KSL Outdoors:Sand Hollow State Park

(Adam) “Welcome to KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle. For the next four weeks we are going to divide the state into four regions. NE, NW, SE, and SW. Our goal is to show you some places, where you might take your family out and get them into the outdoors this summer. Tonight, we are kicking it off in SW Utah at Sand Hollow State Park.”

Officially opening in 2003, Sand Hollow State Park is a favorite destination for local ATV enthusiasts. Located just outside the town of Hurricane, the park was built near Sand Mountain which provides about 15,000 acres of perfectly sculpted dunes.

The red sand is an incredible backdrop for the parks main feature, Sand Hollow Reservoir.

(Brian Thatcher, West Jordan ATV Enthusiast) “Go hang out on the beach when it gets hot, go play in the water, you don’t need a boat. Which is kind of nice. Then you can turn around and go ride the four wheelers in the sand and tear it up, up there. After that, go back to the beach and ride along on the beach, it’s the best of both worlds.”

Sand Hollow is also one of the most visited state parks in Utah. Last May, forty two thousand people visited the park, the most of any other state park in Utah during that same period.

The Park has developed campgrounds with RV hookups, modern restrooms, even showers. Primitive camping is also allowed in some areas. But what if you don’t own an ATV or a boat?

Well you don’t need to. A new concession is opening up, aptly named “the Beach at Sand Hollow.” They will have rentals for the water and the sand.

(Gavin Gordon, Manager “the Beach” at Sand Hollow) “For the sand dunes we have the razors, the four seater razor, then we have wave runners, wake boarding boats, ski boats, fishing boats, kayaks, paddle boards, we are going to have all that stuff ready this summer.”

Gavin says, they are already renting boats and ATV’s, the shop and a restaurant that are under construction right now, should be ready by June.

(Adam) and the reservoir is fast becoming one of the best largemouth and bluegill fisheries in the state. So, tonight we are going to go out with local fisherman, Mark Somyak, with Rippin’ Lips Baits. How has it been going. (mark) it’s a little breezy today, but we are going to give it a whirl, see what happens. The big fish are eating, so it’s that time of year. (adam) let’s go rip some lips. (mark) Let’s go.

(Mark Somyak) “alright.” (nats taking off)

Sand Hollow Reservoir is not a huge lake, about thirteen hundred acres, but the largemouth in here are some of the biggest in the state.

(Mark) “Alright there is a little channel back here, it’s the warmest water on the lake. Which is what we need right now because it’s a little chilly today.”

The water temperature is right around 62 to 63 degrees, the bass are coming shallow to spawn and it makes perfect conditions for sight fishing. Mark and Mike’s favorite technique for these huge bucket mouths.

(cast) (mark) “I know there is a big one in here, we’ve just got to try and get her to eat.”

(mark) “Oh there she is dude, there she is.” (mike) “Where?” (mark) “Right here, you got that go pro.”

Seeing the fish is one thing, catching them is another. This big hen is not interested in Mark and Mike’s offerings, but they keep after her.

(Adam) oh he got her, oh you dog. (mark) see how you are. (adam) I love it. (fish splash)

(MArk) she’s not as big as I thought but still she’s pretty. Awesome. (mike Rennie, Las Vegas Fisherman) she choked that senko didn’t she. (laughs)

(Mark Somyak, Rippin’ Lips Baits) if they’ll stick around then you’ve got a chance at catching them and you just have to pay attention to the fishes attitude. It wasn’t very aggressive when we got here but after a few casts at it, she started getting more aggressive and wanted us out of here and then put the right bait in front of it and they’ll eat it.

(mike) oh, this one’s got a little more weight to him. (mark) Yeah I saw that.

(Mike) nothing wrong with that. There you go buddy. 16:15 he didn’t choke that did he? (mark) little bit. (mike) look at that rippin lips jig all the way in the back.

(Mike with fish) probably about a 2 3/4 3 pound.

(Mike) probably about a 2 3/4 3 pound. (mike) little above average for this lake would you say Mark? (mark) yeah a little above average. Hopefully we’ll show you some 5, 6, 7, get up into our 8 pounders.”

(adam) a moldy PB&J, little peanut butter and Jelly with a little green in it. A nice representation of what the guys say is average fish here. Not bad if you ask me. More coming up here from Sand Hollow, but first tonights quiz question. Fish on?”


(Mark with fish) (mike) that will go four dude. (mark) I don’t know, it ain’t pulling drag yet. oh no get out of there, get out of there. He’s a little bigger than what I thought. (adam) good fish. (grabs fish) all docile like. (adam) nothing wrong with that. (mike) boy ain’t that the truth. That’s a nice 4 and a half, 5 pound. (adam) yeah that’s a good looking fish, that could be the biggest of the day. We ain’t done yet. (mike) laughs we still have time.

(Mark Somyak) “I think they’ll get more active as the day goes on. (adam) real slow presentation. (mark) yeah, slow, it’s hard of hard if they can see you. That was a blind cast to a bush and just a light tick was all it was.”

The largemouth fishery here is fairly young, considering the lake has only been around for about decade. When largemouth fisheries are created, most go through an initial boom cycle. In large part, because the fry of the largemouth and other species, like small bluegill are able to hide and survive in the flooded vegetation. Over time however that flooded habitat deteriorates, eventually disappears and the quality of fish produced slowly declines. This hasn’t happened at Sand Hollow yet, there is still a good supply of brush especially on the southern end of the lake and that’s where we caught over 40 fish.

(Mark) Right in the top of the nose. Moldy PB & J again, little guys wanted a big ol’ crawdad. (adam) yeah he did, little peanut. Look at the belly on that fish though, fat little guy.

(Mike setting up and hitting fish) “There he is nice.”

(lifts fish into boat) nothing wrong with him.

(use a good Go Pro nat of fish release)

(Adam) nice fish (mike grabs fish) ok make it 6! (laughs) (mike with fish) another moldy PB & J baby.”

(Adam) be honest now, that’s a good one! (mark) that’s a good one. (mike) But it’s not a real big one. (adam) c’mon now, that’s pretty good.

(adam) oh he’s got another fish behind you. (mike) oh and a big one to, he’s taking me into the bush. (mark) alright you ready to release this one.

(Adam) we used a lot of different techniques today? (mark) we did, everything from jigs to I don’t think we caught any spinner bait fish, but drop shots, threw some swim baits. All those things here catch fish, it depends on the day and what the fish want.

(Mark) it’s a lot like Lake Powell, fish the same things on the rocks as you would at Lake Powell or on the bank or the brush, that’s pretty easy to find on this lake. There is only a couple of spots on the lake that have that brush. The rocks are easy to find to, and don’t overlook the dams especially in the summertime.

The bass limit at Sand Hollow is six with only one over 12 inches.

(mark) most of the guys practice catch and release, you see a few guys that are keeping five pounders and stuff like that. You know you are allowed to, some guys get upset about it but they are entitled to those fish too.

(mark) what we need to do is get rid of some of those 12 inchers.

(adam) well there he is, just a nice average fish, but we caught a lot on that jig. In a moment, we’re going to give you the insight, a little run down on rippin’ lips baits. That in just a second, but first back to the guys at Fish Tech for tonights Fishing Report.


(Adam) Nice, I like doubles. (fish splash, DOUBLES) (mike) that’s a little fatty. (adam) yeah it is. You said that was a pretty small fish, that’s actually pretty good. (mike) yeah he’s about 2 and a half, pushing three.

(mark on jig) a pumpkin and black with some blue in it. Mike put the black and purple trailer on there. (adam) just something made in the shop. (mark) yeah just messing around in the shop. Looked like a good color.

Mark grew up fishing for huge largemouth in his home state of Texas. When he moved to Utah ten years ago he started fishing Sand Hollow right after it opened and fell in love with the fishery. Four years ago he started a bait company called Rippin’ Lips Baits located just a few miles from Sand Hollow.

Here he makes his custom jigs and custom spinnerbaits, that work not just on Sand Hollow, but any bass fishery.

(Mike Rennie, Las Vegas Angler) “Mark tied it up for this Lake specifically with the bluegill in it and he’s got the right blade combination that goes with it.

(Mike) “It’s just a really good slow rolling bait that hammers a lot of good, big bass here.”

(mike) I don’t think he realizes how well this bait works. (mark) I do. (mike) this thing is just a killer. It’s got the bluegill color when the bluegill spawn.

The blade bite wasn’t as effective today as the jig bite. Mark’s half ounce, moldy Peanut Butter and Jelly Jig was on fire.

(Mark hit) oh my gosh. Big old crappie dude. That crappie ate that jig. That’s a toad for a crappie.

(mark) “I mean look at the size of that jig though, how did he get it in his mouth? What is going on with that?”

(Adam with fish) yeah nothing wrong with that fish. (fish gets off) oh he spit it right at me. He said no soup for you, go back home. (mike) was that catch and release? (adam) No because I didn’t touch him, if I would have touched him, I might have counted it.”

(Mike) (fish out of water) fatty. (mike) you don’t think he likes that jig do you? (laughs)

And Mike says one way to entice the fish to hit, is to try applying FishSticks Lure Enhancer Fish Attactant. It’s made with 100% pure fish oil. Just apply it to any jig, soft plastic, spinner baits, even crank baits.

(mike on Fish Stick) “This is Fish Sticks lure enhancer, they make one of the best lure enhancer for you baits. What they do is they put it into a chapstick form and they de-hydrate the real fish and once the bait hits the water it re-juvenates giving it a really good scent and not to mention that one application I put on will last me all day, I won’t have to put it on again for the rest of the day on this one bait.”

The Spinnerblades and the Jigs that Mark makes are really well built. If you’d like to try his lures, look for them at any Sportsman’s Warehouse or you can find them on-line on his website at www.rippinlipsbaits.com. Time now to take a look at another warm water species in tonights edition of our Utah Field Guide.

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