Fishing with Bernie: Fishing gets better as water temperatures drop

Williams Fork Trophy Lake Trout and Happy Angler.
Fishing with Bernie / Courtesy photo

Great Lake

Boating hours are 6am to 6pm and fishing for all species improves as water temperatures drop. Rainbow and brown trout action has been good along the shallow beaches and the main lake is breaking into deeper water. Jerkybaits and small spoons that are worked intermittently will produce bites.

Lake trout move upstream toward the spawning structure. Look for them in water 30-50 feet deep. Spoons, crappies and blade baits filled with a small piece of sucker have been our go-to baits.

Williams Fork

The East Boat Ramp has new hours for the remainder of the season, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The water capacity is 95%, which is just over 3 feet. The surface temperature drops, reaching 63-64°F in the early morning and rising to 66°F on calm, sunny days. A few more weeks of cold nights and we’ll be in for a wonderful fall.

The lake trout bite is starting to pick up. Customers on the last few trips can put 20 to 30 inch fish in the boat easily, but trophy class fish are very difficult to find right now. Mixed age groups can be found in 80-90 feet of water.

We currently use natural colored tubes or twisted tail/paddle larvae filled with sucking, scented flesh gently fished a few inches off the bottom. The belly of the fish is at the bottom which makes it difficult to spot a school of fish, but if you find one at the top…there are more nearby.

By noon the bite becomes very slow until late afternoon. Kokanee salmon and rainbow trout are slow due to declining populations of both species, and have not been stocked since 2019. Northern pike are also slow due to declining populations. In the last two weeks I haven’t seen anyone catch them. The best opportunity to hook onto a pike is during an approaching storm or low light conditions with choppy water. Please practice catch and release on all northern pike to help conserve this diminishing resource.

Brown trout are active early in the morning in the inlet near where the river meets the lake, and along the rocky cliffs north of the east boat ramp. Small spinners, countdowns or suspended jerkbaits are producing a few fish.

Lake Granby

Boat ramp hours are 6am to 6pm and rainbow trout action has improved as water temperatures drop. The bright silver spoons and spinners running along the rocky shores and around the islands were a good example.

Lake trout movement slowed a bit as they began to move toward spawning sites, but should improve as the water temperature cools. Look for them in 50-70 feet of water along the main lake channels. Dark-colored plastic spoons and grubs covered in sucker flesh have been the most consistent baits.

Hunting with Bernie has been guiding in Grand County for over 25 years. For more information please check out, Or our Instagram pages @Fishing_With_Bernie Or @FishingWithAltitude.

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