Deeper lakes = Bigger Fish? - Colorado Fishing Forum

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Old 07-03-2008, 10:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Deeper lakes = Bigger Fish?

Just wondering, when trying to pick out high mountain lakes to fish, does the depth of the lake equate to the size of the fish? Been trying to pick out a backpacking/fishing destinations and wondering if I should go with the lakes that are deeper to up my chances of catching big cutties.
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Deeper lakes = Bigger Fish?

I do not think so, just look at Antero as an example, big fish grow fast there, but also winterkill so you take chances going to those places.

My favorites are lakes that have a nice shelf, then drop into an abyss.
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Deeper lakes = Bigger Fish?

Deeper lakes have less chance of a winter kill. On the other hand, shallow lakes can have abundant forage.
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Deeper lakes = Bigger Fish?

As was stated, if you are looking for big fish, look for lakes that have large shallow areas. There is more light penetration, which leads to more primary productivity and bigger fish in shallower lakes. As a side note, fishing shallow around weedbeds for trout is great because that is where they go to feed, they only hold in deeper water and feed sporadically. It is the weeds where they put on the feed bag. It is important that lakes have deeper areas though for refuge during the winter months. Most high mountain lakes do not have enough primary productivity to winter kill unless they are extremely shallow (They are rarely like Antero, as far as weed growth, which is really what leads to winter kill problems). As far as big fish go, it is really a matter of food sources. For example, most every lake I know in the high mountains with large fish has either scuds or leeches. There are some great, shallow productive lakes that I know that only have midges, mayflies and caddis, and they fail to grow fish very large, probably due to the short growing season. Those insects are emergent, which causes them to be easily available to the trout during their emergence, which only lasts a short period of time in high mountain lakes. Scuds and leeches are vulnerable all year, and are more protein rich than the other bugs. So, look for fairly shallow (but not too shallow), weedy lakes, and if they have abundant food options, you should have some big ole trout.
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Old 07-05-2008, 12:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Deeper lakes = Bigger Fish?

Food forage is what grows bigger fish.
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Old 07-05-2008, 12:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Deeper lakes = Bigger Fish?

Deeper lakes = bigger fish doesn't hold up, but high lakes less than 8-10 feet or so will often winterkill. Even that statement is a bit over-simplified though b/c trout can sometimes live in shallow lakes if there are springs or well-oxygenated areas near the inlet or outlet. There are lots of variables in terms of which high lakes have good trout. Sometimes, you have to take a chance and just go check 'em out.

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Old 07-05-2008, 01:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Deeper lakes = Bigger Fish?

It depends what your fishing for if your fishing for lake trout brown trout and such a deeper lake would be better
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Old 07-05-2008, 02:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Deeper lakes = Bigger Fish?

That's a tough one...I've caught nice fish in both deep and shallow lakes...Setting aside the deep lake question, I think a lot of other variables are more important.

As others have mentioned the availability of a consistent food source is one critical variable...the numbers of fish competing for that food source is another...Are there varying age classes showing consistent stocking patterns?...or natural reproduction...allowing for smaller fish to be available as forage for larger fish..? What are the oxygen levels and PH levels? Higher PH...usually ...larger fish...Does the lake Stratify? What are the average water temperatures.? In colder water, trout can consume less, yet grow faster...What is the surrounding terrain like? Are there a lot of terrestrials available as forage?...Terrestrials are critical at a lot of the alpine lakes...
How much pressure does the lake receive..?

Want a hint on where to find large trout in high alpine lakes? This is a secret...Please keep it to yourself and don't tell a soul...

Go to places with high numbers of hikers that walk right past lakes on the way to conquering their goal of summiting the next 13er or 14er...Fisherman don't like crowds and avoid those well traveled paths and hikers...don't usually take the time to fish...Great lakes..hidden right out in the open...

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Old 07-05-2008, 07:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Deeper lakes = Bigger Fish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajun
Food forage is what grows bigger fish.
Truth.

look at the illinois river below tenkiller, the san juan below navajo and many other places where the amount of forage is sickening.

We all have heard and seen Zman jumping for joy every time he finds out the the wiper are being fed via trout stockings at aurora res.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Deeper lakes = Bigger Fish?

when your talking bout pack in high lakes. the longer and tougher the hike, the bigger the fish (in general) find one way back in there loaded with scuds deep enough that it dont winter kill, and they will be calling you slayer Jr.
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