Your recent article in Vol. 9, #13 on the wipers at Willard Bay was so intriguing I found it necessary to try my luck and spend part of a day fishing for them.
On the Friday after I received your fine magazine, my cousin, John Garrard of West Point, and I went to the North Marina early in the morning. We started fishing about 7:30 a.m. and using the fish finder on my float tube we found several schools of fish. However, we didn't receive any bites on our jigs until after we had been fishing for over an hour. I had a large unknown type fish take my jig, attached to four-pound line, and begin a battle which lasted over 10 minutes. The fish dived, twisted and made more than four runs. At times I thought I would either lose my rod and reel or the rod would break due to the tremendous power the fish was exerting on it. Unfortunately, the closest I could get the fish was three feet below the surface, when with a sudden pull, the line broke.
After tying a new jig on, we proceeded to fish around the marina and came upon another large school of fish. At last we found the wipers. The fish didn't put up much of a fight at first, but within seconds the battles began. We fished for several more hours and caught and released numerous 6-8 inch wipers.
On Saturday the 16th I went to Willard Bay after wipers. While I didn't catch as many fish, I did catch a 14-incher. The fish did the same thing as the large fish which I lost the previous week. What a fight! It took several minutes before I could land and measure it. But the excitement and fun of catching such a tough fighting fish has made me a believer.
The one thing my cousin and I did in order to release the fish we caught was to crimp the barb down on our hooks. This made it easier to release the fish with a minimum of harm.
A special thanks to the DWR for planting the wipers in Willard. I hope they will plant them in other Utah waters which can support them. I suggest the DWR post around the reservoir the limit on the wipers and a picture so individuals will be able to recognize them.
Dick Jorgensen, Ogden, UT