In Utah, one of the sleeper spots for crushing Smallmouth bass is Minersville Reservoir. Minersville is on the Ultimate Bass Teams tour for Southern Utah because you can catch a lot of bass, and some of them will be toads. The lake is primarily discussed and managed as a place for trophy trout, but in my opinion it is a much better Smallmouth bass fishery. Here are some logistics to help your Minersville Reservoir bass fishing be successful!
Minersville Reservoir Bass Fishing
Minersville is located in Beaver County. It is relatively easy to find. Head to the city of Beaver on I-15. Then turn off on UT-21 and head west for about 12 miles. You will run right into it.
The reservoir is over 900 acres in size when completely full. There is a county operated campground, and a paved boat ramp available for public use. Much of the shoreline is BLM administered land and open to the public. Because of the water fluctuations of the reservoir, the shorelines are relatively easy to walk along. If you don’t have a boat, you are still in good shape . The Utah Division of Wildlife primarily manages this lake to produce trophy trout, and Smallmouth were added to the lake to help keep the chubb populations in control. The Smallmouth have done really well in this lake due to the plentiful bait and rocky structure. They primarily feed on chubbs and crayfish. Also, depending on the size of the trout they stock in the lake, I’m sure the bigger Smallmouth could make a meal out of them if they want. Despite the small size of the reservoir, it has become a great place to catch plentiful bags of Smallmouth bass. For more information on the campground and regulations check out the following links:
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Minersville Reservoir
Utah State Parks: Minersville Reservoir
Catching Minersville Smallmouth Bass
The best time to start fishing on Minersville is when the water temprature hits the 50 degree mark. This is when the Smallmouth start moving up and feeding to get ready for the spawn. In the early spring good baits to throw are jerkbaits, shaky heads, and Texas rigged craw imitations. Usually when the water hits around 58 – 62 degrees the bass move in shallow to spawn. Try throwing more aggressive baits such as crankbaits or topwaters, along with the other style baits mentioned above. Spring is usually your best bet to find fish because they move up in the shallows and start to spawn and then hang around after they’re done spawning till summer. Look for boulder strewn gravel shorelines, and get ready to “krak” some bass!
June through August is what I consider to be summertime on Minersville Reservoir. Your best bets are to throw topwater baits, such as a popper or spook, early morning and late evening. In the middle of the day concentrate on the 15 – 30 ft depth range. Try throwing a drop shot or a shaky head for these deeper fish. Don’t rule out your Texas rigged craw patterns either. This is a fun time out on the lake. The fish are little more spread out during the summer, so don’t get married to an area if your aren’t catching fish. The fish are still active, so move around until you find them.
September through November is what I consider to be fall at Minersville Reservoir. The fish are aggressive the early part of the fall, but as it moves closer to the winter months the bass get more and more lethargic. Early fall try throwing crankbaits and jerkbaits. During middle and late fall try do some drop shotting and shaky head fishing. These methods can produce fish when the bites get tough to come by.
Grab your tent and drill through the ice! Chances are a lot better for you to catch the trout in the lake this time of year. Those Smallmouth seem to go on hibernation mode.
Feel free to leave comments on the blog for Minersville Reservoir.
Gear I use:
Here are some links to purchase the different types of baits I like to use for the techniques mentioned above in targeting Smallmouth bass:
Jerkbaits: Lucky Craft Pointer 78 Deep Diving Jerkbaits
Drop shot baits: Strike King KVD Dream Shot Baits