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I am super new to fishing and super obsessed - specifically in the last week or two. I've been trying out my local ponds/lakes with little to zero success. My kids (age 10 and 12) are also rarin' to go but without any success to egg them on, they are not as eager to go out fishing with me as they have been.

I am in Thornton, so have been trying out spots close by, such as, Thornton gravel ponds, Webster lake (many times, once out on a paddle boat with the kids) Westminster City Park Pond (been here several times at sunrise, and can SEE the big fish jumping), Hunter's Glen Lake, and we went up to a kid specific pond in Longmont (Izaak something Pond) and caught diddly squat up there as well.

The only thing I've caught is crawdads and baby largemouth bass, and even more excitingly - twigs, weeds, and once an old shirt. I took it home, laundered it, and it's now my favorite (I joke, because otherwise I will cry.) I can't even catch a sunfish, which is supposed to be super easy.

At this point, I just want to catch a fish - ANY fish. I'd love any advice on these spots specifically, or setting up my rig more appropriately, or a spot we could go that would see a lot more action than these previously named. Is it possible that these places (especially the more busy ones, like Webster Lake) are fished out? If you'd rather PM me, that's fine as well.

Any advice greatly appreciated.
 

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I don't live near Thornton. Your best bet when getting started is to go with someone that knows what they're doing. Maybe someone up that way can get out with you. Really cuts the learning curve.

If not, you might start going out to the lakes and ponds in the area and instead of fishing..walk around and talk to the people that are fishing those locations. You might meet someone who can get you started and you'll also be able to watch and see what others are doing.
 

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Webster lake sucks ass. Seriously, it does.

Sure wish they'd put some other species in there besides bass and trout.
 

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Also, try grandview ponds. They are fun and kid friendly.... A nightcrawler and a bobber is all you need there.
 

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Nightcrawlers fished weightless or (as Dave said) under a bobber will catch almost any fish in the state.

And, as wiggles said, this is an inopportune time to be fishing shallow neighborhood ponds.

I'm going to impart with a little secret here... Carp fishing is a blast and can be had all over the metro area. Most of my metro fishing Intel is in South Denver and I could turn you on to some great carp lakes there...

If you fancy another go north, try Barbour Ponds... I think they changed the name to St Vrain something or other, but they were good for me back in the day.

Trout are another easy species to get the kiddos into, but this time of year, you'll likely have to go up in the hills to find active ones. Dave M posted a great report on Georgetown reservoir today, so you might want to check that out.

Crawlers crawlers crawlers... Get you some long shanked panfish hooks, size 4-6, and learn to thread the worm onto it to look natural... A balled up hunk of impaled worm will catch fish, but its kind of like putting a steak on an old trash can lid and serving it to someone. Some people will eat it, yes... But put that sh** on a platter with a garnish... You take my meaning.

Sloans Lake for carp is an excellent choice, but don't expect to catch walleye or smallies, cuz they ain't there. A ball of bread on a treble hook or (even better) a nightcrawler threaded on a long shanked hook will get em. The carp get big in there, so have your drag set light and don't walk away for too long.

If carp don't interest you, panfish can be had readily at most of the lakes you've already fished, you just have to find em and entice em. Weightless crawlers, threaded, fishing on the bottom or near rocks in the mornings and evenings will typically catch you fish.

One more thing I can suggest is use the search function on this site when researching a body of water. You want info on Webster or Thornton Gravel Ponds, search them as keywords. More than likely (and absolutely assuredly on those two bodies of water) you will find SOME info.

Good luck to you, and I can't wait to see pix of happy kids with fresh-caught fish in their hands!!
 

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Another little tip... Because its the heat of summer...

Find shaded areas like trees and underwater branches... The back side of boulders or under bridges... Even "sun"fish don't like to be cooked in shallow water on 90 degree, windless, cloudless days. When it's hot and bright, look for fish where they can get some relief. I have found that panfish like to hang out under bushes in the heat of the day. If you can drop a steak on a platter right in front of their cover, you're on the path to happiness.

If there is no cover on a hot day, think DEEP.
 

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OP, I went through that last year and even early season this year. I finally picked up the fly rod and kill it now. Come over to the dark side my man.
 

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raine, we just move to Thornton area too. So glad that we aren't the only ones who aren't catching fish in the local ponds. I think we'll try Chatfield tomorrow.
 

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I'm thinking your best luck right now will come from colder lakes. Its almost salmon season in the mountains. Read up on it. I know its not local, but I like to go where the fish are biting. Dillon is a nice day trip.
 

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I live up that way and this is the worst year I've ever had on anything local. The fishing around here really is terrible.
A lot of the local and front range ponds are fed by/in the vicinity of the mountain creeks that flooded last year. So as a result a lot of them took a beating.

Go off the beaten path, try some ponds you wouldn't think of trying otherwise and you'll be well rewarded. Not trying to sound vague but being honest. I haven't fished a lot of the small bass ponds this summer but the ones I went to, I did pretty good.

Just get a fishing close to home book, and explore.
 
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