As winter approaches, one of the best states to ice fish in is Colorado. This state is known for getting snow, and you won’t be surprised that the two favorite winter past times are snowboarding and ice fishing. Colorado has more than 300 lakes, so you wont have a hard time finding a nice quiet place to fish during the winter.
Since Colorado has 300 plus lakes in the state, there is also many different types of fish that inhabit the state, the most popular include:
- Rainbow Trout
- Cutthroat Trout
- Brook Trout
- Brown Trout
- Lake Trout
- Kokanee Salmon
- Largemouth Bass
- Northern Pike
As you can see, there is something for everyone to catch and have fun with, now lets see where the best spots are to catch them.
1. Stagecoach Reservoir
Stagecoach is known for its trophy fish, and even has an ice fishing beginner kit that comes with everything you need to get started, including an ice auger. Their most popular fish are Rainbow trout, Northern pike, and Brown trout.
2. Boyd Reservoir
Packed full of Walleye, White bass, Catfish, Trout, Crappie, and Bluegill, this lake is great for catching all kinds of fish all year round. It is stocked every year with thousands of trout, and has spectacular ice fishing for all ages.
3. Eleven Mile
A great place to catch cutthroat, kokanee, trophy sized rainbow trout and also brown trout. It is a popular spot, but can still be quiet in the winter time, and has a normal 7-8 inches of ice which is perfectly safe.
4. Delaney Buttes
This lake has gold metal fishing for Brown, Rainbow and Cutbow trout, and is stocked regularly. small jigs and flies close to shore is going to maximize your catching.
5. Island Lake
This lake is home to Rainbow, Brook, Splake and Cut trout. It is one of the largest lakes in Grand Mesa covering roughly 179 surface acres. The maximum depth is only 77 feet, so you will not have to search long for fish here. Good spots are around the island around the 5 to 30 foot depth mark.
6. Grand Lake
You can find Largemouth bass, Spotted bass, Channel catfish, Flathead catfish, Blue catfish, White crappie, Walleye, Sunfish, and Bluegill. You have so many different species that it is hard not to catch a fish here. One of Colorado’s deepest natural lakes in the state, it boasts a whopping area of 600 acres on the surface.
7. Blue Mesa
Sockeye salmon, Kokanee salmon, Lake, Brown, and Rainbow trout are what you will find at this lake. There have been reports of lake trout up to 50 pounds at this lake and is best to catch them in spring and winter ice fishing. You might have to look a little deeper for the lunkers, so make sure your hole is big enough!
8. Kremmling’s Wolford Reservoir
This lake tends to be a quieter place where you wont find a ton of people. This is going to be great for getting a spot you want, but let people know where you are going because you will not have a lot of company. The season here tends to run from December through March, and has some great fishing.
9. Chambers Lake
Known for Kokanee salmon, Rainbow, Cutthroat, and lake trout. This lake is huge at 250 acres of water surface, and mixed with Kokanee salmon fishing, it is one of the better spots to go. You will want to look deep for larger fish, but rainbow trout can be found everywhere.
What Type Of Bait Do I Need?
Small jigs, worms, Powerbait, and other plastics will work just as well ice fishing, as it will in the summer months, so you can stick to your normal tackle. Flies will help a little, but keep in mind that the metabolism in a fish will slow the colder the water gets. This will make them less apt to chase bait, and more apt to just find food to survive, so do not move your bait around too much because they just wont follow it. Be patient, and you will land lunkers ice fishing in Colorado.
Colorado has a ton of lakes in the state, and most of them are in elevation where ice fishing is very common. Some lakes even rent out ice fishing starter kits, so you do not have to go waste money on Augers for drilling holes, and other ice fishing items. The most important thing is to check the thickness of the ice first, and have fun. If you end up in a situation where you are going to a lake that is more quiet and less popular, make sure you tell someone so that they know where you are if you are not back by dark.
Can You Ice Fish Year Round In Colorado
Unfortunately, no, you cannot ice fish year round in Colorado, The ice fishing season in Colorado generally lasts from December to March because the ice is much thicker. The weather in Colorado does not stay cold enough to keep ice on the lakes safe for people to fish through. Always check that you have at least 4 inches of clear ice before drilling a hole.
What Is The Most Popular Fish Caught In Colorado
The most popular species of fishing in Colorado is going to be trout, which include Rainbow, Lake, Cutthroat and Brown trout. Another very popular species caught is Kokanee Salmon which is very popular for anglers. While the state does offer other fishing like bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish, they are known for record setting trout.