Utah Lake Angler, Pat Scouten, “TubeDude”
Pat Scouten is a well-known angler and respected expert – one who “knows it all” about fishing on Utah Lake. He has built an extensive knowledge of the types of fish, a variety of fishing techniques, unique locations, has studied the Lake’s history, and he has recommendations for its future.
Fishing defines Pat, who is known as “TubeDude” in blogs, on fishing websites, as an author, and newspaper contributor. When speaking of his experience of fishing on Utah Lake, he reminds people – “Fish is a four-letter word.” His experience includes building fishing rods, making various fishing lures, tying flies, and teaching classes on anything about this leisure activity. He also is keen on fish cookery and recipes. His angling “resume” includes over 250 species. These include sharks, sailfish, marlin, swordfish, tarpon, tuna, salmon, and halibut…from salt water; plus virtually all species of trout, bass, panfish, and catfish from fresh water. He has fished many of the nation’s rivers and lakes, as well as in the saltwater in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Sea of Cortez. He is quick to point out that he could fish anywhere he wants, but one of his lifelong favorite fishing holes has remained Utah Lake. “It is more about the personal history and the great fishing than the aesthetics,” he said.
Each of his parents came from large families with uncles and cousins who were all fishing fanatics. Born into this large family, he was exposed to water at an early age learning the techniques of the right and wrong way to do things. Through either “osmosis or heritage,” he learned the culture of fish. He acquired his first rod when he was four. The first fish he remembers catching was a brook trout when he six and he was hooked, and as the saying goes, “the rest is history.”
Pat’s father was an electrical contractor and chose to relocate to southern California during the building boom of the 1950s. Once on the west coast, Pat left trout behind and discovered warm and salt water fish. In 1961 he moved to Utah, majoring in premed zoology at BYU on his way to be becoming a marine biologist…hoping to end up at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. He began fishing at Utah Lake in 1961 while a BYU student– and has not stopped, with only brief interruptions. As a starving student, he spent many hours at Provo Harbor and his catches were welcomed in the food budget. Unfortunately, his studies were permanently interrupted by a family crisis that forced his return to California.
While living in Orange County, San Diego, and Santa Barbara, California, he worked as a deck hand on charter boats, commercial fishing boats and party boats. He had the opportunity to fish up and down the entire west coast – for a wide variety of species – fresh and salt water. He fished briefly as a tournament bass angler, but his favorite species became “whatever was available.”
Pat’s business career found him travelling extensively throughout the U.S. Many of his assignments required extended stays in some great fishing areas. Combining his natural enjoyment of travel and fishing allowed him to rack up a lot of “frequent-fisherman” miles on his tackle.
Pat and his wife, Delores, have always loved fishing on Utah Lake and having it in their fishing lives is important. That was one of the big reasons why they retired in Utah. Pat estimates that he spends about 1/2 of his fishing time each year on Utah Lake, with the rest divided up among all the other Utah waters. His favorite location is Lincoln Beach. “You can see the mountains at sunrise, with the marshes and wildlife. There are birds with cranes, noisy geese, and other fowl. It is a peaceful place to get away from the loud cars on the freeway,” he said. “The lake is a breathing, living entity – something everyone should enjoy.”
In 2002, while still living in Arizona, he joined the fishing website, www.BigFishTackle.com. After moving to Utah, he became a moderator/administrator of the site. He is no longer in a position of responsibility on the Utah board but contributes regularly. However, he is still a moderator for the separate Float Tubing board.
With the knowledge of species, access points, best place to fish types of fish, and all the gathered information by keeping logs, he became an expert of Utah Lake. He started writing magazine and newspaper articles, answering people’s questions, and attending meetings. He then compiled his logs/findings into a PDF “book” to share with his fellow fishermen. “I would like to think I have been able to get more people to fish at Utah Lake for the first time.” He believes he also gets the credit/blame for some anglers catching their first walleye and/or catfish due to his insight. He is happy to help others when he can.
His newest update of his compiled knowledge is divided into several sections, including popular fishing places, a second section on species with an introduction and a history of the different fish, and the third section is a supplemental folder with an update of Utah Lake through 2012. It contains PDF files, maps, links, and other helpful information. With his keen interest in the lake, he has studied its history. He knows about shoreline changes, water quality, programs including carp removal, species and their locations on the lake, and conditions of the lake in all types of weather (such as ice fishing), and other activities.
Carp are a hot topic of Utah Lake ecology these days. When asked about the edibility of carp, Pat admitted he has had carp from Flaming Gorge and Deer Creek, but would be reluctant to eat them from Utah Lake…especially with the advisory against PCBs. “They are a good food species, but the primary problem is the bones,” he said. Pat is knowledgeable of fish anatomy, so with his skill, he is able to make fish fillets from the carp to utilize them as food. He is a published author of recipes in magazines and one book from 1980s called Fetchin’ and Fixin’ the Fishes of Utah.
About Pat Scouten:
Pat Scouten has a keen sense of humor, “I need a sense of humor, or I would have no sense at all,” he said. He calls himself a “two-bit philosopher and unpaid analyst” sharing his quips and quotes with those who need/want advice. Pat utilizes what he calls the 3N formula – is it Necessary, Nonessential, or just Nice? “I like to share words to help people, to build confidence and self esteem; express to people good thoughts.”
He and Delores are partners in many activities. In the local fishing community, she is affectionately called “TubeBabe.” Married in 1979, they have celebrated 33 years of “awful wedded bliss” and a combined family. (He has three children from his first marriage and she has two.) They have traveled many places together. They have always enjoyed hiking, rock-hounding and photography. But their favorite sport is float tube fishing. Babe has earned her own reputation in her own right with fishing skills and abilities, as well as winning competitions. “When she says she is ready, people stand back and watch her go!” he said. “She can hold her own in any fishing situation.”
Pat has lived in Idaho, Arizona, California and other places north, south, east and west – but something always drew him back to Utah. There were at least two good reasons for retiring here. First, Babe had roots in Utah (born in Spring City) with a large family and circle of friends. The second motivator was that he liked fishing in Utah, especially Utah Lake.
Pat Scouten can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credits: Courtesy of Pat Scouten