Colorado Ice Fishing Reports
These Colorado ice fishing conditions and reports are a result of the fishing adventures of Sport Fish Colorado. You can find the most current ice fishing report for each lake below, or you can see all of the Colorado ice fishing reports for Antero, Blue Mesa, 11 Mile by clicking one of the corresponding tabs on the left, under the "Fishing Report" tab. Each report will typically contain as much information as we could gather and pass on to you. This information includes, lake levels, water temperatures, ice safety and conditions, how well the fish are biting, trip results, and any additional fishing information we can pass on to you! Use these Sport Fish Colorado ice fishing reports to your advantage! For live, on the water Colorado ice fishing reports and pictures, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
February 12, 2014 11 Mile Ice Fishing report: Lots of stockers and more...
There is still plenty of safe ice at 11 Mile, but use caution as conditions change daily. Trout fishing has been good for little stockers, and fair to slow for bigger fish. Several fish in the 5-8.5 lbs range were caught in last weekends tournament! When looking for bigger trout and pike, focus on 8 feet of water or less. Downsizing or presenting your bait more naturally can yield better results! Pike fishing has been slow this year as well, but we should see more fish moving to the coves in preparation for the spawn. This may take place earlier this year, with the warmer than normal weather. I haven't heard any salmon reports.
Ice conditions vary greatly across the lake so use extreme caution! There is still safe fishable ice, and fishing has been fair to slow for most anglers. Fishing was excellent ten days ago, but seems to have fallen into the mid-winter doldrums. Per usual, the more you move in search of fish, the better yoru odds. Keep saftey first and pay attention to the wind wand warm weather conditions around you as ice thickness can change quickly given the right variables.
Safe still spans from the Gunnison River Inlet to about a 1/2 mile west of Elk Creek Boat Ramp. There is also 3-6" of ice from the dam to a 1/4 mile east of Mac Island. The temps have been warm and the conditions seem to change daily so use caution! There is still about 5-8 miles of open water from the Soap Creek Arm to the Bay of Chickens. Fishing seemed to slow down a bit after last weeks full moon, but has still been good for all species except kokanee salmon. Rainbow trout seem to be everywhere, especially on the eastern half of the lake! Focus on 10-30 feet of water and fish aggressive. Pk Flutter fish in perch colors has been a top choice! If the fish aren't in an aggressive mood, try a small ice jig tipped with a piece of worm or a wax worm. Brown trout can be caught the same way, but are typically a little deeper, in 20-60 feet of water. The lake trout fishing has been good this winter, with plenty of sup 22" fish being caught and a few bigger fish showing up! The ole' trusty tube jig tipped with a piece of sucker meat is a "go-to." Focus on 40-80 feet of water and be sure to drill lots of holes! Perch have been showing up all around Iola with several caught in last weeks Tightline Ice Addiction Tournament! A small ice jig with a piece of worm usually does the trick! The wildlife and sunsets around the lake have been a BONUS!!!
January 23, 2014 11 Mile Ice Fishing report: Lots of stockers ....
Eleven Mile reservoir in South Park Colorado, has always been a tough nut to crack! Lately, the fishing has been slow for trout, salmon, and pike, but that doesn't mean there aren't opportunities for great fish or great fishing! A lot of stocker trout were stocked at the North Shore Boat ramp a few weeks ago and since then, these fish have dispersed across the lake! If you can find trout, you can usually catch them, but some days finding trout requires covering a LOT of water! Stay mobile and if you are seeing any kind of fish traffic, work that area with a series of baits until you find the right one. A good place to start is with a pink or white lazer jig, tube jig, or rat finkie. There are still some kokanee salmon schools swimming around the lake, but patience is imperative to cross paths with one of these schools. Pike fishing in 11 Mile is always a game of patience, but being patient could lead to you catching the biggest pike of your life! Dead baits below a tip up typically work best, but a waterdog can be lethal too. Set a tip up and slowly work a big spoon or tube jig with your other rod. If you don't see any pike come through in an hours time, move 30-50 yards and try again. Here is a video of a pike that jumped out of the hole earlier this year!
January 21, 2015 Antero Mile Ice Fishing report: Take a hike for a good bite!
Fishing remains very good at Antero, but that doesn't mean it's easy. The key is to move until you find a feeding lane. This may only require a move of 30 yards, but if you are not seeing fish, you have to move! Once you find a feeding lane, a lot of times fish will come through all day. Small Pk Spoons, tube jigs, lazer jigs, rat finkies, and other small ice jigs have been working and the best colors are red, white, and pink. The last time out, we saw our best bite window between 10:30 and 1:00, but every day has been a little different. The best numbers of fish seem to be hanging out in 6-14 feet of water. Antero will be drained this Spring and as a result, the limit has been raised from 2 fish to 8 fish per person! This weeks pictures are a series of first time ice-fisher-people who had an absolute blast! A special shout out to the KIPP Denver Collegiate High School, great job guys!
Antero reservoir is completely capped with 6-10" of ice and 2-6" of snow on top. The fishing has been good to excellent most day if you are willing to put in the work! 7-13 feet of water seems to hold some of the better concentrations and moving until you find activity is key. Some days, ten feet can make a big difference. One day the fish want the lure jigged and the next day they don't want it moved at all. Experiment with action and color until you find the winning combo. Pink has been a hot color, but don't forget about green, red, and white! Oh ya, the sucker bite has been good some days too!
January 5, 2014 11 Mile Ice Fishing report: Safe ice and fair fishing.
The lake is completely capped with 10-13" of ice. There is snow, but most of it is windblown and hard. Fishing for trout has been hot and cold depending on who you talk to. If you want quality try east, if you want quantity focus on the west end. Red, pink, and white have been good colors. Paddle tails, crappie tubes, lazer jigs, Pk spoons, shripos, and kastmasters have all been producing. I have not heard any salmon reports, but the pike are active if you can find them!
We now have ice from the Gunnison River inlet to about a mile west of Elk Creek Boat Ramp! From the mouth of the narrows (just west of Elk Creek) to the dam is still mostly all open water. The ice is 10-13" at the inlet and all of the new nice is 4-6". Use caution as there are some pressure ridges and thinner areas and there is 1-4" of snow on the new ice, hiding some of these caution areas. Fishing has been very good for trout in 10 to 40 feet of water. Most trout are suspended between 10-25' down. The rainbows are running 12-20" with some even bigger! The average is above normal and some areas have high concentrations of rainbows in beautiful spawning colors! Pk spoons, ice jigs, tube jigs, ratsos, and maribou jigs in pink, white, red, and green have been producing. Some small perch have been reported at the Lake City Bridge. I have not heard any lake trout reports, but we have been finding some in 40-60 feet of water, although they have been very finicky at times!
We are finally starting to see the buttoned back up and about 75% of it has ice that is at least 4" thick. But be careful, there are still spots that just froze or are very thin! There is only about 3-4" of snow on the ice, just enough to make towing a sled harder. The fishing is good, but that doesn't mean it's easy! I found the fish to be very particular in the color they wanted and the feeding lanes they cruised. If I could find them, I could typically get bit. Pk spoons, small ice jigs, tube jigs, and other small plastics are producing and tipping your jig with a piece of shrimp, meal worm, wax worm, or nightcrawler helps!
December 6, 2014 Antero Mile Ice Fishing report: Be careful!
It seems a little too early for safe ice to be here, but we are ahead of schedule and Antero Reservoir has 3-4.5" of hard ice across most of the lake. As always, use EXTREME caution and pay attention to the conditions around you
November 21, 2014 Antero Mile Ice Fishing report: First ice is here??!!
It seems a little too early for safe ice to be here, but we are ahead of schedule and Antero Reservoir has 3-4.5" of hard ice across most of the lake. As always, use EXTREME caution and pay attention to the conditions around you as they can change quickly, especially during the early ice season. The south side of the lake seems to have a little bit thicker ice than the north side. Fishing is excellent for 14-17" trout with some bigger ones showing up! The fish don't seem to be picky right now and just about any small ice jig or spoon in any color will get their attention.
November 11, 2014 Antero Mile Ice Fishing report: First ice??
With this artic blast of cold air, we have already heard one report of some ice around the edges of Antero! It won't be long!
March 17, 2014 11 Mile Ice Fishing Report: Big Pike Time!
Spring ice marks that time of year when the big pike move shallow to spawn. These fish aren't always easy to tempt, but they can be caught and the potential for a fish over 18 pounds is very good! Dead bait such as a sucker, smelt, or shiner will all work. The fresher the better. The trout fishing has been fair with lots of stockers being caught, but the better quality fish are harder to come by. Small tube jigs, trout magnets, kastmasters, and paddle bugs have been producing.
February 28, 2014 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: Hot bites!
The fishing has been good for all species! We still have plenty of safe ice, but there are some shorelines and pressure ridges that have some open water so be cautious! We are finally starting to see a little bit of consistency with the kokanee salmon. Most days these fish are showing up 15-40' down over deeper water. From Red Creek Island west has been holding the best concentrations. Pk spoons, Swedish Pimples, Kastmasters, and Buckshot rattle spoons tipped with a meal worm or wax worm have been producing! The trout bite is still excellent, especially early! Small tube jigs, trout magnets, kastmasters, and Pk Flutterfish have been the ticket. We have seen some fat, egg-laden females showing up along rocky shorelines and in the backs of coves! Orange, red, white, and green are all good colors. Lake trout of all sizes have been biting on Gulp Minnows and 3-5' tube jigs tipped with a small piece of sucker meat! Focus on 30-80 feet of water depending on the structure. Glow, white, and perch imitations have all been working. Good luck, be safe, and God Bless!
January 28, 2014 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: Safe ice across 95 % of the lake!
It seems like it took a little longer this year, but Blue Mesa is about 95% capped with safe ice. There are still some dangerous pressure ridges and thin spots so use caution. The trout fishing has been unbelievable this year! While the average fish is running 14", there are some 18-22" rainbows and browns showing up regularly! Focus on fishing in 10-25' of water close to or over deep water. Rocky shorelines have been good, but points and flats have been producing a lot of fish too.PK Lures Flutter fish has been a go to as well as a variety ofRadical Glow 1-2" tube jigs! Tip with a meal worm, chunk of night crawler, or a piece of shrimp. If you aren't seeing a lot of fish activity, it's time to move! I am finally starting to hear reports of some kokanee being caught in Cebolla, near middle bridge and down towards Lake Fork Marina. The kokes are running 15-30' deep and hitting Pk Flutter fish. Lake Trout fishing has been fair to good for numbers and hot and cold for big fish. Now that we have the western half of the lake to fish, it's time to cover some water and find the active fish! Oh ya, the perch have been consistently showing up in Iola, Dry Creek, and Elk Creek thus far with some stretching over 11"! 25-55 feet of water is a good place to start with your favorite perch lures!
January 26, 2014 Antero Mile Ice Fishing report: Better bite than the mile!
Antero has been fishing good most days! We have been catching 12-20 fish a day with most fish in the 14-19" range and some dinks mixed in. The fish have been particular in what they want....make sure it imitates a scud or a small minnow. If you fish an area that gets a lot of pressure, don't be afraid to try something off of the wall that they possibly haven't seen. We are find most all of the fish in the top 6 feet of the water column due to minimal oxygen in the lower part of the water column. Hopefully we don't see a big winter kill!
January 9, 2014 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: Slowly but surely!
The ice is slowly but surely making its way across the lake. Blue Mesa Reservoir is about 65% ice covered with 40% of that ice being safe and fishable. Fishing has been excellent for the rainbow and brownt trout! The rainbows can be found in 5-25 feet of water on flats and along rocky shorelines. The browns are deeper in 15-50 feet of water and usually close to rocks! Small tube jigs and lead heads tipped with meal worms or krill has been the ticket! Lake trout fishing has been fair with good numbers of fish being found in 40-80 feet of water, but how well they bite depends on the day. The classic 3.5" pearl or glow tube jig tipped with a postage stamp sized piece of sucker meat has been the best producer. I have yet to hear of a kokanee salmon coming throught the ice. Due to low water, and algae bloom, and higher than normal water temperatures last summer, I believe that a lot of the salmon migrated to the western half of the lake in search of better oxygen levels. It appears that a lot of the salmon are still in this area because they are not showing up in the Narrows. Be safe, good luck, and God Bless!
December 26, 2013 Antero Ice Fishing Report: Action!
Today was the first time I've stepped foot on Antero this winter and I was pleasantly surprised! We saw good numbers of fish, caught a good number of fish, and even caught some nice fish! Finding traffic/feeding lanes was imperative and per usual, bigger brighter baits worked well in the morning and smaller more natural baits worked better once the sun got high. Once the sun got high, smaller baits tipped with meal worms were key. Bite windows were evident all day with the most activity/fish movement coming around 11, but the most aggresive bite was from 7:30-9:30.
December 22, 2013 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: Big brown surprise!
The ice has worked it's way past Elk Creek Marina and receeded back to Elk Creek Marina depending on the daytime high. Fishing is excellent for trout and fair to good for lake trout. No kokanee salmon reports have been heard of.....yet. The trout are hitting small jigs and spoons tipped with a meal worm and the lake trout can be caught on the classic white tube jig with a chunk of sucker meat. Last week we had a GIANT surprise when a 28.25" 9.75 lbs German Brown Trout hit our Radical Glow tube jig on 4 lbs test and gave my client the fight of his life! We released this fish to pass on its genes and fight another day!
December 18, 2013 11 Mile Ice Fishing report: Tough Bite!
Eleven Mile is 99% covered with 10-12" of ice. Fishing has been tough over the last week, with concentrations of fish being hard to find. Be sure to cover water in search of high fish traffic areas if your spot isn't producing. The water clarity is sub-par with the west end being the worst. Site fishing is key on the days when the fish are being fickle about taking the bait. If you have multiple fish come in and deny your bait with it sitting still, try moving it ever so slightly. There are bite windows with heavy fish movement, but the trick is running into these windows!
December 10, 2013 11 Mile Ice Fishing report: Put your time in for great rewards!
Plenty of safe ice across the lake with 4-9" depending on the location. Fishing has been spotty with reports of excellent fishing one day and slower than normal the next. Move often to find the hot daily bite. Small tube jigs, shrimpos, Pk Flutterfish, kastmasters, tear drops, lazer jigs, and trout magnets are producing!
December 10, 2013 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: The lake is capping quickly!
Blue Mesa reservoir has 3-7" of ice from the Gunnison River inlet to Turtle Rock just before Elk Creek Marina. The fishing has been very good for rainbow and brown trout with some of the better trout averaging 16-20"! It won't be long before we see the ice advance into Cebolla Basin due to the negative temperatures we have been experiencing!
March 19, 2013 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: Save the best fishing for last ice!
As the days are getting warmer, the fishing is on fire! We still have lots of safe ice across the lake with 12-30" although the shorelines are getting soft along rip rap or rocks. There is also some open water growing daily by Red Creek Island. The kokanee salmon and trout bite has been unbelievable with 60-100 fish being landed in a 3-4 hour span! You can find kokanee, rainbow trout, brown trout, and even some perch hanging out along rocky shorelines in 15-50 feet of water. The trick is to figure out what color and action the fish want that day. Lately the Pk Flutterfish has been a hot producer as well as kastmasters, crippled herring, cabelas living image spoons and smaller ice jigs. The Mackinaw lake trout fishing has been good as well with some nice fish being caught and released across the lake! The standard tube jig and sucker meat has been producing. Take advantage of these hot bites!
February 27, 2013 11 Mile Ice Fishing report: Put your time in for great rewards!
Plenty of safe ice stretches across 11 Mile. Eleven Mile has been getting a lot of pressure this year as ice fishing popularity grows across the state! Because of this, the fish have seen A LOT of jigs and take a little more coaxing at times to see consistent results. Think small, natural, and light line. More live bait presentations can improve your success as well. The important part of the puzzle is paying attention to how the fish react to your bait. If you get denied by 3 or more fish, it's time to try something new! A lot of the trout have been flying in, taking a quick bite at the lure and then moving on. Be quick on the hook set to take advantage of these opportunities!
The Kokanee salmon fishing has been surprisingly good this 2013 ice fishing season! These fish have been hanging in 15-40' of water over the deeper channel areas. Pk spoons, smaller lazer jigs, kastmasters, and crippled herring have been working. Change your colors often if you are seeing fish and not getting bit. Your jigging action is very improtant as well. Some days they like aggresive jigs, other days short, little jigs works better.EXPERIMENT!
The northern pike fishing has been fair to good, but per usual, every day is different. A live water dog or some type of dead bait (suckers, anchovies, etc; the fresher the better) uner a tip up has been the best producer. Try to cover several different depths and structure types to narrow down where the most active fish are!
February 27, 2013 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: Fishing is good and the kokanee are hot!
My apologies for not doing a better job keeping this updated! The Sport Fish Colorado team has been on the ice almost every day and as a result, the fishing reports have suffered. Since I have one of those smart phones, it is far easier for me to update pictures and reports to our facebook page, so please check it out (from the link above) and feel free to ask questions or for more reports on this page! Now for the fishing....
Rainbow/Brown Trout- The trout fishing has been truly phenominal this winter with 25-50 fish days being fairly common! The rainbow and brown trout have been heavily concentrated on rocky shorelines in 10-40' of water. Elk Creek marina and The Narrows have been a great spot to get into action! Small tube jigs, smaller Pk spoons, kastmasters, trout magnets, and maribou jigs have all been producing lots of fish!
Kokanee Salmon- Kokanee Salmon are a totally different animal through the ice as far as behavior goes, but the fishing for them this winter has been very good! A lot of trout fishermen have been "accidentally" catching them in their trout spots. There are a lot of schools wandering the open basins of the lake, but don't be fooled! Kokanee salmon tend to come in and feed in the shallows and a lot of times you can find these fish in 10-20 feet of water! The pink and white Pk Flutter Fish has by far caught more kokanee than any other lure for us this winter and I'm talking LIMITS of kokanee! Mealworms have outperformed corn and wax worms as the bait to tip your spoon or jig with.
Lake Trout- The lake trout bite has been good overall for numbers of fish, while the trophy bite has been a bit tougher due to a late spawn. We are finding fish in 20-120' of water depending on the structure and covering water is very important because these fish have been moving a lot! Tube jigs, in the 3-5" range, are the go to bait, tipped with the freshest sucker meat you can find! Pk flutter fish and panic spoons have also been working when the fish are more aggressive.
Perch- The elusive Blue Mesa perch has been showing up occasionally along rocky shorelines in 10-40 feet of water with one angler reporting that he had caught well over a hundred one week! The Yellow Perch in Blue Mesa tend to move a lot since they have become a primary food source for the lake trout, brown trout, and even rainbow trout!
January 30, 2013 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: Safe ice across the lake and the action has been GOOD!
Blue Mesa has 12-30" across the lake with the west end being closer to 12" and the east end around the 30" mark. Fishing for rainbow trout and brown trout has been excellent this year with plenty of 30-50 fish days! We have been hearing some good reports of Kokanee Salmon being caught at Elk Creek Marina and in the Narrows, but have not been out to check it out! The kokanee have been running 10-50' deep with most fish coming in the 15-30' range. The lake trout bite has been good for smaller fish and a little tough for the bigger fish. As usual, persistence and being in the right place at the right time is KEY! Check out our Colorado trophy lake trout video and let us know if you like it!!
January 8, 2013 11 Mile Ice Fishing report: Steady action for all species!
The Eleven Mile has 12"+ across the entire lake for safe ice fishing! The tournament last Saturday yielded some beautiful 7-10 lbs trophy trout! The best action has been at Cross Creek, but the Eastern half of the lake has been putting out more big fish. Reds, pinks, whites, and oranges have been good early and then the bite seems to be better on more natural colors. Some nice pike have been caught on tip ups on weed edges and rocky points with water dogs and suckers. The kokanee fishing has also been surprisingly good if you can find the fish! Several limits were caught last saturday as well. Kokanee are hitting pink and white pk spoons, kastmasters, and lazer jigs.
January 07, 2013 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report:The lake has capped!
Blue Mesa Reservoir has completely capped with the exception of a little bit of open water at Middle Bridge. Iola has 12", Elk Creek has 10", Cebolla varies with 3-10", and Sapinero just capped. The trout fishing has been excellent with lots of browns and rainbows caught in 5-30 feet of water. The Kokanee Salmon bite has also been good with most of our fish coming between 15-40 feet of water. Lake Trout are scattered across the depths with the bigger concentrations being found in 50-80 feet of water.
December 20, 2012 11 Mile Ice Fishing report: Ice is here and some big fish are being caught!
The entire lake has 4-7" of good hard black ice with patches of snow across the lake! Fishing has been good to excellent most days with A LOT of 17-19" fish being caught and several fish in the 8+ lbs range being caught! Eleven Mile is a put and take fishery meaning that it is stocked with rainbows every year to replenish the fish that are caught out of it every year. Despite this replenishing, I would like to strongly encourage anybody that catches a fish over 5lbs to consider releasing it, especially a fish approaching the double digits! If enough of these bigger fish are released, you will see some GIANT (15+ lbs) trout come out in the next couple of years!! Fish are biting a variety of baits with pink, pink & white, green, and orange yielding the best results lately. Small tube jigs, paddle bugs, lazer jigs, rat finkies, dynamic hd ice, pk spoons, kastmasters, and any bait similar to these have been producing. Cross Creek and Sucker cove have been good, but also getting a lot of pressure. We have been fishing 8-18 feet of water and been finding good numbers of fish! Take advantage of this early ice bite as it is one of the best bites of the year!
December 12, 2012 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report:Ice in Iola!
Just got back from the lake and there is 3-4 inches of ice from the inlet to a little West Stevens Creek. From this point to about a half mile west of Sometimes Island has a layer of skim ice. The rest of the lake is still open, but our nights have been getting into the negatives all week so more ice is in the near future!
November 28, 2012 Antero Fishing Report: Warm Temps Reverse Ice Progress!
Warm temperatures and some windy days have eaten up a lot of Antero's ice! The lake is now about 60% ice free with the only safe ice residing in the little cove at the south boat ramp. You can find 3-5" here with open water near by. The fishing is slow to fair with not a lot of fish moving through this area. The 7 day forcast doesn't look too promising with day time temps getting into the 40's so safe ice might not be back until 10-14 days from now! Hopefully, we will start to see ice making weather very soon!
November 17, 2012 Antero Fishing Report: First Antero ice of the season!
We heard a report of some safe early ice and couldn't resist the urge to find out for ourselves! The south boat ramp has a small section of 5-6" ice and the rest of the lake had 2-3.5" of ice. Conditions are still very risky so don't put yourself in a precarious situation! Warm weather and wind can quickly turn safe ice into unsafe ice! With that said, we did find enough safe ice to wet a line and catch our first several fish of the 2012/2013 Colorado ice fishing season! We caught several nice rainbows, cutbows, and some kokanee salmon!
March 28, 2012 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: Get Ready for Ice Out!
Safe ice no longer exists on Antero and 11 Mile and Blue Mesa only has a day or two left. We are gearing up for a predicted awesome open water season! Check out what we are catching @ http://sportfishcolorado.com/fishing_reports.html
March 28, 2012 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: Milking it til' the end!
Yesterday I had first time ice-fishers Linda and Craig. We found some safe ice at Elk Creek Marina and spent the cooler part of the morning chashing fish! Linda and Craig both caught on very quickly, especially since the fish were biting light! Craig caught a grand slam in come back fashion to take the "most" and "biggest" fish title away from Linda who started out hot! We kept some fish for dinner and threw the rest back. Get ready for ICE OUT!!!!
March 18, 2012 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: Big lakers, kokanee, grandslams and a rod buster!
First things first, Blue Mesa is quickly melting. There is still safe ice on Iola and the Narrows, but from Elk Creek west to the dam is deteriorating quickly! Shorelines are melting or soft and open water is opening up in several areas so be CAREFUL! Fishing has been very good for all species with some reports of 12-30+ salmon being caught in one day. We have been primarily chasing lake trout and having moderate success with lots of fish coming off or being missed. Last week I had some familiar faces nick named "Queenie" and "Mac" from past fishing trips out on the ice. We chased lake trout and caught some nice fish. We also caught some trout and salmon. On our last day, we landed two traditional Blue Mesa Grand slams and the last fish of the day was the little lake trout in the middle of the picture. Mac "laid the lumber" on this fish and the rod snapped in three places!!! Ice out is near!!! Be Safe, Fish On!!!
March 6, 2012 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report:A special day for a special father and son!
Last weekend I had the pleasure of taking Chuck and his son Chris from Grand Junction. Chuck and Chris have been fishing with me for the last five years. This fishing trip was planned special for Chuck's birthday, but Chuck is such a selfless guy that his primary focus is always on making sure that his son Chris is comfortable and having a good time. These guys came ice fishing with me last year and it took Chris about 3/4 of the day to catch on to setting the hook with the always tricky lake trout. However, this time Chris brought his A-game! The fish moved out of our first spot so we had to hop around for the first hour and a half, but once we got on the fish, Chris was on fire! He was dominating for the first half of the day until Chuck finally decided that it was HIS birthday and time for him to catch some fish! All said and done, we had a great day with plenty of action and birthday fun! We had several schools of kokanee come through from 10-25' deep while we were primarily focused on lake trout on the bottom in 70 feet of water. Smaller was better for triggering lake trout bites, while the kokanee didn't really care as long as you had a lure in their face when they came through! One key to taking advantage of our opportunities was using 4/0 Trokar 90 degree jig heads in our tube jigs! When accompanied with Power Pro braided fishing line, these incredibly sharp hooks get the job done when fishing deeper water! Great job fellas and Happy Birthday Chuck!
February 28, 2012 11 Mile Ice Fishing report: Small baits = fish!
Fishing was great at first light and then the storm rolled in and the bite got tough! The trick was to downsize everything and keep moving despite heavy winds. We landed quite a few trout with the biggest fish being over 3 lbs. We also threw a few tip ups out later in the day and had 3 flags, but no pike landed.
February 26, 2012 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: Laker Smackdown part 2!
Back on the ice again today with Fishexplorer member Kayakfisher and his buddy Jeff. We wet up in an area where salmon have been moving through up high with lake trout coming through on the bottom. We saw a few small pods of salmon, but they didn't want to hang around long. The lake trout however, were coming through in droves and they were hungry! Below is a picture of a school of lake trout. We saw several of these schools today and the action was great!!!
February 25, 2012 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: Laker Smackdown!
Today I had five ice fishermen from Colorado Springs. They got up at 1:45 to drive up and meet me on time! The bite started hot at first light and then we had a little lull. After some moving around, we dialed in a flat and started catching fish from 70-80 feet of water. The action was great and we ended up with 35 lake trout and 1 brown landed! A lot of our success can be attributed to the new Trokar 90 degree hooks and Eagle Claw rods we were using. Braided Power Pro line is also essential for catching fish at these depths and getting a good hook set! Come take advantage of the great ice fishing bite we have around this new moon phase!!!!
February 24, 2012 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: The lake has safe ice from east to west!
Blue Mesa finally has safe ice (5+) inches across the whole lake! We have been taking full advantage of this ice and fishing EVERY day! Fishing has been good most days and great some days! We have been priamarily targeting lake trout, but the trout fishing has been good too! We are also seeing several kokanee schools each day, but getting them interested has been a challenge. Trout action is good along rocky shorelines especially in the canyon around Elk Creek. Lake trout have been showing up between 40-80'. Kokanee schools have been showing up in the same areas as the lake trout and running between 15-40'. There are some pressure ridges and small open water areas to watch for, but overall we have good ice and fishing! Here are some pics!
February 13, 2012 Antero Fishing Report: More first timers, more fish!
Austin and Rachel met me early at Antero to try their first ice fishing experience! The action started off hot and then slowed, which proved to be a consistent pattern throughout the day. The fish were a little picky once the sun came up, but once we found out what they wanted we had a lot of opportunities and caught plenty of fish! We also spent some time watching and recording the fish below us on the underwater cam. The video below has some very cool underwater footage!
February 9-12, 2012 11 Mile Ice Fishing report: Tough fishing, but bite windows do exist for the persistent!
On day 4 of my trout excursion with Dan and Andrew, we were focused on catching some cutthroat. The bite was very tough this day, but we put a full day in on the water and ended up landing 3 snake river cutthroats and at least 10+ fish! On the last day of our excursion we were looking for some bigger rainbows (4 lbs+), and ended up catching close to 25 fish with the biggest fish going about 2.5 lbs. Andrew also caught his two biggest Colorado pike and one of them was our pet for a little while! Eleven mile has been tough at times, but experimentation and persistence has been paying off and the chance of latching on to a lunker is ever present!!! There is about 4 inches of annoying powder snow on the ice and cleats do help with traction.
February 6-8, 2012 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: A week of fishing with some hardcore fellas from Wisconsin!
Dan and Andrew drove down from Wisconsin for a week of chasing trout across Colorado. We spent 3 days at Blue Mesa chasing lake trout and a few browns and then headed over to 11 mile for two days. Day one on Blue was slow chasing lake trout as a lot of my go to spots didn't have fish moving through very often. Day two was great for rainbows and a few browns and day three was excellent for lake trout! The rest of the lake has capped, but ice conditions vary depending on the part of the lake you are interested in fishing.
February 3 & 4, 2012 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: More of the same with a special guest !
Over the last two days we have chased lake trout and some rainbows and browns with success! The bite times have been pushed around a little by the approaching full moon, but the action is good when we find one of those bite windows. We have been finding good trout action right up against rip rap shore lines. Today we had a special guest, Rowdy the dog, who was less than thrilled to be out in the cold at 6:30 this morning, but found that his little doggy jacket and boots kept him warm!
January 30-February 1, 2012 Blue Mesa Ice Fishing Report: Hot and cold fishing w/ ice progress!
We have seen a bit of a slow down for trout on Blue Mesa over the last week. A lot of pelagic trout or trout that we found crusing out over deep water have seem to be relating more to rocky shorelines. The lake trout bite has been good if you can find a spot with fish consistently moving through. We have been doing well on lake trout in 50-80 feet of water and as usual these fish have been very structure related. Big schools of kokanee salmon have also been showing up through the narrows, but they have been inconsistent as far as when and where. Typically these schools have been seen in 10-40 feet of water with some singles showing up as deep as 60. The good news is that the rest of the lake is starting to button up with ice! Safe ice still only extends from the Lake City Bridge to the end of the narrows, but a lot of ice has formed along the north shoreline in Cebolla, from Red Creek island to Middle Bridge, and from the Pinnacles to the dam. Hopefully we will continue to get cold weather!
January 29, 2012 Antero Fishing Report: Good bite for first timers!
When young Logan stepped out of the truck, introduced himself and immediately asked how long I had been guiding, I knew this kid was serious! Logan and his cousin Emma along with their dads and grandpa joined me for an ice fishing adventure on Antero. I showed everyone what we were doing and immediately they started catching fish! Emma and Logan picked up everything we were doing in order to catch fish exceptionally well and as a result we caught a bunch of fish! Good job everyone! The water has really cleared up all around the lake, which makes for some exciting site fishing! The snow on the ice has melted and crusted nicely so that towing a sled is easy. Cleats are suggested for the slick spots. Fishing was good on trout magnets, crappie tubes, and other small shrimp imitations.
January 26, 2012 Florida Fishing report: Snuck away to thaw out!
Yes, we have had a relatively mild winter here in Colorado, but I had to take advantage of an oppotunity to go explore some different fishing in the warm state of Florida! Sorry for the lake of reports during this time. We are back on the ice almost every day now and steady reports will follow!
January 14, 2012 Taylor Ice Fishing report: Late Report..
We checked out Taylor a few weeks ago and access was already tough with snow piling up to the main road, but ice conditions were safe with 6-12 inches of ice. Fishing wasn't on fire, but we managed a few quality fish. The lake trout came in and slammed my bait in the first ten minutes of the morning! I could tell he was a decent fish and set my drag accordingly, but as he got close to my hole my line broke! I saw my line curl up on the surface of my hole and immediately grabbed it. I was fortunate enough to hand line this fish in the rest of the way! The norther pike below bit five minutes before we had to leave at the end of the day. It fought very hard for a pike and was a great ending to a great day!
January 14, 2012 11 Mile Ice Fishing report: Bite is getting better!
The trout bite has grealty improved as we move away from this full moon. The full moon doesn't always mean bad fishing, but it typically changes the pattern by pushing the bite later into the day, changing the effective technique, or by altering a multitude of other variables. The trounament yielded some very impressive catches in all three categories by some very talented ice fishermen and ice fisherwomen! The largest trout landed was 6 lbs 8 ounces, one limit of salmon was weighed, and a fourteen pound pike were the highlights of the first leg of the 11 Mile Colorado classic tournament! Keep fishing hard and if you land a trophy, email us a pic and we'll throw it up on our facebook page!
January 14, 2012 Blue Mesa Fishing Report: Still waiting for the rest of the lake to freeze!
It is finally starting to get cold up here, but safe ice only extends to where the narrows meet Cebolla. From the bay of chickens to the dam is all open water! The ice that we do have is running 6-14 inches and 4-wheelers have been all over it. Fishing is excellent for rainbows, browns, and lake trout most days with a few salmon showing up. Rainbows are cruising 5-25 feet deep and keying in on rip rap shorelines. Most browns have been coming from 25-60 feet of water and lake trout have been most consistently showing up from 40-80. Hopefully the rest of the lake freezes up this year!
January 5, 2012 11 Mile Ice Fishing report: As full moon approaches, fishing varies!
A lot of Eleven Mile's snow blew off the lake last week. Some areas still have 4-6 inches of crusty snow, but towing has gotten a lot easier. Fishing has been good overall, but the fish have been moody on certain days as this full moon approaches. Eleven mile is producing some nice fish this year, but whether or not they feel like biting depends on the day. When I get denied by three fish in a row, I switch baits. I will continue to do this until I figure out what they like. Every day is different so don't fish a memory with worked yesterday! Be willing to adapt to the current conditions.
January 4, 2012 Antero Fishing Report: Work for those FISH!
Antero's has 8-12 inches thick with 4--6 inches of crusty snow on top of the ice. There are also some patches of slush showing up. Fishing has been fair to excellent depending on the day with fish acting a little moody on some days lately. Cycle through your presentations on the tougher days because there usually is a bait that will out perform the rest of your baits!
December 30, 2011 Blue Mesa Fishing Report: MORE rainbows Galore!!!!
More great action today with five people landing close to 100 fish!!!! Great job today guys! If you want to get in on some great action, fish Elk Creek Marina Bay on Blue Mesa, it is loaded with rainbows! The temperature reached 55 degrees today in Gunnison and the ice on Blue Mesa lost some more progress. The edges are soft or open in a lot of areas so be careful out there this weekend!
December 29, 2011 Blue Mesa Fishing Report: Rainbows Galore!
Today I had Russel, Brady, Katy, and Laney from Louisiana out for some ice fishing and they spanked the rainbows! They caught their limit and threw a bunch back. We also caught our first kokanee salmon of the year and some brown trout. I also met two die hard ice fishermen Dave and Bill who caught a bunch of lake trout! Good job everyone! The ice is safe for now, but todays warm weather and wind opened some areas back up so be careful!
December 26, 2011 Antero Fishing Report: First time ice fishermen put up big numbers!
Antero's ice is 6-12 inches thick with 6-10 inches of powder snow on top! This snow has made towing sleds very difficult, although there are several hard packed trails stemming from each major parking area. There are also some patches of slush showing up. Fishing remains good to excellent on all of the typical baits, with fish changing color preference daily. Today I had three first time ice-fisher-people and they caught on very quickly landing close to thirty fish! They kept their limit for the smoker and plan on joining Colorado's fast-growing ice fishing population! Good job guys!
December 23, 2011 11 Mile Ice Fishing report: Snow makes for rough towing, but fishing is good!
11 mile now has 8-12 inches of safe ice across the lake with 4-6 inches of poweder snow that makes towing very tough! Fishing continues to be good for those who are persistant in changing their tactics as the fish change their preferences. We have been finding fish in 8-15 feet of water throughout most days. Productive baits are the same as last week with pink being the best color. We haven't heard of any salmon reports yet. The occasional pike has been showing up across the lake.
December 16 & 17, 2011 Antero Fishing Report: Rugby gals get physical with some fish!!
Antero now has 4-9 inches of safe ice across all of the lake. There are a few unsafe pressure ridges to be careful of, but cold overnight temps and a thin layer of snow have helped the ice thicken up. Fishing is good, but you have to find the feeding lanes! I can't stress this enough. I scouted several of last years spots (weed edges) and have found that Antero is a totally different lake this year with more large weed beds and the lake being 2' low. Some of my waypoints were still existing weed edges, but contained very little fish activity, while others were what we call "honey holes" with a lot of fish activity! Yesterday I had Glendale Raptors Women's Rugby Head Coach Lisa Rosen and USA Rugby National Team member Stacy Baker out on the ice and they putt a hurting on the trout catching 25 fish and having several others come off in the hole! If action slows, keep hunting for a fish highway!
December 08, 2011 11 Mile Ice Fishing report: Safe Ice is HERE !
11 Mile has 3-8 inches across most all of the lake! There are some big pressure ridges and unsafe areas that can be seen from a distance, so be careful! Fishing has been hot and cold with the majority of anglers saying that fishing is on the slow side. We got out on the ice last week and found that the morning was slow, but mid-day was hot! That's very characterstic for Eleven Mile! Fish were hitting a variety of pink, orange, green, and white in typical baits such as shrimpos, kastmasters, marbious, and small ice jigs. All of these fish were CPR-ed (Catch, Photo, Released)!!!
11-27-2011 Antero Fishing Report: First Colorado Ice Fishing Trip of The Year!
Antero has safe ice on both sides of the reservoir, but there is still a lot of unfrozen or sketchy areas. The north side has 3-7 inches in areas and the south side has 3-5 inches. Fishing is good for numbers of trout, kokanee salmon, and the occasional splake or sucker. Typical trout baits tipped with a meal worm or wax worm are producing! Be safe and don't fish alone!