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With all the shad in Chatfield this fall how do you think that will affect Walleye Size in 2006?

  • No Change, lots of 17.9 inchers with occasional keepers.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Marginally more keepers.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Significantly more keepers.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Almost all keepers.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No real difference in size but lots of really fat fish.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Don't care.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Don't know.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • There are Walleye in Chatfield?

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
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In my experience in the South (insert Dixie here), the shad made teh fish easier to catch as the fish (stripers, SMB, LMB, crappie, catfish, carp, drum, goldfish, gobies etc.) would hang out under the shad, especially at the dams. you just had to find the right bait to get through the schools. A live shad dropped through the school was always deadly too. Clip a fin or two on the shad to make it seem struggling. We would always look for structure or current that concentrated the shad and start there and downstream from there. Maybe live bait's the answer? I don't know, I've never fished for walleye, but if some of you guys have some good luck, I'll host the fish fry!
 

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I think they will all be 22" and none will be hungry, 

you will have to accidentally snag one to get one ... and if you accidentally snag 2 of them you will have to put one back because you can now only keep one over 21 in.s  ???  :-[

This means that you need another poll catagory
No keepers because all over 21" and no walleyes will eat anything with a line attached.
 

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Is anyone else concerned that Chatfield will become the next Cherry Creek??? With this mild winter and probly NO shad kill that those litte buggers will take over the lake like they have at CC. IMO CC has more and bigger eyes than CF but we all know how hard they are to catch due to the EZ meals they have????(maybe not more but?)

IMO


[me=Jay_In_Parker] [/me]
 

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Well I havent been walleye fishing much in fact only a few times. Never have I had any problems catching them at Chatfield, all I use is a fluorescent green walleye rig with two crawlers on it. I troll up the dam and then north of the handicap dock and it pays every time.
 

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If the couple of fish that I saw last fall are any indication, we will have some FAT fish, and at the beginning of the year we will have some over 18" but once those are out of the system we will be back to the 17.9" phenomenon. The DOW spawning operation every year proves that there are unbelievable numbers of BIG fish in the lake, they are just hard to catch. As far as the shad "problem" goes, it sure is nice to have too many shad rather than the low water year when we didn't have a lot of forage and the fish got really skinny. What's good for the fish isn't always good for the fisherman, (although balance is nice. ;D) I predict that with other lakes like CC, Horsetooth, Pueblo and Aurora having better fishing and taking a little pressure off Chatfield, it could be the awesome fishery that it was just a couple short seasons ago.
 

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I will be out on the dam of Chatfield and Cherry Creek alot this spring! Fishing wasn't that bad last year at Chatfield ? Glendo is the lake that has really fallen off!
 

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Yes Chatfield was productive in the spring for me too ...

but the game & fish department dumped all those breeder gizzard (sp?) shad (12+ inchers) in there early in the year so they had not yet spawned.

Later in the spring the screen on my fish finder sometimes would jsut be black with shad and I am not kidding I drove through a stretch of "boling shad" that had to be 30 yards wide and over 150 yards long.

Why is it that the game and fish department never does anything in moderation. I do not know how many breeder shad were dumped in CF last year but I would guess that about 15% of the number would have been plenty.

And I bet those breeder shad really like Walleye and Smallmouth eggs for breakfast :mad:

Mac
 

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Hi all;
Had my boat out on Chatfield two weeks ago and can testify that the shad are thick as they were last fall. Appears to be little die-off. I did happen to snag one of those breeder shad - was 2lbs, 13oz have pics if any doubts the size.

Weather was nice, fished from 9A to 2P jigs with plastics and with crawlers - not a hit. Chased the shad schools hoping to pick up a
hungry eye but no good. Surface water temp was only 35 degrees and still had a water skier churning up the place
 

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Welcome to the site.

So with all the above is it a real concern of it being like another CC?

Everyone talks about the Walleyes getting fat'er, but I cant wait to see some of those fat smallies.


I guess time will tell.

[me=Jay_In_Parker] [/me]
 

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I'd like to see a picture of it...I once saw a huge shad at pueblo thing scred the crap out of me as I was bending over the edge of the boat trying to catch my rod as it sank to the bottom...darn thing jumped right in front of me. I thought it was a smallmout but my partner said it was a shad..thing was huge!!!
 

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i think it'll be about the same size. even smaller. i've been fishing at the dam spillway for last 5 years in a row about once a week every season (early to mid spring when they drain excess water from the reservoir) and been through hundreds of walleyes. i haven't seen any growth in size and the fish are very bony.... i think people who say walleyes are going to be bigger this year don't know what they're talking about. i'm a regular at the spillway. i gotta say fish were bigger 5 years ago than last year. i don't think they are adapting too well at chatfield.
 

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Allright guys, I just moved here from MN, but this situation is very similar to that of what we have experinced back there the last 8-10 years on lake Mille Lacs, oveabundance of forage=tough biting, but very healthy walleye populations. It is a very simple cycle or should hopefully work out that way, in the high shad years, fishing may be tough, but at least thare are big chunky fish out here, at peak periods(i.e. pre and postspawn, and fall) of the year one would think a person could scratch up some fish, and at least those you catch will be quality. Once that shad population declines, the bite will be on, and everyone will benefit, with a fishery full of chunky, hungry eyes!

Note I don't know anything about the life cycle of shad, spawning, and etc, but the perch on Mille Lacs were at a high point the last couple of years, and now they are declining, and naturally walleye fishing is getting pretty darn awesome, especially with numbers of big fish.

Are there multiiple year classes of fish making up the population in Chatfield? If so I would hope to find some trophy fish if they are that well fed. Sounds like there are lots of 17 inchers, get into many in the 25-30 inh range, thats what I am looking for.
 

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Sook, it is a real pleasure to finally find a real expert on Chatfield on this site. Am looking forward to
your insite on what works and what does not work before I try fishing there.
 

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chef...

If so I would hope to find some trophy fish if they are that well fed.
...supposedly they took fish larger than the 18 pound state record during spawn taking last year...hey Looney...didnt you help out...what was the biggest monster you saw at Chatfield...I think there are ones pushing 20 in Cherry Creek...and I know the largest out of Aurora I think to date is 14 and change...
 

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sook

i think it'll be about the same size. even smaller. i've been fishing at the dam spillway for last 5 years in a row about once a week every season (early to mid spring when they drain excess water from the reservoir) and been through hundreds of walleyes. i haven't seen any growth in size and the fish are very bony.... i think people who say walleyes are going to be bigger this year don't know what they're talking about. i'm a regular at the spillway. i gotta say fish were bigger 5 years ago than last year. i don't think they are adapting too well at chatfield.
...I think they will be different this year based on a couple of factors and yes the ones early last year from the spillway and lake were emaciated...they clearly hadnt had enough food...the shad had crashed in the lake...the major infusion of water coming out of the lake due to runoff is normally a late May, all of June, sometimes beginning of July...if I remember correctly the DOW didnt put all the breeder shad from Chatfield in until June...in fact I just went and found the article written by Ed Dentry of the News entitled LIVE AID: SCADS OF SHAD RENEW FOOD BASE IN AREA RESERVOIRS that was published on June 15th of last year...so the adult shad didnt go in until the beginning of June...most people had a tough time catching fish out there after the huge boils baby baitfish appeared...with anglers reporting either a few trout or eyes on each excursion if any at all...which would suggest fish dining heavily on the new food source or some pretty good fisherman becoming bad fisherman...there have also been a couple of pictures of recent trout out of Chatfield that I think make things encouraging for walleye fatness...the following trout pictures by Raynman, Cold Water Assasin, and WonMoreFish (thanks for the pictures guys) from Chatfield in January suggest they have been dining quite heavily on the minnow forage base...ie. I dont think they got all those chins from sipping size 24 midges...and walleyes are even bigger fish eaters than trout...here are the pictures:







That last one was 10 inches and weighed 19 pounds...just kidding...I think it looks promising for Chatfield...I am more stoked than Looney on a case of happy pills!...
 

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Zman, thanks for the info...I have been hoping to hear about that type of fish potential out here, with the warm weather and extended growth season. It is really hard to crack the 30 in. mark back in MN, lots of 10 pound fish out there, if in the right spot and time, but above and beyond that are tough to come by.
By the trout pics, and from what everyone says I am really excited about checking things out on Chatfield. Should be interesting to see what type of reports come in this spring.
 
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