit until you find the depth you think they are hanging.
There he is, little one. (fish on ice)
Just a small tiger. 12-13 inch. (fish release) pretty little fish. get out here.
I just got my tent set up and you already caught a fish or two. What’s the deal? What am I doing wrong? (k) Uh like you said you had a heavier jig. That could be a lot to do with it. I use 1/16th ounce up here and mainly that’s all I use. you know is small.
And today we are finding nightcrawlers it seems like. yeah, nightcrawler is hard to beat. the tail end of a nightcrawler, it’s lively. it’s hard to beat.
Take your time reel slow. Good job buddy, your first tiger here huh? uh huh. there you go. Ok when he gets close, now just slowly bring him up. Oh nice fish, that’s a good one Ethan! That’s a pretty tiger, ok put the line down. Wow!
Will you give me a hundred dollars if I kiss the fish?
I’ll give you lunch. How is that? Lunch? If he does I want to kiss it to. Kevin says if you are kissing it, he is kissing it too. What do you think of that? Pretty fish huh? Should we put him back to see if we can get a bigger one? No.
The limit here at Huntington is four tiger trout. The reservoir is closed to the possession of cutthroat trout or any trout with cutthroat markings. Distinguishing between a tiger and a cutt is pretty easy. Tiger trout have dark vermiculations, almost like tiger stripes, much like the brook trout has. all over a brownish, gray body.
He was up off the bottom 8 or 10 feet and that’s a nice little 16 inch tiger trout. That’s a pretty tiger and that’s what we are after right there. (fish release) Nice little. Well actually I’m not after. I’m after the 18-21 inchers. but I may have to settle for the 16 you know.