Top Southeast Idaho Fishing Waters

by Dave Langston on July 19, 2011

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Dave Langston

Summer is officially here and anglers are heading to the rivers and lakes in search of gear ripping rainbows and top water bass action. But, with high waters anglers are finding it difficult to navigate most familiar fishing haunts and fish are scattered. The wise angler is going to have to dig deep in his bag of tricks in order to bring fish to the net this year. A fish locator is a must at this point due to the amount of water in most reservoirs. Here is a rundown on some of the key areas anglers may want to consider during the summer months that lie ahead.

Twin Lakes is a warm water fishery located 16 miles north of Preston. Water levels are slowly dropping and late August could be your best bet as fish will congregate near structure. At this point the reservoir is still full giving bass, crappie, bluegill and perch a large amount of habitat and scattering fish.

Bluegill are in spawning mode and can be located in back bays and coves in shallow water. Large mouth are also spawning as a late spring and summer has pushed the spawning season off by a few weeks.

Bring the kids as this is a “Family Friendly” reservoir and length limits do not apply. Harvest limits do apply on bass and trout.

The Portneuf River Near Lava Hot Springs is a good bet for rainbows, browns and cutthroats but expect water levels to be high and water clarity murky at best until late July into August. Best bet is near Whiskey Mikes Tavern and the Pebble Creek access road. At this point live bait like worms, hoppers or crickets are top choices. Spinners will be effective as water levels drop and clarity returns to normal.

The Blackfoot Reservoir near Soda Springs is pumping out large rainbows and cutthroats up to and over the five pound mark. Local anglers are scoring trolling Rapalas or other crank baits in perch or shad colors. Fish finders will help you pinpoint schooling fish as they cruise the reservoir early and late.

If your looking for lunker trout Hawkins Reservoir near Downey is a good bet. Idaho Fish and Game stocked large brooders up to ten pounds and anglers are tying into a few of these monsters. Bank anglers are scoring using worms and marshmallows. Trollers are doing well using a wedding ring setup with a worm on the trailer hook. Early morning and late evening hours are your best bet. This reservoir completely shuts down during the day.

American Falls Reservoir which is the current state record holder giving up a 20 pound rainbow in 2010, is giving up some tackle wrecking rainbows this season. Fish over the ten pound mark are common and 15 pound plus fish are not unheard of. With good precipitation over the past 3 years, anglers may be enjoying some of the best fishing this reservoir has seen in nearly two decades.

Although bank anglers do well during early spring boaters take over in June, July and August. Trolling gold 8 – 10 inch deep running rapalas is the key to fill a cooler. Again, a fish finder is a must due to the abundance of water in the reservoir. This gives anglers the edge avoiding dead water and fishing more productive areas where fish are holding. Reports by anglers have fish on the take in the very early morning hours and again around 9 pm as the sun dips behind the horizon.

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