Weather: WINDY, 80's
Moon Phase: 99% Moon
Location: Pelican Lake
Water Temp: 60 degrees
Bait: Jig tipped with worm under a bobber, drop-shot with roboworm
Who Went: Bobber John, Me
My buddy who was formally nicknamed "Johnny Leach" but is now being referred to as "Bobber John", is always boasting about the monster bluegill that he catches back east in Ohio where he’s from. He always asks me, “Where can we go to catch Bluegills that big in Utah?” Well today was the day I proved to him that there is at least one place to catch them like that! Only problem is it’s a 31/2 hour drive away towards Vernal, Utah and you have to have a boat to fish it! If you were to Google Pelican Lake it would tell you that it’s one of the premiere Bluegill fisheries in the country, producing Utah’s state record for catch and release at 2 lbs 7 oz. It also holds the state catch and release record for Green Sunfish which is a close relative to the Bluegill. I took Bobber John to Pelican last year, but due to very cold and rainy weather and not having a boat, we were unsuccessful. Today was the day I was going to show him what Pelican Lake is really like. We were on the road at 3:30 a.m. and the 31/2 hour trip seemed to fly by like most our trips, we talked fishing and “Arizona Politics” the whole way there. We arrived to the lake with blue skies and only a slight breeze. John picked the first location that he thought might hold some Bluegill, and he picked right! He instantly started catching them one after another. At one point he turned and looked at me and said “dude this is as good as or better than Michigan!” He told me later that it wasn’t quite as good as Michigan, but it was a close second. Must have been the excitement in the moment?! We continued to catch Bluegill until it finally started to cool off a bit with us now only landing one about every 5-10 minutes. This is when I talked Bobber John into fishing for Largemouth Bass instead of Bluegill, which is what I really went to Pelican Lake to fish for. I was about 20 minutes into bass fishing and landed four small bass when the weather went from perfect to crazy. The wind blanket hit and we were getting gusts up to 40 mph. It put a quick stop to the bass fishing because I couldn’t hold the boat steady forcing us to anchor and bobber fish for Bluegill again. This didn’t really hurt Bobber Johns feelings and we put about 5 or 6 more in the boat, but the wind became too much to handle! We reluctantly loaded the boat on the trailer and decided to drive towards home and see if the wind would die down as we approached Starvation Reservoir. As we approached Starvation the wind was still whipping, and the lake was the windiest I have ever seen it!
No one was out there on a boat and I wasn’t going to be the idiot to try it. The benefit about Starvation is it has a fish cleaning station which we utilized to clean the Largemouth Bass and Bluegill we kept from Pelican.
It took us at least an hour to fillet the fish and the wind made it difficult the whole time. When we got done we hit the road again towards home with the thoughts of fishing Soldier Creek Reservoir, but when we reached the lake we were told by two fishermen they had been out all day and only caught one fish between them. It was also beginning to rain and the air began to get cold so we called it a trip and headed for home. I did drive Bobber John down to the dam to show him the Strawberry River that comes out and how beautiful it is. It seemed disappointing to drive all the way to Pelican Lake only to get a couple hours of good fishing in, but in Bobber John’s mind it was one of the most successful trips he felt he had been on since being in Utah. Either way it was a fun trip and the drive is usually half the fun. I love seeing new scenery and talking about the struggles and triumphs that life brings us!