Mantua Lake State Park 

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Largemouth Bass

12" Perch

Giant  Rainbow Trout

Tiger Trout

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Largemouth Bass

The motto of the largemouth bass is"If it moves, eat it!"  That's the largemouth bass motto. A bass will

eat anything it can swallow and it can swallow a lot due to its large "bucketmouth" and flexible stomach. It's a "generalist" thug that, by experience, grows "smarter" with age and adapts to environmental changes to survive.

As one of the most voracious, aggressive predators in lakes and rivers, though primarily a lake fish, this "big mouth bass" has become arguably the most popular freshwater game fish in America today. They're such aggressive feeders that if one ever grew big enough it would probably eat you!


The appeal of fishing for ole bucketmouth lies in learning some fishing facts about them. Knowing

about preferred bass habitat, the aspects of bass spawn and the way and on what they feed. Such knowledge prepares you for the hunt and hopefully enables you to find, possibly catch and then release this brute of our freshwater rivers and lakes. Finding one is challenge enough, enticing one to "take" your artificial lure is something else altogether.


Largemouth Bass Facts

Coloration varies from dark green to pale green or olive. Their bellies are

white to yellowish. The back and sides are usually very dark with a black lateral band incorporating diamond shapes running from head to tail. This band is dark if the bass is in shallow water and exposed to sunlight. If it has been in deep water for a while it will be lighter in color. The dorsal fin is two part with the front section being very spiny and the back part larger but soft.


"What A Mouth!"

The mouth of a largemouth bass is LARGE, thus the nickname "bucketmouth"! Some simply call it the

"big mouth bass. Its tip or flap extends past the rear edge of the eye, unlike that of the smallmouth, which never goes beyond this point. It's this mouth that enables the largemouth bass to engulf prey, or try to engulf prey, as large as itself.



Where Do You Find Largemouth Bass?


Finding bass isn't that difficult. It's the catching part that trips you up.

Distribution today spans all lower forty-eight states and Hawaii, though its native range was much smaller. Deliberate and accidental stocking between the years of 1870 and 1894 placed them in new waters to which the largemouth readily acclimated and now thrive.

Largemouth bass habitat is very diverse. They can thrive, or at least survive, in almost any warm water environment, be it shallow weed choked natural lakes or very deep, rocky reservoirs with very little weedy growth. They are also at home in large rivers, slow moving streams and innumerable ponds across the U.S.

They prefer water temperatures from 68° to 78°F and spend much of their time in water no more than twenty(20) feet deep. In lakes and major rivers

they gravitate to areas of submerged vegetation, flooded timber and brush.

Dissolved oxygen levels in water bodies are very important for largemouth bass, more so than any other game fish and this tends to make them primarily a shallow water fish. Water temperature is also important and influences their daily and seasonal movement and where they might be found.



What About Spawning?



Spawning activities begin when water temperatures reach 63° to 68°F. The male moves into shallow bays and flats and sweeps away debris from a circular area on a hard bottom. The female moves in, drops her eggs, 2000-7000 per pound of body weight, upon which the male deposits his milt. The male remains to guard the nest, the female heads for deeper water to recover.

Their spawning habits are something about which we bass fishermen better have an understanding. Factors that relate to their reproduction have lifelong impacts on the instinctual and habitual daily activities of bass and our ability to locate them. If you can't locate them you sure can't catch them!



What Do Bass Eat?



The largemouth diet consists "primarily" of other fish. They are extreme opportunistic feeders, however, and will eat just about anything they can get in their mouth. They tend to be experimental feeders because of this but do learn (become conditioned) from repeated experiences with prey what is good, what is not and what takes to much energy to catch for the amount of nutritional reward. The best baits for catching largemouth bass includes artificial lures, flies and live bait.

They'll also eat ducklings, frogs, snakes, crawfish,lizards, rats, mice, waterdogs and insects. Though extremely aggressive the largemouth bass (Micropterus Salmoides to all you budding biologists out there, bucketmouth to the rest of us) is also very cautious and always wary of danger. They spend a surprisingly small part of each day actually feeding with much of this taking place in early morning and late afternoon.


Growth Rate



A largemouth's growth depends on the length of the growing season and the number of days the water temperature is above 50 degrees. "Roughly" this is about five months in the northern part of the U.S and ten months in the southern sates. They grow faster and bigger in the South but live shorter lives (ten years in the South) than those in the North (up to 15 years).


Perch


Perch are popular sport fish species in Utah. Especially the large 12" slabs

found in Mantua lake. They put up a  great fight, and they are very good eating. They can be caught with a variety of methods, including float fishing, and lure fishing. 


The best way is to use a small hook and cast into the weeds just before the drop off. When fishing with bait, the angler will want to have a disgorger; perch are notorious for swallowing the hook, and will need aid of a disgorger or forceps for unhooking. In many parts of the world, they are also a favorite species among ice fishermen. 


They will take a variety of baits, the best baits include beetles, minnows, worms, maggots, pieces of raw bacon, and soft shell crayfish, but seem to prefer small fish, night crawlers, maggots, and lures. 


Fly fishing for perch using the best patterns that imitate small fry or invertebrates can be successful. The record weight for this fish in Britain is 6 lb 3 oz (2.81 kg), and in America 6 lb 4 oz (2.83 kg).

Perch grow to around 5 lb (2.3 kg) or more, but the most common fish to be caught are around 1 lb (0.45 kg) or

less, and anything over 2 lb (0.91 kg) is considered a prize catch.

Mantua Reservoir is located between Brigham City and Logan in Northern Utah. It is a popular lake for bass fishing as well as for bluegill. It now has an abundant population of Yellow Perch as well.

Mantua is a 500-acre reservoir located 15 miles east of Brigham City. This is a place where you can catch fish easily, whether you're in a boat or on shore. Onsite restrooms and a boat ramp make it a convenient recreation spot, and shoreline access around the entire reservoir draws many float-tubing anglers.

Mantua has two fishing opportunities that are hard to beat. The bluegill in Mantua are very plentiful and can grow to record-breaking sizes. The current Utah state record bluegill was caught in Mantua (2 pounds 7 ounces). In the spring, bluegill are very catchable on flies, jigs and poppers. Just wait for the water temperature to reach 60 degrees in May or June and go have a blast.

The other opportunity you shouldn't miss is Mantua's topwater largemouth bass fishing. It's second to none throughout the spring, summer and fall. Throw any topwater bass bait along the shoreline and just hang on to your pole.

In the winter, the yellow perch and rainbow trout also make Mantua a great place to fish through the ice.

Fish Species:

  • Bluegill
  • Green Sunfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Tiger Trout
  • Yellow Perch


Giant Rainbow Trout


Rainbow trout get their name from the beautiful colors that shine on their skin. Coloration of the rainbow trout varies widely in relation to sex, habitat, and maturity. Colors on the back of a trout can range from brown, to olive, to dark blue. All rainbow trout have a pinkish band running the length of their body, and a silver underside that fades to pearl white. There are small black spots on their back, fins, and tail.

Trout are members of the salmon family and therefore can grow

relatively large. The biggest rainbow trout ever caught was in Canada in the year 2009. The fish weighed 48 pounds. An average mature trout is around 16 inches in length, and weighs between 2 to 8 pounds. Rainbow trout that migrate to larger bodies of water, like the Great Lakes or oceans, can grow much larger and are referred to as "Steel-Heads."

A distinct characteristic of the rainbow trout is an innate desire to return to spawn in the same stream as they were hatched. During

spawning season in the spring, a rainbow trout will find a secluded cove or inlet. A female will dig a depression in the gravel called a "redd" where she will lay her eggs. After a male fertilizes them, the female will bury the eggs in the redd for protection during incubation, and then leaves the nest. If the temperature of the water is cool enough, the eggs will hatch about 21 days after they are laid. Only a few of the 200 to 8,000 eggs that were spawned will live to be adults. The average lifespan for a rainbow trout is 4 to 6 years in the wild.

Rainbow Trout Facts

  • Rainbow trout are predators, and will eat almost anything that they can catch, including insects, small fish, and crustaceans. They will also eat fish eggs, including the eggs of other rainbow trout, and will scavenge on leftover carcasses as well.
  • Trout begin spawning at the age of 3 or 4.
  • Spawning season for rainbow trout occurs in the spring.
  • The rainbow trout has been introduced to every continent except Antarctica.
  • Rainbow trout are part of a group known as black-spotted trout (due to the black spots on their bodies). They may interbreed with other black-spotted trout, like Mexican golden or Gila trout, when located in the same area.
  • The temperature tolerance of rainbow trout is from 32 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Their ideal range is between 55 and 60.
  • The color of rainbow trout meat will vary with diet and environmental conditions.

Tiger Trout

Description


The tiger trout is an artificially produced sterile hybrid that is produced from crossing a male brown trout with a female brook trout.  Hybridization can occur naturally, however it is very rare. Tiger trout have pronounced dark vermiculations (tiger stripes, like brook trout) all over a brownish, gray body.


Where to fish for Tiger trout


Tiger trout can be found in lowland and high lakes throughout the Utah. They are highly piscivorous and have been used to control rough fish and help prevent over-population of other trout species, such as Eastern brook trout. When they get to about 15” in size, tiger trout begin eating other fish and can grow more rapidly and to a larger size.


How to fish for Tiger trout


Tiger trout can be caught year-round, although the spring (after ice-out) and fall are the best times to target them.  During those seasons, the tiger trout will normally be found in the upper water column in search of food.  As the water warms up during the summer, the trout will move to deeper, cooler water.  As the surface temperatures cool down in the evening the fish will move up near the surface and into the shallows.

Tiger trout can be successfully caught on flies, spoons, spinners, and bait.  Since tiger trout are aggressive and piscivorous (they eat other fish), a minnow imitation such as a streamer or Rapala are a good choice.  These fish can be successfully caught from shore as well as from a boat or float tube.  For shore anglers, the best time to fish is either early in the early morning or in the evening.  The fish will be paralleling the shoreline for prey as the water is cooler and the low light conditions prevent them from being detected.  They are also less wary at this time of day.  When fishing from a floating device (e.g. a boat or float tube) trolling is an effective method.  One can use pop gear with bait or lures.  Some popular lures are: Kastmasters, Triple Teasers, and Jake's Spin-a-lure. Fly fishers do well with leech, muddler, woolly bugger, and nymph patterns.  If fish are taking flies at the surface use a floating line and a dry fly or emerging pattern.  Otherwise, a sinking tip or full sinking fly line would be best with streamers and nymph patterns.


Mantua Reservoir is located between Brigham City and Logan in Northern Utah. It is a popular lake for bass fishing as well as for bluegill. It now has an abundant population of Yellow Perch as well.

Mantua is a 500-acre reservoir located 15 miles east of Brigham City. This is a place where you can catch fish easily, whether you're in a boat or on shore. Onsite restrooms and a boat ramp make it a convenient recreation spot, and shoreline access around the entire reservoir draws many float-tubing anglers.

Mantua has two fishing opportunities that are hard to beat. The bluegill in Mantua are very plentiful and can grow to record-breaking sizes. The current Utah state record bluegill was caught in Mantua (2 pounds 7 ounces). In the spring, bluegill are very catchable on flies, jigs and poppers. Just wait for the water temperature to reach 60 degrees in May or June and go have a blast.

The other opportunity you shouldn't miss is Mantua's topwater largemouth bass fishing. It's second to none throughout the spring, summer and fall. Throw any topwater bass bait along the shoreline and just hang on to your pole.

In the winter, the yellow perch and rainbow trout also make Mantua a great place to fish through the ice.

Fish Species: