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FryDog62

Colorado Bass

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My wife and I are lifelong Minnesota residents... three kids have left the nest and two ending up in Denver.  My wife would like to move there too, I could probably transfer my consulting work there.  The winters are incredibly long and cold in Minnesota (they suck, last week -30 degrees) and we’re in our mid 50’s.  I had family here up until a year ago when both my parents and brother died. No real reason to stay anymore..

 

The problem is I would need an outlet if I moved and bass fishing is it.  I don’t ski any more, or hunt, or golf.  It doesn’t appear there is any real bass fishing in the Denver area.  A few reservoirs here and there.

 

Have to admit I’m spoiled with 12,000 lakes in Minnesota... several more within a reasonable drive to Wisconsin, South Dakota and Ontario. It’s great although there’s only about 5 months to fish open water (I don’t ice fish).

 

Am am I missing something in Colorado?  Are those reservoirs good enough to fish?  Are there any world-class lakes within a reasonable drive? I just bought a Lund Pro-V Bass 2 years ago and would really like to continue to fish.  

 

Suggestions?

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I’m from Denver and you have some decent options in the city. Chatfield Reservior is excellent for walleye and smallmouth. Concentrate on the riprap parts of the dam. Gizzard Shad and crawdads makes up the forage. 

 

Rocky Mountain Arsenal is a nice little gem that is full of largemouths and bluegills. 4” GP w/ Black Flk wacky-rigged will catch bass all day, at the smaller pond. 

 

Lowell Ponds have huge catfish and are super easy to catch. There are a ton of bass there too and are partial to bluegill patterned Squarebills. If you really want to enhance your Denver metro fishing experience, Invest in a float tube. Trust me

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Although bass fishing might not be the supreme in Colorado you have crazy good multi species options there. The trout fishing is amazing throughout the state. I know this is a bass forum but river fishing for brooks bows and browns would be awesome as well. And don’t knock the hunting yet you can get over the counter elk tags there and get out in the woods!!!

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CO is not MN -the "land of 10k lakes". Instead, CO is more like the "land of 10k ponds" -mostly small meltwater retention/irrigation reservoirs. There are a few large-ish reservoirs with warmwater fishing: Chatfield (1200ac; mostly SM), Cherry Creek (900ac; LM), and Aurora (850ac; SM, and some big ones), Pueblo (4000ac; Mostly LM) are the closest large ones. Might want to touch base with the Denver Bassmasters as they do run some bass boat friendly tournaments, but I believe such venues are somewhat limited. If you are willing to include small boat, kayak, and float tube waters, there are many. And the bass fishing is pretty good. However, MN it is not.

 

In terms of coldwater fisheries (trout), the situation is flipped: MN is not CO! :)

 

Oh yes, real estate can be tough to negotiate, esp if you wish to purchase. Not sure exactly where things stand but, last I heard, even if you could afford to buy in, there were some incredible waiting lists to see properties.

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Oh yes... Our winters are MUCH milder than MN. We average about 2months of ice cover, sometimes less. Regs allow for year round bass fishing. And ice-out tends to happen by late February.

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On 2/6/2019 at 6:22 PM, Paul Roberts said:

Pueblo (4000ac; Mostly LM)

I live here and I have to 100% disagree with the statement that Pueblo is mostly Largemouth Bass (though I 100% wish you were right).

 

In my experience it's BY FAR mostly Smallmouths. Spotteds come in 2nd and then a small population of Largemouths. The fluctuating water levels don't help the LMB population - they actually stock LMB fry in the lake though I think they intentionally curtail the LMB population to protect the massive Walleye population in the lake. 

 

Check out the most recent CPW Survey Summary for Pueblo. Most of the gilnetting is done around the dam (I think) so it won't reflect well on whatever LMB population is in the lake. 

 

https://cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Fishery Survey Summaries/PuebloReservoir.pdf

 

Regardless, I fished it hard for Bass last year and the LMBs were few and far between - the ones I did catch were not noteworthy. 

 

Smallies and Spots are what you'll catch most of around here. You'll catch some Wipers in the Spring, too.

 

Please note, they have modified the rules on keeping Wiper from Pueblo in 2019. (IF you keep Bass 😠). Effective this year, the bag limit is 5 Wipers with only one greater than 21". This is updated from the previous "keep as many as you like" rule. Walleye regs are identical.

 

You'll run into more Walleyes than you can imagine in Pueblo. And you can blame low Wiper and LMB populations on the Walleye egg-take operation the State does out of Pueblo. I guess they feel like the walleyes might get outcompeted for gizzard shad if there's too many LMBs or Wipers. No shortage of Gizzard Shad in the lake that much is for certain!

 

I don't think I saw anyone mention the State-wide Walleye population? They stock 'em everywhere, and there's some tanks around the state. Coming from MN that's something I'm sure you'll recognize right away 👍

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1 hour ago, TotalNoob said:

I live here and I have to 100% disagree with the statement that Pueblo is mostly Largemouth Bass (though I 100% wish you were right).

 

In my experience it's BY FAR mostly Smallmouths. Spotteds come in 2nd and then a small population of Largemouths. The fluctuating water levels don't help the LMB population - they actually stock LMB fry in the lake though I think they intentionally curtail the LMB population to protect the massive Walleye population in the lake. 

 

Check out the most recent CPW Survey Summary for Pueblo. Most of the gilnetting is done around the dam (I think) so it won't reflect well on whatever LMB population is in the lake. 

 

https://cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Fishery Survey Summaries/PuebloReservoir.pdf

 

Regardless, I fished it hard for Bass last year and the LMBs were few and far between - the ones I did catch were not noteworthy. 

 

Smallies and Spots are what you'll catch most of around here. You'll catch some Wipers in the Spring, too.

 

Please note, they have modified the rules on keeping Wiper from Pueblo in 2019. (IF you keep Bass 😠). Effective this year, the bag limit is 5 Wipers with only one greater than 21". This is updated from the previous "keep as many as you like" rule. Walleye regs are identical.

 

You'll run into more Walleyes than you can imagine in Pueblo. And you can blame low Wiper and LMB populations on the Walleye egg-take operation the State does out of Pueblo. I guess they feel like the walleyes might get outcompeted for gizzard shad if there's too many LMBs or Wipers. No shortage of Gizzard Shad in the lake that much is for certain!

 

I don't think I saw anyone mention the State-wide Walleye population? They stock 'em everywhere, and there's some tanks around the state. Coming from MN that's something I'm sure you'll recognize right away 👍

Yes, the protection of the sacred walleye here in Minnesota is like no other state that I’m aware of.  Our bass season doesn’t even open until the walleye season in Mid-May (was Memorial Day until recently) so that any of us “Green Carp” fisherman don’t accidentally snag one of them thar sacred cows ;)

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54 minutes ago, FryDog62 said:

Yes, the protection of the sacred walleye here in Minnesota is like no other state that I’m aware of.  Our bass season doesn’t even open until the walleye season in Mid-May (was Memorial Day until recently) so that any of us “Green Carp” fisherman don’t accidentally snag one of them thar sacred cows ;)

C&R for bass opens Walleye weekend...those of us who like to occasionally keep our catch have to wait until Memorial day to do that.

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Would flaming gorge be too far? 

On 2/4/2019 at 1:10 PM, FryDog62 said:

My wife and I are lifelong Minnesota residents... three kids have left the nest and two ending up in Denver.  My wife would like to move there too, I could probably transfer my consulting work there.  The winters are incredibly long and cold in Minnesota (they suck, last week -30 degrees) and we’re in our mid 50’s.  I had family here up until a year ago when both my parents and brother died. No real reason to stay anymore..

 

The problem is I would need an outlet if I moved and bass fishing is it.  I don’t ski any more, or hunt, or golf.  It doesn’t appear there is any real bass fishing in the Denver area.  A few reservoirs here and there.

 

Have to admit I’m spoiled with 12,000 lakes in Minnesota... several more within a reasonable drive to Wisconsin, South Dakota and Ontario. It’s great although there’s only about 5 months to fish open water (I don’t ice fish).

 

Am am I missing something in Colorado?  Are those reservoirs good enough to fish?  Are there any world-class lakes within a reasonable drive? I just bought a Lund Pro-V Bass 2 years ago and would really like to continue to fish.  

 

Suggestions?

 

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8 hours ago, TotalNoob said:

I live here and I have to 100% disagree with the statement that Pueblo is mostly Largemouth Bass (though I 100% wish you were right).

 

In my experience it's BY FAR mostly Smallmouths. Spotteds come in 2nd and then a small population of Largemouths. The fluctuating water levels don't help the LMB population - they actually stock LMB fry in the lake though I think they intentionally curtail the LMB population to protect the massive Walleye population in the lake. 

 

Check out the most recent CPW Survey Summary for Pueblo. Most of the gilnetting is done around the dam (I think) so it won't reflect well on whatever LMB population is in the lake. 

 

https://cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Fishery Survey Summaries/PuebloReservoir.pdf

 

Regardless, I fished it hard for Bass last year and the LMBs were few and far between - the ones I did catch were not noteworthy. 

 

Smallies and Spots are what you'll catch most of around here. You'll catch some Wipers in the Spring, too.

 

Please note, they have modified the rules on keeping Wiper from Pueblo in 2019. (IF you keep Bass 😠). Effective this year, the bag limit is 5 Wipers with only one greater than 21". This is updated from the previous "keep as many as you like" rule. Walleye regs are identical.

 

You'll run into more Walleyes than you can imagine in Pueblo. And you can blame low Wiper and LMB populations on the Walleye egg-take operation the State does out of Pueblo. I guess they feel like the walleyes might get outcompeted for gizzard shad if there's too many LMBs or Wipers. No shortage of Gizzard Shad in the lake that much is for certain!

 

I don't think I saw anyone mention the State-wide Walleye population? They stock 'em everywhere, and there's some tanks around the state. Coming from MN that's something I'm sure you'll recognize right away 👍

Thanks for the correction, and excellent info on Pueblo.

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4 hours ago, Caliyak said:

Would flaming gorge be too far? 

 

Looks like about 7 hours... could be do-able for 3-4 day weekends.. Thx

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