The big channel cats in Utah Lake and Willard Bay are biting well on sunny days, when the sun warms the water in the shallow bays.
This spring has been a strange one, with a cold storm coming across every day or two. But the weather is finally warming enough to get the cats going.
Catfish like the warmer water, and so they come into the shallow bays, where they feed actively. Some of the bays are extremely shallow – only two or three feet deep. You can often reach the fish casting from shore, or wading out. If you wade, be prepared for water two feet deep and mud three feet deep.
Put a crawler, hunk of shrimp or dead minnow on the bottom and let it sit. Keep your bail open so the fish can pick up the bait and swim away without feeling resistance. Give the fish a chance to get the hook well into its mouth, then pull up hard to set the hook.
Catfish action is also very good at Lake Powell. Fish for stripers or bass early in the morning and late in the evening, then go after the cats while you relax at camp during the middle of the day, or all night long if you want to. Put a worm or anchovie or piece of hot dog on the bottom in a cove where they bottom slopes off gently. Sit back and relax, and wait for a bite.
The catfishing in Gunlock Reservoir, near St. George, should also be coming on strong about now.
The Bear, Jordan and Sevier rivers also have good catfishing in spots.
Catfish action will continue to improve into June, and then stabilize as summer's heat sets in. During late May and June the cats begin to spawn along the rocky dikes and beaches. They are very aggressive at that time and will sometimes hit Rapalas.
Pineview Reservoir, east of Ogden, is the place to go for black crappie over the next few weeks.