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Discussion Starter #1
I've been out to the res a few times in Feb at dusk fishing mostly suspending jerkbaits in a few different areas.

I'm thinking the waters may be too shallow and cold still where I've been. I'm looking to access some deeper water and with the full moon coming up I'm considering fishing the dam to up my probabilities. The last time I was out there I saw some lights down around the dam so it would seem this is doable.

If anyone who has done this .. do you have any tips or advice? I see folks walking across the dam (walking dogs, etc) so I assume you just head out and down the rocks. Is there anything else I should know about fishing off the dam?

Thank you
 

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The nets go up 3/15 I believe so you have about 2 weeks. Showing my age but looks too dangerous for me, especially at night.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The nets go up 3/15 I believe so you have about 2 weeks. Showing my age but looks too dangerous for me, especially at night.
Thanks.. Yea, I'm definitely no fan of it either honestly.

It's not my first choice (I've been fishing around the dam and another area) but it just seems I must be too shallow. All signs I can see point to the dam for this part of the season.
 

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Yes, park and walk. They can be anywhere along the dam and I mean anywhere. The best advice I can give you is what I can no longer do myself: walk the riprap. Fan cast an area with one or two patterns (I carry two rods) then move to the next spot and resume fan casting. Slow retrieves as close to the shore as you dare. While you will get some takers on long casts directly out from shore, when they are in spawn mode they will be close to the rocks. Do that until you find them or get tired, then turn around and repeat it coming back. If they are there you will find them. Make sure your baits suspend perfectly or slowly rise. Good luck - hope to see your report.
 

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This time of year I prefer to use suspend dots on my jerkbaits to make sure they sit as still as I can get them, get them to depth and let them sit for a long count in these cooler temps, it's almost like a senko bite.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, park and walk. They can be anywhere along the dam and I mean anywhere. The best advice I can give you is what I can no longer do myself: walk the riprap. Fan cast an area with one or two patterns (I carry two rods) then move to the next spot and resume fan casting. Slow retrieves as close to the shore as you dare. While you will get some takers on long casts directly out from shore, when they are in spawn mode they will be close to the rocks. Do that until you find them or get tired, then turn around and repeat it coming back. If they are there you will find them. Make sure your baits suspend perfectly or slowly rise. Good luck - hope to see your report.
Absolutely you will. When I get off work this afternoon I'm headed out to do exactly this. I should be able to get there with about ~30min of daylight left.

My weather app (WU) is telling me the moon is at 85% tonight. I would think this would be enough moonlight to assist walleye after dark - but I really don't know how close to Full is most ideal - or frankly if the only meaningful battle right now is the water temps.

This time of year I prefer to use suspend dots on my jerkbaits to make sure they sit as still as I can get them, get them to depth and let them sit for a long count in these cooler temps, it's almost like a senko bite.
Spent 10 min right before work with a clear plastic container full of water testing the suspension of my jerkbaits. Looks like some modification is needed to get them to sit perfectly still.

I see online that sportsman's warehouse carries suspending dots. Don't know if the new one here carries them in store. I won't have time to grab any today anyway ... but thank you for this tip, I wouldn't have thought of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mon, Feb 26 - Dam Fishing Jerkbaits

Arrived at dam shortly before dusk.



First thing I did was temp the surface of the water, came in at 38.8°.



I started on the dam about a quarter of the way from the NE corner of N1 cove and the dam... working my way toward the dam. The wind was blowing directly at me 3/4 of the time, the other 1/4 being complete calm (wind picked up again after dark before leaving).

I was casting out suspending jerkbaits on 8lb fleuro and working them extremely slowly. An hour or so in I realized that I probably needed to jerk them pretty hard a few times immediately after casting so they could get down in depth. They otherwise aren't really getting down to depth except for the occasional jerk driving them down as part of my normal retrieve. Not clear optimal strategy here.

My retrieves were extremely slow and pauses excruciatingly long. I have just begun to throw jerkbaits this month, with my understanding of them coming from articles and youtube vids. I tried a few different cadences, some slower than excruciating (15 count) and some a touch less.

I temped the water again for consistency a couple hrs after arriving. Came in at 38.5°. The North Shore Marina reports water temps at 37° calling there this morning.





I ended at about 8:30 having not quite reached the dam. The moon was quite bright at 85%, especially after a few early clouds passed.

Final Tally:
Walleye: 0
Snagged/Lost Rapalas: 1

After deciding to pack it in and make the long, frustrating walk back I was surprised to see some folks arriving as I was leaving. When I reached the parking area two more vehicles pulled in as I was putting my gear away. I can't help but think I may have been a little early.

Here is the color and clarity of the water.




Here are some questions I have:

-Is this what they call "coffee colored" or "lightly stained"? It seems quite a bit clearer than most of the water looked last year when I started fishing.

-Given the water color, what are going to be ideal colors to throw? I was tossing:
-Rapala husky jerk 1/4oz color: Silver (HJ08 S), depth 4-6 ft
-Berkley Cutter 110, color: Table Rock, 9/16oz, depth 3-6 ft
-Rapala husky jerk 3/8oz, color: Glass Purple Sunfire (HJ10 GPSF) depth 4-8 ft (this is the one I snagged and lost)

These 3 jerkbaits comprise 3/5 of my jerkbaits (now 1/2). I want to pick up a couple more but would like to make sure I'm getting the right colors for the right conditions.

-Is a later start (in good moonlight conditions) more ideal?

-What do these water temperatures mean? It would seem to me they are still quite cold yet the consensus seems to be this is indeed prespawn time. Am I wasting my time right now? Or am I in need of some modifications and continued persistence?

Any feedback greatly appreciated.
 

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Walleye spawn when water temps are between 45 and 50 degrees. Right now is the pre-spawn, but you're fishing as if it was the spawn. Pre-spawn walleyes are going to be in 15 to 30 feet of water on the first flat closest to their spawning grounds. Deeper in clearer water.

The males will arrive at the spawning grounds before the females. Within the next week to ten days. They will also stay throughout the spawn, whereas the females will come in over a period of one to two nights do their business and leave, heading for the nearest feeding flat or mud basin. Not all females spawn at the same time, so some are constantly moving in.

Spawning activity will take place from dusk until about midnight. Generally from about the 10th of March until tax day. They'll be in that one to three or four foot of water right up on the bank. You should be directing your casts parallel to the dam or rocky points. Daytime hours the fish back off to the nearest deep water flat again.

Any windswept rocky point will attract spawning walleyes. The better the spawning habitat...the more spawners, but don't just limit yourself to the dam. Dark colors on a moonlit night ...bright colors on darker nights or stained water.

Yeah, you're a bit early for consistent action ...and definitely early as far as time of day/night.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This time of year I prefer to use suspend dots on my jerkbaits to make sure they sit as still as I can get them, get them to depth and let them sit for a long count in these cooler temps, it's almost like a senko bite.
No store here in Pueblo (dick's, the new sportsman's warehouse) carries either the dots or strips. I had to order them online. Supposedly arriving Thurs (day of full moon).

Walleye spawn when water temps are between 45 and 50 degrees. Right now is the pre-spawn, but you're fishing as if it was the spawn. Pre-spawn walleyes are going to be in 15 to 30 feet of water on the first flat closest to their spawning grounds. Deeper in clearer water.

The males will arrive at the spawning grounds before the females. Within the next week to ten days. They will also stay throughout the spawn, whereas the females will come in over a period of one to two nights do their business and leave, heading for the nearest feeding flat or mud basin. Not all females spawn at the same time, so some are constantly moving in.

Spawning activity will take place from dusk until about midnight. Generally from about the 10th of March until tax day. They'll be in that one to three or four foot of water right up on the bank. You should be directing your casts parallel to the dam or rocky points. Daytime hours the fish back off to the nearest deep water flat again.

Any windswept rocky point will attract spawning walleyes. The better the spawning habitat...the more spawners, but don't just limit yourself to the dam. Dark colors on a moonlit night ...bright colors on darker nights or stained water.

Yeah, you're a bit early for consistent action ...and definitely early as far as time of day/night.
With the dam closing on the 15th it would seem my window is fairly short. Once they close it I won't be able to work right off the rocks .. not that the lateral movement along the rocky dam last night was a picnic. I'm sure it gets easier - and funner - when there's something on the end of my line other than small tree limbs or an immovable boulder.

This timing does bring up the importance of alternate locations.

For pre-spawn (now until the 15th), it seems like I'll need to be getting some good long casts in with deeper diving jerkbaits than I have.
 

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I'm sure it gets easier - and funner - when there's something on the end of my line other than small tree limbs or an immovable boulder.
If it was easy everyone would be doing it. Put in the work for more than a few hours once or twice. Eventually your persistence will be off. Losing one jerkbait is nothing..... Try losing a couple hundred bucks worth in a 8 hour session and only catching one keeper....
 

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Ninja-sounds like you're as much of a tackle junkie as me. :)
 

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the water temp you are taking is the coldest water in yhe lake 2 feet deeper will be warmer at 25 feet it may be 45 or more deg so don't worry about the temp the only lure i use along the dam is a rogue suspending in blue back silver sides and orange belly the action will be much better after the nets come out and it can be good all summer. the biggest we caught was 14 lbs on the first weekend of aug.
 

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Ninja-sounds like you're as much of a tackle junkie as me. :)
Criminy He's got a second house that he rents just for storage. Its freekin full of BNIB lures, plastics, rods, reels, etc-:eek:
 

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It's known as Tackle Whorehouse!!...seventeen levels with elevators and semi truck ramps...Cheyenne Mountain thinking about buying it and branching out to the structure!
 
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