Colorado Fisherman Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was just wondering for anyone that has good largemouth experience in Colorado. I should be one since I"ve lived in Colorado my whole life, but for some reason I will more then likely leave a lake with discouragement then I will with joy from catching something. Always hear about how Bass are usually caught pretty easy but of course thats in places like Texas and Missouri, pretty much anywhere further east. Does it seem that the Largemouth here in Colorado act different or have different feeding patterns and such? Just would be nicer if I could actually go fishing and have a good feeling I'll catch something so far this year has been pretty slow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Right now for school I'm up in Fort Collins but for the summer I will be in southern Denver at home. We have a small private lake in the subdivision that I've usually caught a few bass at but nothing like what I hear most people doing. I'm lucky to pull about 3 over the whole summer. Not sure if its just the fact of they just don't bite or I'm not using the right stuff. My friends and I have gone quite a bit so far this spring to some of the small lakes and horsetooth up here in Fort Collins but for myself I only have 2 trout to show for it. Out of my friends one has had a 14" Largemouth and the other has had 2 smallmouth less then 12" but thats probably over 12 or 15 trips to any of those places. Hearing people say they can usually pull out one a day just makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,704 Posts
Derajaman ---  I just started Bass fishing, and really don't know what I'm doing. I've caught about 20 Largemouth this season. Most of them have been small. Only 3 have been good enough sized that I could show people photos w/out being embarressed. Two of them were in your area though (Ft. Collins area). I've done well at Dixon Reservoir (> below Horsetooth). I've gotten em there off Shad-Raps, and DT-Divers. A Great place is in Windsor, Frank Easement Ponds. The place is full of fish! They have to be biting though. I either do well or get skunked. It's probably 50-50. Anyway, I've gotten em there off nightcrawlers, Jointed Shad-Raps, and I've had em hit  jig and pigs. I haven't landed one that way though (inexperience  :mad:). Seriosly, if I can catch em, anyone can. Reel SLOWLY. At both places I've gotten one (and only 1) 15 inches or more. Most of the ones I've caught so far have been about 12-13 inches, some even smaller. Still fun though. Good Luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Well I'll definitely have to try those easment ponds, sounds like there are quite a bit of fishing options there. We just got back this afternoon from hitting up some small lakes here in Fort Collins. No bass but got a really small sunfish that was more of a snag then a bite and a good 9" Crappie which was actually a good catch considering I haven't caught anything for a few weeks. Today was absolutely beautiful for fishing and definitely was during the afternoon I caught the two fish within 30 min of getting there which was around 3:30 didn't get anything else for the day, kept getting snagged on someone else's line that was out in the cove that took about 4 of my lures :mad: Not happy about that. But the fishing sounds good at those smaller ponds since they get a little warmer. Thanks for the info :) Oh where did you get those bass that you were talking about here in Fort Collins? were they at dixon like you were talking about or where they somewhere else? My friend tried dixon once and said it was nothing but babies chasing his lure to the bank and then running away.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
487 Posts
Colorado has some very good bass fishing actually and some large bass in certain lakes. It all depends on if the lakes are managed correctly or not. Most Colorado lakes are poorly managed and much of it is the fact that they don't allow harvest of small bass, while allowing harvest of big bass. Since bass have to be 15" to keep, most bass that are over 15" go into the cooler.
Colorado doesn't grow as big of bass as the southern states, but it has bigger fish and a longer growing season then most all central and northern states. The lackluster management is all that prevents us from being a great bass state, albeit with way less lunkers than California or Texas.
I have great luck here on the west slope, though you have to use smaller lures because we don't have large forage for the bass to feed on. So small crankbaits, small spinnerbaits, small topwaters, and midsize plastics.
Another thing is the water is clear and the bass are very smart. You don't need anything more than six pound test for bass of any size unless you are fishing in heavy cover. The key is size down and finesse them.
However I have caught three bass over 6 pounds in the last four years of fishing, all from the same lake. Many lakes have big bass, but many have stunted fish. You just have to find the right lake.
I feel fortunate to have some awesome bass fishing in my area. These lakes are left alone by the CDOW, so that is pretty much why they have big bass and lots of them. I've caught over 200 bass in a day before in one lake.
My best lure is a 4" fluke or senko fished weightless on six pound mono. Another great lure is a #5 shad rap weighted with two suspendots. My third best lure is a #7 rapala skitterpop fished with subtle bloops and long pauses. These lures have caught me thousands of bass in the past several years.
Just find a good lake. Many lakes have bass but have poor fisheries for them, either because trout eat all the basslings and take all the food, or because the bass stunt. Find a good lake, and you will find some great bass fishing. Ten pounders are very rare but they do exist. I predict a state record in the 12 - 15 pound range within five years, probably from a lake on the west slope. Over here water is warmer and the growing season longer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,704 Posts
Yeah, one of the ones I got that was 15+ inches was from Dixon. A friend of mine said her Dad loves Dixon for Bass, and he lives on a private lake in Loveland. I was going to tell you that Sportsman's Warehouse (just off I-25 in Loveland by the outlet malls) is giving a free Bass fishing seminar May 21st from 1 - 3 p.m. However, I think Iceinthevains may have just covered everything  :) {Thanks}). They (Sportsman's) may give out some nice spots though.   
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
The best spots to fish for bass in Colorado are small ponds like Prospect Ponds (Fort Collins), Frank Easement (Windsor), Ward Road Pond (Northglenn?) and Pella Crossing (Hygiene).

There's also some big bass in Quincy (I caught a 21-inch smallmouth there a couple years ago. My scale was broken, so I didn't get an accurate weight. It was fat though. Could've been a state record, but I released it. So I'll never know. I have a picture of it somewhere. If I find it, I'll upload it). Chatfield and Pueblo also has some big bass. But I've never been as successful there as I've been at many of the ponds I fish (I'm a shore fisherman, though. So that may have a lot to do with it).

Also, a couple of the most overlooked bass lakes in CO are Lake Mary and Lake Ladora at the Rocky Mtn Arsenal. A lot of big bass there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,182 Posts
Ice, I have to respectfully disagree. I am not a biologist for the CDOW. And unless you are, I dont think we should be knocikng them for the way lakes are managed. Yes some lakes have severe problems. It could be worse. As for the 6 lb mono, sometimes its good, but rather than fish AROUND the cover, fish IN the cover, you maybe surprised. As for just small ponds not all true, I have caught many 6+# bass for Boyd, Jackson, and Lonetree. Pella is very good, I have a few posts around here somewhere form huge bass before Easter, and I was using a 3/4 white spinner, on 20b test. YMMV. Just my thoughts, I'd rather have someone only catch one 5lb bass using 20lb test, than loose it and catch 5 one pounder. But all and all lakes are pretty good around here, well except Union, damn that lake as of late, can't even get a rainbow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Ty for the info as well milehigh, I'm also a shore fisherman myself. Most of the lakes I fish anyways are ones where it would only be something like a body boat or a very small boat with a trolling motor but thats even pushing it. I just like fishing from the shore, less hassle and that way its more time fishing. Anyways, I think my friends and I are gonna try those Frank Easment Ponds sometime before we head home for the summer see if we have any luck. We've been to the Prospect Ponds and the Riverbend Ponds. One guy got the 2 smallies, no bigger then 10", and only things besides that has been one 4" Sunfish and a 9" or 10" crappie. We've almost given up on the prospect ponds since we just can't seem to get any activity from there. There's always some huge fish jumping towards the middle of the lake but never where our lures are. At the Riverbend Ponds in the middle is this super clear lake thats supposed to be a turtle pond but we've heard someone left with a huge bucket of bass from there the other day. I dunno if that was true or not but it seems like he pulled all of them out of there if that is true, lol. Thanks for the info everyone if you have any other tips and such like lures or techniques would be greatly appreciated too. Could be the fish are in there we just aren't doing the right things to get them to bite or we're not fishing the right spots of the lakes.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
487 Posts
andyrm66 said:
Ice, I have to respectfully disagree. I am not a biologist for the CDOW. And unless you are, I dont think we should be knocikng them for the way lakes are managed. Yes some lakes have severe problems. It could be worse. As for the 6 lb mono, sometimes its good, but rather than fish AROUND the cover, fish IN the cover, you maybe surprised. As for just small ponds not all true, I have caught many 6+# bass for Boyd, Jackson, and Lonetree. Pella is very good, I have a few posts around here somewhere form huge bass before Easter, and I was using a 3/4 white spinner, on 20b test. YMMV. Just my thoughts, I'd rather have someone only catch one 5lb bass using 20lb test, than loose it and catch 5 one pounder. But all and all lakes are pretty good around here, well except Union, damn that lake as of late, can't even get a rainbow.

If I'm fishing in heavy cover such as deadfalls or thick aquatic weeds, I usually use 14/6 fireline. That has small diameter and is good for quickly horsing 3 pounders out of the slop. I tie on a 12 pound fluorocarbon leader on the end so line visibility isn't a factor.
I'm not a biologist, but I did take over a year's worth of fisheries management, biology, and ecology at Mesa State College. A lot of what I'm saying about poor management is from what I learned in classes and also through observation.
Many guys in the CDOW do a great job. Having it to where bass have to be 15" to be kept encourages the harvest of large bass and selectively breeds smaller fish. If this was changed many lakes would have a lot more big bass.
The best bass fishery in Colorado is the Yampa River. That's all smallmouth fishing, but there are lots of smallies over 3 pounds and I'm sure there are some 6 plus pounders lurking in there. But I think they might be starting to get smaller in there because there are way less pike now to keep the smaller fish less numerous.
Two other really good smallmouth fisheries are Mcphee and Navajo Reservoirs. But for largemouth, best fisheries around here are Highline, Connected Lakes, and Jerry Creek Reservoirs. Highline and Connected lakes have lots of bass over 5 pounds, while Jerry Creek has the odd five pounder but it's more of a numbers fishery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
james said:
I was going to tell you that Sportsman's Warehouse (just off I-25 in Loveland by the outlet malls) is giving a free Bass fishing seminar May 21st from 1 - 3 p.m. However, I think Iceinthevains may have just covered everything  :) {Thanks}). They (Sportsman's) may give out some nice spots though.   
I think I might try to go to this after some morning fishing at Boyd. I know its still a couple weekends off my never hurts to do a little planning ahead of time :

pieter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,927 Posts
It depends on the lake...I've seen bass in colorado eat everything in site at certain lakes and act like they have PHD's in others.
In jerry creek reservoir #1, they are not picky and eat anything it seems...100 fish days are fairly common in the summer. Most of the bass are small though in this lake, and run 10-15". Now at connected lakes, you usually get 1-3 in an evening of fishing, and 5 if you busted your butt all day, but they will average a solid 17" with many larger, and they are very fat. The west slope has better largemouth bass fishing than the east slope, but I'm sure there are some good lakes over there too such as rocky mountain arsenal.
There are a few things you can do though, that will help your bass success in colorado. They are pretty line shy here in most waters, even jerry creek which oftentimes has water with 10 feet or more of visibility. Colorado's ultra clear waters can be a plague, I suggest 6 lb. test if it is ultra clear and 8 lb. test if it is only somewhat clear. I generally won't go any heavier than that. I also never catch bass on very big baits. Because of lack of baitfish in all of the west slope's lakes, the bass are very picky with a big crankbait, and in my experience rarely touch a spinnerbait and never touch a buzzbait. They do like plastics though, poppers, and SMALLER crankbaits.
My go to baits are senkos in the 3-5" range. You rig a 3" on a 1 ewg gamakatsu hook, you rig a 4" on a 1/0 ewg gamakatsu hook, and you rig a 5" on a 2/0 ewg gamakatsu hook. Best colors are the red/black, the green, and the white. Fish these slowly, near the bottom this time of year. Most anglers fish them far too fast and the bass won't take them. Fish SLOW! During the evening, especially in the summer months, topwater bites can be good too. I like poppers and poppers only. I've never seen a bass caught on a buzzbait...and I've seen lots of people chucking buzzbaits when bass aren't jumping at all, are jumping everywhere, or anywhere in between. Not saying these things, or larger baits, don't work its just I have seen few fish caught on them, and I've caught A LOT of bass over here on the west slope. If your lake has baitfish, especially pelagic, the lures you should use should be different I'm sure. Rapala skitterpops or excalibur ones are the best for me, fish them fairly slow with pauses in between each bloop. They'll usually draw some strikes. The areas you should fish are areas with moderate depth, particularly focusing on weed edges. Largemouth bass rarely are right in the super thick weeds, but will be both under them and to the side of them. I like casting parallel to any weed edges you can find. But remember, you must find a lake with quality numbers of bass first and foremost...or you will be unhappy with your results. If you live on the west slope, I suggest jerry creek, purdy mesa, connected lakes, and highline lake. They all have their pluses and minuses. If you live on the east slope, the rocky mountain arsenal ponds sound promising, as does brush hollow. Good luck.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top