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Ok all, break out the tips and patterns, bass in the blood, but not in the boat, laughing.

Texas boy looking for lunker finding bait....

any ideas or reports for some good bass within 2 hour drive of denver?

thanks
 

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I'm not from Denver but from most of the fishing reports I think I would try Rocky Mountain Arsenal, just to get that first bass of the year caught.
Click on the search button then goto advanced search then uncheck all the boxes except Fishing reports and type in bass and you should find plenty of information. This is why this site is such a great tool, just have to learn to use it to your liking.
 

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I'd just go chatfield. A record smallie may very well be lurkin in those waters
Some boater said he cought an 18 incher, not too far off. records only 21, I think(fatty though)
I cought a 17 incher off damn. only 2-3 pounds though, i think
 

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McFish said:
To get into big bass Kansas is the answer.
??? Kansas State record bass is 11 lbs., 12 oz set in 1977 so its old no signs of improvement. Our state record is 11 lbs., 6 oz set in 1997 which shows signs of better bass fishing from a state not known for bass fishing. Kansas may have more bass lakes then here but I wouldnt say they are bigger bass. 3-5 lbers are common in both states.
 

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I fish both states like a maniac and Kansas has a much better population of big bass. Some of the lakes are on the decline due to drought but one good example is Cedar Bluffs. Tell me one lake in Colorado that even compares to that. I love Colorado but it does not have the large lakes that support abundant big largemouths. Are there good bass holes in Colorado you bet. I will admit that I have never fished the western slope maybe it is different there?
 

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The bass grow faster in Kansas than Colorado, The lower elevation and the warmer water lead to a bit longer growing season. It would be great to catch a few 5 lb or bigger bass..........

Dan
 

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Pueblo ain't bad. I would not expect to catch a 5 lb bass there but it is possible. a 25 fish day is not hard to have there. Average size is around 13 inches but I did see a dead 8 lb there a couple years back.
 

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McFish said:
I will admit that I have never fished the western slope maybe it is different there?
Yeah. Connected lakes is a small pond but a 3 lb. fish is the average. I've seen pictures in the daily sentinel and stuff and seen a bunch of 8+ pounders out of there. Bass in the 5-8 lb. range are fiarly common (my largest landed is only 6 lbs, but plenty in the 5 lb. range), but it is too small a pond IMO to have anything over about 12 or 13.
Highline has really big bass also. Caught em up to 6 there. Heard of em caught up to 10.
Juniata has a low pop. of largemouth bass but I have seen some that are record breakers in there. Smallmouth as well.
For smallmouth bass if you want consistent big fish the yampa river is your best bet. The average is only 12" but in one day of floating I caught about 10 smallmouth 2.5 lbs. or better including one that was almost 5 lbs.
Of course all of these fisheries are a ways away from denver.
 

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I know of four lakes on the western slope where five pounders are pretty common. That would be highline, connected lakes, harvey gap, and Juniata.
Harvey Gap has produced numerous state record bass, but they are eaten and are not verified. I have seen the photos. A 17 pound largemouth and a 6 pound smallmouth from Harvey Gap. They aren't posed photos and they are on location at the lake. Huge bass.
Colorado, especially Western Colorado, has a higher growth rate than Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Montana, and most all states in the Northeast. Also a better growth rate and warmer water than both Washington and Oregon. Again it really is just a matter of proper management.
 

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waterwolves said:
What would be a good day at Harvey Gap fishing? 10 fish? Might go if I can. I have a three day weekend coming up.
It has very few bass in it anymore. It used to have vast populations of 3 lb. schools of largemouth swimming around but now only has few. Since most west slope waters are not allowed to be stocked with anything warmwater, this occured. Also, DOW kept the limit at the louzy 5 fish 15" or greater, when they should've been protected. That limit may be 2 now but I'm not sure. I've seen that picture and heard the stories of the 17 lb. bass but it may or may not be true. I thought once I read about it in the paper but I'm not sure. Epic and rottal showed how easy it is to doctor photos in some thread a while back.
IMO you don't want to waste time at harvey gap, it is a lake that is waaaaaay past its peak thanks to poor management. Gone are the days of big pike, big catfish, and big bass. A few lunker bass still remain though and on the DOW website in I belive march or early april it talked about a guy from grand junction who caught a 6 and a half pound smallmouth or something like that.
 

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I have no doubt there are six lb smallies here in Colorado! I would bet they exist here in Aurora and Chatfield. Maybe on the Western slope? I have never heard of a Northern strain largemouth getting that big? I have fished for largemouths for 35 years here in Colorado and Kansas. The biggest I ever saw personally was about nine lbs. The biggest I ever caught was 7 1/2 lbs. You would be talking about a fish that was 6 lbs larger than our state record ???

Aurora will break the record eventually if all the idiots around here quit keeping three and four lbers :mad: Donald got one over five lbs last year!
 

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Neal/CO said:
I have no doubt there are six lb smallies here in Colorado! I would bet they exist here in Aurora and Chatfield. Maybe on the Western slope?
Oh, I'm sure they exist over here on the west slope, IMO probably in much more common numbers than on the east slope since we have less people that can fish for them in certain areas.
Record possibilites for smallmouth: 1) Yampa River. Smallmouth abound in the 12" range, but fat, and many up to 18" are easily caught in 1 day. (I give an 18" smallmouth on the yampa nearly 4 lbs., these fish are extremely fat, probably because they gorge on crayfish on young smallmouth!) And I did catch a smallmouth that was almost 20" and almost 5 lbs. The only curveball with the yampa is how it is managed. USFWS blasts that thing with electricity yearly to try to take out the smallmouth and pike. If possible, they take the biggest of these species they see. I also believe that when the river bed gets blasted with electricity, it has a high mortality rate on the crayfish. In little yampa canyon, I floated the yampa about 1 week after they shocked it and found many dead crayfish near the bank in many places, blown apart. Their state of decation was appx. equal to 1 week. So a food source is slowly leaving them. Also, the limit for smallmouth is UNLIMITED. Enough said. Also, the best fishing in the yampa river is in tough to access canyons, thus making record fish easily caught but less likely to be brought out and shown to authorities. Do I think the yampa has a lot of record smallmouth? Yeah, I know it does. Saw too many 3-5 lbers swimming in the water to think differently. Do I think people will catch record smallmouth out of the yampa? Yeah, but they will either be eaten or less likely to be shown to the authorities to get the record. Do I think the fishing on the yampa will last? No, we all have the ESA and USFWS and CDOW to thank for that. Fishery also has a chance for record northern pike.
2) Juniata Reservoir: A walk in reservoir that you cannot boat with fish that are well fed from extremly numerous crayfish and very smart. I have caught marble eyes up to almost 4 lbs here and saw some guy (when icefishing was legal) catch when he weighed at almost 4.5 lbs. Most of the smallmouth shore anglers will catch will be the small ones near the dam, but every now and then you get lucky. If icefishing is ever reallowed here, I think the record could easily be caught then. As wierd as it sounds, I saw many huge smallmouth landed when icefishing it. The smallmouth need this limit IMO, 5 fish, under 12 OR 4 fish under 12" and 1 fish greater than 18". This lake also has rainbow trout record potential, and largemouth bass record potential, although the populations of both are low.
3)Harvey Gap Reservoir: The big momma was probably already caught AND KEPT AND KILLED this spring with a 6? something caught. I'm sure if there is one there is another swimming around.
 

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TroutFishingBear said:
Neal/CO said:
I have no doubt there are six lb smallies here in Colorado! I would bet they exist here in Aurora and Chatfield. Maybe on the Western slope?
Oh, I'm sure they exist over here on the west slope, IMO probably in much more common numbers than on the east slope since we have less people that can fish for them in certain areas.
Record possibilites for smallmouth: 1) Yampa River. Smallmouth abound in the 12" range, but fat, and many up to 18" are easily caught in 1 day. (I give an 18" smallmouth on the yampa nearly 4 lbs., these fish are extremely fat, probably because they gorge on crayfish on young smallmouth!) And I did catch a smallmouth that was almost 20" and  almost 5 lbs. The only curveball with the yampa is how it is managed. USFWS blasts that thing with electricity yearly to try to take out the smallmouth and pike. If possible, they take the biggest of these species they see. I also believe that when the river bed gets blasted with electricity, it has a high mortality rate on the crayfish. In little yampa canyon, I floated the yampa about 1 week after they shocked it and found many dead crayfish near the bank in many places, blown apart. Their state of decation was appx. equal to 1 week. So a food source is slowly leaving them. Also, the limit for smallmouth is UNLIMITED. Enough said. Also, the best fishing in the yampa river is in tough to access canyons, thus making record fish easily caught but less likely to be brought out and shown to authorities. Do I think the yampa has a lot of record smallmouth? Yeah, I know it does. Saw too many 3-5 lbers swimming in the water to think differently. Do I think people will catch record smallmouth out of the yampa? Yeah, but they will either be eaten or less likely to be shown to the authorities to get the record. Do I think the fishing on the yampa will last? No, we all have the ESA and USFWS and CDOW to thank for that. Fishery also has a chance for record northern pike.
2) Juniata Reservoir: A walk in reservoir that you cannot boat with fish that are well fed from extremly numerous crayfish and very smart. I have caught marble eyes up to almost 4 lbs here and saw some guy (when icefishing was legal) catch when he weighed at almost 4.5 lbs. Most of the smallmouth shore anglers will catch will be the small ones near the dam, but every now and then you get lucky. If icefishing is ever reallowed here, I think the record could easily be caught then. As wierd as it sounds, I saw many huge smallmouth landed when icefishing it. The smallmouth need this limit IMO, 5 fish, under 12 OR 4 fish under 12" and 1 fish greater than 18". This lake also has rainbow trout record potential, and largemouth bass record potential, although the populations of both are low.
3)Harvey Gap Reservoir: The big momma was probably already caught AND KEPT  AND KILLED this spring with a 6? something caught. I'm sure if there is one there is another swimming around.

It's terrible how these people with the CDOW and USFWS take advantage of greedy people to help wipe out fish that they and environmental extremists arbitrarly decided shouldn't be there. I know that their shocking does damage to certain parts of the food chain. Plus, taking out a lot of the pike and catfish means their isn't a huge predator around to keep smallmouth numbers in check. This man end up making the smallmouth more numerous.
The smallmouth are so established in the Yampa that they will never be able to make much of a dent in them. Why they bother is beyond me, especially when the endangered fish are almost extinct, and that the native fish and endangered fish are extinct in the Colorado River below Davis Dam, so the last 450 miles of the Colorado River.
What they have done by basically plundering and pillaging our rivers is an inexcusable, unforgiveable thing. I know people will restock what they take out, legal or not. What the USFWS is doing should be illegal and they should pay.
 
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