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Jefferson Lake 02/04/06

We got there at sunrise as usual. The road was snowpacked so we parked next to the paystation & loaded up. The ride up was beautiful, lots of fresh snow and started with some broken trail. Then came across 2 guys with their sleds stuck, We didn?t take a chance on stopping since there were 2 of us on 1 sled with trailer & another buddy right behind us.
From there it was untracked road & a soft deep ride. Between the two sleds we were on, we only managed to get stuck twice & not too bad at that

There were a few trucks at the bottom, not sure if all of them were going fishing, but only 1 other group of 2 or 3 guys ended up on the lake ? We figured everyone else ran like hell either because of the road or the wind.

Punched a couple holes and marked fish instantly, set up camp on 12-13 FOW. Setting up the Ice Cube was a battle with wind ? the wind turned it into a huge kite  ? wind was ferocious at times. Once the anchors were set, everything was cool. The ice cube is great, roomy, folds like a tent, lightweight & should fit into a trunk & maybe a backpack ? recommended

So we finally got to fishing & it was as usual: a fish frenzy, nonstop action until about noon. Iced probably 60+ fish between the 3 of us & all limited. All rainbows 8-13?, one 14? male cutthroat. We used mealies on various jigs/tubes: white, red, pink, green ( the red did best early on, but we figured anything with a mealie will produce fish here )

I ended up using a Stike King 2.75? Bitsy Salt Tube (watermelon blue flake) with a standard 1 hook jighead, put a little ?trout gravy? inside and a mealie attached ? the fish were hitting at it, but no hook ups. I experimented and rigged same tube with a 1/8 oz slip bullet weight inside as its head and a treble hook out the bottom, was magic. I figure bigger the tube, bigger the fish. Not too long iced that Cutthroat & some nice size Rainbows also ? Is there a name for that rigging? I want to name it the Colorado rig

We had a few crossed lines, the smaller fish are very aggressive & attack the jigs then run like crazy. The bigger ones had a slower bite & seem lazy.

The bite always stops about noon here. I wish I had brought my snowboard, Big Worm was hitting some deep backcountry powder on his sled. Is a nice option when the fish stop biting?? all in all,  Was a great day!!!  Enjoy the pics!


Nice early pile


Tried to get photo of how strong wind was, doesnt really show how windy it really was









We thought this was a HUGE fish when I hooked it, was very erratic and felt like a wopper. Was a good laugh after pulling it up, still was a keeper







 

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Lol I've had the same thing happen. I foul hooked a 17" laker this year and thought when I hooked it, it was the fish I'd been waiting for. It is always funny when you finally get a foul hooked fish to the hole and you think...oh.........kind of disappointing but always funny.
Anyway, good report and that is a pretty cutthroat!
 

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My pulse definatly soared, been a while since I felt something that big. plus I drank a whole pot of coffee :D
 

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I just love the pictures everyone is posting. How do you keep your camera from freezing? Dosn't the cold ruin the electronics?
 

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Beautiful, I cant wait till the ice is gone. This is one place on my many places to try this summer.


[me=Jay_In_Parker] [/me]
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I forgot to mention: many fish had snails & vegetation in their bellies - one had a big mealie in it & looked fresh
Also, We may have caught a few cutthroats/cutbows ... looking at the "pile" photo, the one on top looks to have the red slash under jaw. it's kind of hard to have camera out with a relentless catch going on, the golden cutty stood out for sure, so i took extra photos.
 

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The days of geting up to jefferson on your 4 wheeler is over. The smow is deep and steep if it gets much more on the front range side even the mtn sled will have a hard time. Great place to catch a lot of fish if you want to take someone who has never ice fished before this is the place to go.

P.S. don't forget the shack it is windy all the time.
 

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Hey Dogcatcher,

I've got to get up with you guys sometime. Although i'm not sure if my old tyme Polaris XCR 600 could handle all of the deep snow. You would probably have to blaze a trail for me. We did pretty well catching Lakers on Granby over the weekend.

FC
 

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Fly Chucker said:
I've got to get up with you guys sometime.
Yea, I hear ya, this trip was very last minute for me, i meant to email ya ... I got the email you sent & have your direct email now

anyways, we need to scope out laker areas early.  We always goto shallow areas which produce constant fish (bows, cuts) untl about noon .. then we try to find the lakers & end up marking zero fish in deeper water afternoon

would like to have your on-hand knowledge on finding these guys. The lakers, last Autumn which we caught, look exactly like the ones from the Green Mtn posts, very colorful w/ lots of spots  ... we caught a bunch very similar during boat season ... the other laker photos on this website, many lack the spots & color, or is it their cameras?

i should know the topography of this lake like the back of my hand by boat season hopefully

will be in touch ... dk
 

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As far as the colors and spots on the lakers go I think it's probably a combination of the camera used and other factors like how deep the fish was caught, the water temp, time of year (spawn season) Lakers spawn in the fall, and the fishes diet. I've caught lakers that have very little color almost all grey and others that have golden stomachs and almost dark green top halfs with colorful well defined spots and golden brown fins. It seems the Blue Mesa Lakers seem to have more color than the Granby Lakers. We have our best luck for the giants right after or during ice off with a bottom bouncer and a J -13 jointed rapala about 8 feet behind the bottom bouncer working humps and shelfs in 15-30 feet of water. We troll as slow as the baot will go and some times even drag a 5 gallon bucket behind us to go even slower. If you have a speed display on your baot or sonar we try to be 1.5 to 2 mph. It's important to keep the bottom bouncer tapping the bottom evey couple of seconds Over the years I've been able to catch 2 Lakers over 40" and quite a few in the 30-36" range.
A few years ago I caught 2 Lakers on 1 lure. A 30 incher on the front hook and 28 incher on the back hook.

Granby is becoming less productive(I'm certain there are still quite a few hogs in there) but this year we will probably concentrate on Blue Mesa at Ice off. I recall seeing a fishing map for Jefferson, your on the right path learning the structure and depths there Lakers seem to be pretty consistant year after year as far as where they hang out, so once you find them mark the spot on your GPS and as long as the water level is consistant you should have a spot to go back to.

FC
 
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