Scott Tolentino, Bear Lake Project Manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, sent in this report just in time for the long holiday weekend.
Bear Lake Fishing Report:
Surface water temperature is about 46 degrees. Boats can be launched at the Utah State Park Marina, 1st Point, and Rainbow Cove boat ramps and new courtesy docks are in the water at all locations. Rainbow Cove access has been fully paved as well as the parking areas. Although there is a dock in the water at Cisco Beach, it is not recommended that you attempt to launch a boat there due to the rough, rocky shoreline. The Bonneville whitefish run has begun. Anglers started catching limits of fish today and excellent fishing for whitefish should be available through Dec 10th or so. The best locations are any shoreline area with rocks that have depths of about 5-15'. This includes off the Utah State Park marina dikes and anywhere along the east side shoreline (especially the Cisco Beach area). Use small (1/8 to 1/16 oz.) jigs are about 1.5-2.0" long, small spinners (#0 and #1) and small spoons. Fish the lures so they are bumping along the bottom while you are making a slow retrieve. If you aren't hanging up on rocks once in a while you probably are not fishing close enough to the bottom. It helps considerably if you "tip" your jig with a small piece of worm or a meal worm. The bite can be subtle at times and usually happens when the lure is sinking back to the bottom after you jig it. Keep the line as tight as possible to detect these bites. At other times the fish will slam the lure. Anglers are taking a few nice cutthroat trout while fishing for the whitefish. Don't be surprised if you happen to also hook into a lake trout! Lighter lines (#4-#8 lb test and a light to medium rod help). If you try to use the same tackle as you would for jigging for cutthroat trout or lake trout, it is typically too heavy and you will miss a lot of hits.<