Smallmouth bass are one of my favorite species to target and can be an absolute blast to catch. In Utah smallmouth bass can be found in several bodies of water and can provide anglers with some great fishing opportunities. With that in mind, Aaron at tilt fishing help put together this list of his favorite places to catch smallmouth bass in Utah. When determining this list, he took into consideration the size and quantity of the smallmouth as well as the scenery and angling experience of each location. Each one of these destinations brings something unique to the table and if you haven’t already I would highly recommend you go chase some smallies at one of these spots. Let’s get started.
The 10 Best Utah Smallmouth Bass Fishing Destinations
1. Flaming Gorge Reservoir
2. Lake Powell
3. Pineview Reservoir
4. East Canyon Reservoir
5. Starvation Reservoir
6. Jordanelle Reservoir
7. Big Sandwash Reservoir
8. Echo Reservoir
9. Deer Creek Reservoir
10. Rockport Reservoir
Flaming Gorge Reservoir
The Gorge is one of the best places to catch smallmouth bass in Utah and was an easy choice for the top spot. This place has a healthy population of bass and has some tanks if you know where to find them. Flaming Gorge is a huge body of water that covers roughly 3,788,900 acres and has some great views as well. Fishing can be fast action here and having a shot at a prized Utah bronze back along with great scenic views makes this a special place.
Location: Northeast Utah, Daggett County
Lake Powell is a dream fishing destination for any Utah angler, and it is one of the best lakes in Utah smallmouth bass fishing. It’s a huge body of water that is formed by the Colorado river that features islands and cliffs of brilliant orange and crimson rock. The Lake Powell views are
pretty tough to beat here. Not to mention the fishing is fantastic. It’s a fishery that is well known for its striper boils, but it has a ton of smallmouth and largemouth bass. If you haven’t tried fishing for smallmouth bass at Lake Powell yet, I would highly recommend it.
Location: Border of Utah and Arizona
The smallmouth bass at Pineview Reservoir are often overshadowed by the tiger muskie, but the bass fishing here can be just as good. Located in Huntsville in northern Utah this reservoir contains a nice population of smallmouth bass and offers bass fishing anglers a chance at a 3-5lb smallie. But just like a lot of Utah reservoirs it gets a lot of boat traffic and fishing pressure in the summer. So, if you can I would recommend going in the spring or fall or super early and at night to get away from the crowds. It’s great views, cooler weather and the chance to catch a big smallmouth is why Pineview Reservoir is one of my favorite places to chase smallmouth’s in Utah.
East Canyon Reservoir
East Canyon is a solid high mountain reservoir that has some nice smallies. I have caught some big Utah smallmouth here on a drop shot and Ned rig. Fishing can get tough here at times, but if you time it right and are persistent, it can pay off big. The spring and the fall are a great time to give this place a try. Kraken Bass just put together a great East Canyon bass fishing report. Go check it out!
Location: Morgan County
Starvation Reservoir is one of the best reservoirs around to catch smallmouth bass. I personally have never caught giants here, but it has a healthy population of smallies and is well known for its big walleye. The red rock dessert views are amazing, and it also has plenty of campgrounds and some nice cabins that are perfect for a weekend fishing trip. It also receives a lot less boat traffic and fishing pressure in my opinion, making it a great place to beat the crowds. You can’t go wrong chasing smallies at Starvation Reservoir.
Location: Duchesne County
Jordanelle Reservoir ranks number six for a few reasons. The first is that there are plenty of bass in this lake and you can catch some high numbers here. The second is its proximity, it’s an easy reservoir to access and is one of my favorite places to go after work in the summer. Plus, the opportunity to catch a big smallmouth is here. I am not going to lie, they are hard to come by, but just recently a 4lber was just pulled out by angler that was pre-fishing for a tournament. You can catch them pretty much all year here with the standard bass fishing techniques, but one of my favorite ways is to throw top water in the summer and early fall.
Location: Wasatch County
Big Sandwash Reservoir
Big Sandwash Reservoir is a sleeper for Utah Smallmouth bass fishing. It doesn’t get as much boat/fishing pressure as some of the other places mentioned on this list, but it’s definitely worth taking a trip to. Big Sandwash Reservoir has some nice numbers as well as some bigger fish. This location is tough to beat if you are looking to beat the crowds and chase some smallmouth bass.
Location: Upalco in Duchesne County
Another great Utah Smallmouth Bass Fishing Destanation is Echo Reservoir. Echo comes in at number eight but could easily be much higher. This reservoir is located just off Interstate 80 and about 22 miles north of Park City. This is a great smallmouth bass reservoir and holds both good numbers and size. I have had a lot of success fishing here with top water lures such as a popper or with senkos and other finesse techniques.
Deer Creek Reservoir
Deer Creek is a great place to catch smallmouth bass for both families and those that are new and just getting into the sport. This place has a ton of smallies that are easy to catch, the only downside is that most of them are on the smaller end. I have had a great time introducing family and friends to bass fishing at Deer Creek and we are always able to put fish in the boat. My favorite ways to catch them here are on a drop shot, ned rig and a swimbait. It can also be a great place to throw some top water at night or in the early morning.
The rocky shorelines at Rockport Reservoir is another great place to chase some smallmouth bass. You can find them early on the shoreline but will find more success a bit deeper as the day goes on. This reservoir contains a solid population of smallmouth bass and is well worthy of a trip. I’ll be honest, it’s not well known for its monster bass but it’s has some good numbers and is a great place to take family.
Location: Summit County
Additional Utah Smallmouth Bass Fishing Places
Here are some other places to find Utah Smallmouth bass fishing that didn’t quite make the list, but might be worthy of a visit.
- Enterprise Reservoir
- Willard Bay
- Otter Creek Reservoir
- Newcastle Reservoir
- Grantsville Reservoir
- Cottonwood Reservoir
- Piute Reservoir
- Minersville Reservoir
Where To Find Utah Smallmouth Bass Fishing
Understanding the areas that hold smallmouth bass is critical if you want to have a successful day out on the water on a consistent basis. Just like other species of fish, smallmouth bass will adapt and move spots based on the season and conditions. In general there are certain high percentage areas that will hold fish. Here are the areas that I look for when searching for smallmouth bass:
How To Catch Utah Smallmouth Bass Fishing
Anglers have a lot of lures and baits to choose from when it comes to fishing for smallmouth. In my opinion the best way to catch smallmouth bass in Utah is by using finesse techniques such as a drop shot or Ned rig. Most of the places that hold smallmouth bass in Utah are high mountain reservoirs that have pretty clear water. So fishing with light line and having the right setup is key.
The drop shot is my go to rigs for smallmouth. If you’re interested in knowing my favorite drop shot baits go check this recent article that I wrote: The 10 Best Drop Shot Baits for Smallmouth Bass for more information. The Ned rig, swimbaits and topwater lures are some other techniques that I have found to be super effective. Below I have included a list of some of the best ways to catch smallmouth bass in Utah.
Here are some of the best ways to catch smallmouth bass in Utah:
- Drop Shot Rig
- Ned Rig
- Lipless Crankbaits
- Wacky Rigged Senkos
More Thoughts Utah Smallmouth Bass Fishing
Utah offers a lot of solid smallmouth bass fishing locations throughout the state. Each destination offers something unique and different. I hope that you have found this information to be insightful in some way and that it motivates you to go out and give one of these spots a try.
Go “Krak” some bass!
If you are interested in other Utah fishing content go check out a website that I run called tiltfishing.com. We provide some great fishing information on bass, trout, tiger muskie, salmon, walleye and much more.
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