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Discussion Starter #1
Alright,

I am taking off the first two weeks of April to do nothing but fish for Walleye. This year is really my first year targeting Walleye.

My goal is to catch a monter Walleye (Anything over 5lbs. )

I have a few questions for all you Walleye Experts:

1. Is there certain structure (drop offs, points, etc) or cover ( i.e rocks, gravel bottoms) that I should try to focus my fishing efforts?

2. How about lures? Should I go with big aggresive lures or lures with less action? What are some of your favorite lures for the April time frame.

3.  Should I be trolling? If so do I need to focus in deeper water?

4. Where do you think I have the best chance of cathing a big Walleye, Cherry Creek or Chatfield?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Michael
 
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Hmm, the million dollar question!

I think the biggest walleye are in Cherry Creek but people generally do better at Chatfield. As far as the rest of your questions,
1. Is there certain structure (drop offs, points, etc) or cover ( i.e rocks, gravel bottoms) that I should try to focus my fishing efforts?

2. How about lures? Should I go with big aggresive lures or lures with less action? What are some of your favorite lures for the April time frame.

3.  Should I be trolling? If so do I need to focus in deeper water?
Answer is:
1. yes, all
2.Yes, I have about two of everything and use them all
3.Yes/Maybe, No/Maybe

I know it's a smart a$$ answer, sorry. I'll PM you an idea but bear in mind, we are all looking for that REALLY BIG wally!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, maybee trying to target "big Walleye" is pretty much hit and miss. I am not really familiar with Walleye feeding habits during april (or any month for that matter since I am relatively new to Walleye fishing). If I cannot target "big Walleye", then should I target certain areas for "numbers"?
 

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Well I am not too familiar with Colorado walleye, but here is my opinion:

1: agree with laker taker...yes, all and add weedbed edges as well as sand flats/bars.

2. i always used a 3 foot homemade spinner (red/green beads with gold/silver blades) with a splitshot 6" or so above the leader (size depending on depth). Tip it with a nightcrawler (snip body off below heart and use bottom half...the head is great for bluegill fishing). Troll just fast enough to flicker the blades (about 60-75 feet behind boat. If you think the fish are aggressive, switch to jigging with minnow,crawler or leech. Speed up a little bit if bass or bluegil keep taking the worm.

3. Troll, drift or anchor. You will probably have to try them. I would troll or drift. Either way, you will probably have to slow down even if you don't think so.

4. Canada...lol, no j/k , I really don't know (not from here), I am looking to find out myself.

Sorrry for the long response. Good luck. April and May are the good months to catch big walleye. Note that when post spawn occurs, the bigger females will more than likely be found in deeper water.
 

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mind you im no expert but i did catch 1 walleye last year. if i wanted BIG i would try some good sized cranks and big grubs or maybe a bottom bouncer with some BIG shinner/shad or even some gills like 6" plus sized bait fish. if it can swallow a 6" gill it will put a bend in your rod and a smile on your face
 

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the best place for big walleye is rifle gap, but there aren't many in there anymore, and with the regulation changed this year it won't be too many years until they are completely gone.
 
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Another spot is Lake MacConoughy. About 3 hours up I-76. Caught my biggest there (10lbs 6oz).

I have to warn you though you may be disappointed. Comparing the fight of big walleye vs. 18 inch walleye, the big walleye tend to fight more like wet socks.
 

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I'm no expert but my thoughts are as follows. The girls have just spawned and from conversations with biologists, they tend to take a few weeks to recover. During this time they eat a little but are not ultra aggressive. Depending on where you go and when the spawn ended, it might be a tougher bite than normal for the big girls. The males on the other hand are not set back by the spawn, in fact their activity just increases after the spawn..

I'd say deep drop offs relatively close to spawn sites and big slow moving cranks or big jigged minnows. Go big and slow as the girls are in recovery mode after the spawn. Come to think of it my wife was a bit slow after our three kids...hmmmmm.

Use your electronics and motor over the base of drop offs and deeper holes, channels looking for arches that are not moving (thick mid section arch with equal trailing off front and back). Look for these hugging the bottom. Ignore the arches that are either rising or diving when you pass over them as these probably are not the big females. Take note of the depth and set a big stick bait about 1 foot above then and retrace the route at 1 to 1.5 mph. If they dont take the stick bait and you still see them in that area, go back with a big jig and big minnow. Drop it on their nose.

Specific lakes? Stay local. The 3 hour drive to a distant lake is time better spent just motoring a lake looking for fish with the electronics and fishing. Colorado has plenty big walleye, they are just a bit tough to catch. Also keep in mind that only a portion of the arches you see will be eyes, if you have an Aqua Vue and the water is clear enough, ID the species before spending time dropping a line.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Walleye970,

I wish I could revise my time but with my job I usually have to plan several months out. For some reason, I thought April was the prime time. I guess I will just have to take my chances. Did you use a common lure for all your 10 lbers?
 

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april would be the perfect time to go to chatfield drainage. you can only fish when they are draining the lake and the water flow is at fullest and that is usually from early april to early june. i've fished there for years and every time i had success. don't even try to fish there if the water is flowing slowly. you don't even need fancy lures to fish there. just set up a 2ft long leader from a pair of split shot sinkers and use half a nightcrawler or a whole leech. cast out into the current let it drift around. not only you'll catch high quantity of walleyes but you'll catch lots of other species like stocker trout, bass, sunfish and occasional catfish. remember this. you'll have much better luck on the left side of the drainage than the right. i don't know why this is but im pretty sure its because of the favorable underwater topography.
 

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the good thing about the location i mentioned is that you can fish there anytime during the day as long as they are draining the lake. remember, more water they drain, the better it is. i would survey the area before heading out. last time i checked (early march) they weren't draining the lake yet. if that's the case, avoid the area.
 
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I wouldn't count on a high run-off in the near future. I'm sure they are obligated to send water downstream based on water right laws, but they are going to raise the water level at Chatfield to twelve feet above what the current high water mark is. Plan is to make the tail water area a "cold water trout fishery" as well as increasing storage capacity for drinking water. If they do let a lot of water out, this will probably be the last year for high levels of drainage.
 

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I think the last state  record came from standley res. and the one befor that was at Horsetooth res.  where there is one there is probably another. the way weather and water temps are standley would be my choice
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey Sook,

Thanks for the info on the outlet. When you are fishing the outlet, are you casting between the two cement walkways towards where the water is coming out or are you fishing out more in the open from the left walkway?
 

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If I was trying for a trophy walleye right now, this would be my plan.

First, hope for warm, stable weather to keep the water warming and the walleyes happy.

Fish at night. I'm talking between 10 pm and 4 am.

Normally, I'd almost exclusively fish the dam, but you cannot fish withing 100' of the dam from 4 pm to 9 am on either Chatfield or CC until the DOW is done netting walleyes, around April 15. At Chatfield, you can fish the small rock bar that juts out from the south end of the dam rip rap. I'd fish very shallow - 1' to 6' deep.

The baits of choice for this are long, minnow shaped crankbaits like an Original Rapala. I prefer to long line troll them at slow speeds, but you can cast as well.

I've caught some nice walleyes with this pattern at Chatfield including a 13 pounder (see the photo gallery), but I usually don't start until early May, after the DOW are done netting.
 

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Michael in Parker said:
Hey Sook,

Thanks for the info on the outlet. When you are fishing the outlet, are you casting between the two cement walkways towards where the water is coming out or are you fishing out more in the open from the left walkway?
you can walk on to the cement walkways and just cast straight out, its pretty open there. you can go to the rocky banks along the spillway and you can fish there too. not very safe, though, specially on a rainy day.....
 

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I've fished the chatfeild spillway a few times, here are some techniques:

Big Water: water will be moving too fast to fish between cement walls. Cast out into flows or Jig around the ends of the walkways. Big minow 6' below a bobber with weight to keep him down works well (seen a 17 lb cat pulled in this way). Crawlers floated off the bottom produces too. Probibly the best time to work shorline w/ twisters and rapalas.

Moderate flows: Begin to fish between the cement walls, towards the end and sides. I always like jigging, but a crawler or leach floated w/ enough weight to keep it in place works too. also try drifting crawlers, little weight thrown right into the flow and drifted out to the end. Shorline is still productive, but i think the fish start moving into the actual spillway as flows decrease.

Low flows: Fish will move right up to where the water comes in. I've often watched them try to run back up the flow into the res. Jigging is always my favorite, drifting a crawler too. Fish only between the cement walls.

Dead flow: My most productive day out at the spillway was in the dead of summer, mid july or so, with the river almost turned compleatly off. Fished for 2 hrs with no results, for eyes and trout. Then i scoped a school of bait fish cornered up against the inlet, being fed on. Me and a buddy landed maby 10 or 12 eyes in 30 min throwing rapps, then it died again. No way to predict stuff like that, but it was after the crowds had abandoned the spillway, no one but the two of us there.

As always come with patients and a sense of humor, that place can get real crowded and lines get crossed (no pun intended).

and don't bother untill the flows start, there won't be anything there untill they do- 8)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Milehigh Eyes said:
Fish at night.  I'm talking between 10 pm and 4 am. 
Hey Mile High,

I never know you could catch Walleye late in the night as you mentioned. Do you typically fish late for Walleyes? Is late at night more productive than say right after Sunset.? How are the numbers?

thanks again for the info. I might go out tonight.
 
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