What wasn't supposed to be is, and what is isn't. Or, fishing at Pineview Reservoir is good for fish that aren't supposed to be there and slow for those that are.
Fishermen familiar with Pineview are catching crappie, bluegill and black bullhead catfish, all illegally planted. And those fishing deep, and in the mornings and evenings, and spending a lot of time, are even coming away with a few nice trout.Fish in the reservoir are, however, showing signs of overpopulation. While there are fish in reasonable quantity, there are not many of reasonable size this year.
In an effort to stem the problem, biologists are introducing new residents to the water. Last month, 950 adult smallmouth bass, caught by bass club members in Flaming Gorge, fierce predators on the smaller fish, were planted.
They are also looking at the possibility of introducing the tiger muskellunge, or tiger musky into Pineview. The tiger musky is a cross between a male northern pike and a female muskellunge, a large fish that is cousin to the pike.
A mix of the two results in a fish that grows large, 20-plus pounds, and best of all would have a voracious appetite for the overpopulated species now in the reservoir.
According to Bruce Anderson, information specialist for the DWR, the muskies to be introduced would be sterilized, "in order for us to control the numbers."
Pineview was never intended to be a hatchery for warmwater fish. They were planted there illegally sometime after the last treatment of the Ogden Canyon reservoir back in 1970.
Theory is that the crappie came from Willard Bay, the perch from Deer Creek and Bear Lake, and the bluegill from Pelican and Willard.
Fishermen playing fisheries biologists caught and then transported the fish to Pineview and then released. Two fish of the opposite sex is sufficient to establish a species in a reservoir. And once in a water, there's nothing short of another total treatment that will remove them.
Fishermen familiar with Pineview have moved into a summertime pattern, which is trolling the deeper sections of the reservoir in the early hours, then moving in closer to shore when water skiers begin the stir, then moving back out deeper in the evening.
Best fishing for trout has been early morning and late evenings, while best fishing for crappie, bluegill and bullhead has been mid-day. Being a popular recreation site, fishermen have found staying in deeper waters difficult and not very productive when water skiers are out.
Some of the best fishing has been for Pineview crappie, which have been running in the seven- to 11-inch range. Keepers are generally those over eight inches.
Best fishing has been with Bobby Garland's "Crappie Gitzets" and "Mini Gitzets," or feather jigs in chartreuse, red or white tipped with a piece of night crawler.
The nightcrawler not only sweetens the lure for crappie but makes it very appealing to bullheads. Between the two, fishermen can take home 74 fish - 24 bullhead and 50 crappie.
The bullhead, a smaller variety of catfish, feed anytime of day and are considered an easy fish to catch. Their size - most in the one-pound range - makes them a less appealing catch to fishermen.
Bullheads are, however, very palatable and very active when hooked.
A good rigging for crappie, bluegill and bullhead is to use a bubble with a "Gitzet" or jig hanging about six feet below the surface. The retrieve is slow. At the first indication of a bite, a slight tug or a quicker retrieve will usually set the hook.
Likely fishing spots would be rocky points or coves with gravel bottoms. Finding water six-feet deep or deeper, though, is the secret.
Shore fishermen casting out into water six-feet deep and deeper have been doing almost as well as boat fishermen.