Best Ice Fishing Spots in Vernal, Utah

The temperature is dropping; The ice is getting thick. Grab your gear because it’s time to go ice fishing. 

December in Vernal is one of the most exciting months of the year. The beginning of winter brings a mix of weather conditions that make fishing better at times and more challenging at others. 

Ice fishing is the practice of catching fish through a break in the ice on a frozen body of water using lines, fish hooks, or spears. 

Head to Vernal to try ice fishing, forget sledding, and tag along to try something new.

Which Are the Best Ice Fishing Spots in Vernal?

Ashley National Forest 

There are numerous options for Blue Ribbon fishing in the Ashley National Forest. This region is an angler’s paradise, whether fly fishing in the Duchesne or Green River, or jigging on Flaming Gorge reservoir.

Steinaker Reservoir for Big Rainbows 

This reservoir is located 15 miles north of Vernal and offers a diverse catch for anglers. Steinaker offers some decent largemouth bass opportunities in addition to stocked rainbows and big browns. For fishermen wanting to catch a lot of bluegill, it has also become a destination fishery. Due to the frequent catches, this makes it a fantastic site to take young anglers. 

The reservoir has six to eight inches of hard, clear ice, with some open water or soft ice on the top end and the borders. You need your auger’s keen blades to drill through the ice since it is incredibly tough. Drilling a hole requires two people and takes 20 minutes, which can exhaust you if your blades are subpar.

Before drilling a hole, you can typically send a fish finder’s sonar straight through the ice in most places. That is beneficial while you look for the fish. Simply remove some snow from the area, add some water to the ice, and then firmly press your transducer against the ice. More water may need to be added to the area around the transducer. The ice and transducer should make a tight seal, and the water creates a seal that transmits sonar waves. Find a potential location using the sonar, then drill a hole there. Fish move in and out of a certain place; even if you don’t see any, you can still feel that the location is worthwhile. Watch the sonar to check whether fish pass through the hole after you drill it and begin to fish. Change locations if you don’t see fish after 15 or 20 minutes. Sometimes a few more feet make a significant impact.

The majority of the activity occurs near the coast. The bottom typically descends abruptly from the shoreline before levelling off. It’s frequently best to stand where the steep drop stops and the bottom levels off. Finding such places is greatly aided by sonar. Additionally, it can be used to locate underwater ridges and gullies. The sides of a ridge and the bottom of a gulley are frequently good places to fish.

Fishing in Flaming Gorge 

Within an hour’s drive near Lake Flaming Gorge, there are countless fishing spots. The Moose Ponds, the Flaming Gorge Dam Fishing Pier, the free Kids Fishing Hole at Red Canyon Lodge, and Little Hole on the Green River are some excellent family-friendly fishing spots. 

The larger lake trout can be caught with vertical jigging methods because they are in deeper water. Smaller jigs and baits work well when targeting the smaller trout and kokanee in shallower water. Burbot fishing through the ice at night, an invasive species in the gorge, is growing in popularity.

Affordable Hotel to Stay Near Steinaker State Park

The Steinaker State Park also offers camping and boating facilities through the summer, spring and fall. Furthermore, the Vernal offers a lot of attractions and a fun place to take the family. The nearby Red Fleet Reservoir often has fair to good fishing for rainbows and bass as well as bluegill. The state park at Red Fleet, a picturesque reservoir encircled by huge sandstone cliffs, makes it a great location to camp in the summer. Across the lake from the campground, there are dinosaur footprints in the sandstone.

Also, both the exhibits at Dinosaur Gardens in Vernal and the dinosaur quarry at the nearby Dinosaur National Monument are fascinating. Plan an Ice Fishing trip to Vernal and make your winter holidays memorable. There are various affordable hotels located near the best ice fishing spots in Vernal. Check out one of the best hotels in VernalTownePlace Suites, which is located in the heart of Vernal. This extended-stay hotel offers all required amenities along with a free hot breakfast. They feature a one or two-bedroom suite with a separate living area.  

Another affordable hotel near Steinaker Reservoir State Park is Springhill Suites. This hotel is only 7 miles from Steinaker Reservoir and is the perfect hotel for a stay during your ice fishing trip. It is a spacious and stylish hotel suite with an indoor pool, fitness center, and complimentary WiFi. You must check out this vernal utah hotel for the best experience.

Ice Addiction Tournament at Steinaker and Echo state parks

This ice-fishing competition will be held in Echo State Park on January 21, 2023, at 8 a.m. and at Steinaker Reservoir on February 4, 2023, at 8 a.m., both under the sponsorship of Tightline Outdoors and Utah State Parks. Each participant must register online by February 2 at 8 p.m., with registration opening on November 15. The Tightline Outdoors website has information on the regulations of the tournament and registration.