Shoals are submerged islands which fail to reach the surface. In deep water areas shoals provide a sudden littoral zone,
and aquatic life is attracted to them. Fish have ready access to a drop-off area which surrounds them. Shoals can provide a variety of temperature zones, areas of protection, and additional food supplies.
Utah Lake’s Bird Island is an example of a shoal. During high water years it is submerged and hard to locate in this large muddy lake. Bird Island consists of gravel surrounded by vast areas of mud. Outstanding numbers of walleye and catfish live here. Also, Bird Island is a hot spot for duck hunting because its littoral zone provides vegetation which the ducks eat.
Locating shoals is best done by visual observation from a vantage point; again look for lighter greenish areas surrounded by deeper bluish waters. Many times shoals are extensions of land points. A ridge continued out into the lake may contain a shoal. These points can continue out into the water and present a ridge of shallower shoals. Fish are attracted to these ridge points because of their advantageous conditions. Cruising fish must spend more time in these areas traveling a longer distance around such shoals. Look for gravelly points of land extending out into a lake. Video sonar is useful in locating and plotting shoals when direct vision is poor. Map these areas when found because they are consistent fish producers.
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