Catch and Release

After a whole year of hunting Colorado lakes and reservoirs for the montsers we hear about thru local fish tales. We finally narrowed in on Antero Reservoir after a good tip from a reliable angling buddy.I gave in and decided to fish this lake for the first time Aup 9th, 2017 after its grand opening June 5th, 2017. My sons and I were skunked for 4.5 hours before we landed us a great 24.5 inch 5.5 lbs cuttbow trophy trout.

Since, I have been going back with different family members who dont believe the hype or that we are pulling in fish on an average of 3-5 lbs. I took my father up and he landed him 2 4.5 lbs Cutbows, my wife got her a 3 lb cutbow and then I took my cousin Brandon recently who caught this 22.5″ 6lbs Cutbow. when we were there, I noticed that we weren’t the only group of anglers that were hot on the tip. In the last 3 weeks I have seen more and more 5+ lbs fish being kept on the stringer like a bunch of stockers. Now. If you eat what you catch and you are using it for healthier eatting and as a way to provide for your family, this doesnt apply to you. If you are catching these beautiful fish and taking them home and letting them sit in your freezers for years, have no intentions of mounting or usign the fish for anything positive. CATCH AND RELEASE!

This is a great way for anglers to insure that we preserve our lakes and reservoirs for generations to come. With rumors of fish reaching the 10+ lbs range I believe if we practice better “catch and release” techniques we can insure the growth of these fish. We will also be able to “pass the feeling” as i wrote about in previous blogs. So please if you care about the preservation of Colorado’s Fish and Wildlife, help out and do your part to educate fellow anglers not using good techiques.

 

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The Feeling of Defeat

 Every anglers nightmare is to have that trophy fish on your line and to lose it over pety equipment malfunctions. I recently last week had a similar event happen to me.

It was right around 8 am at Tarryall Reservoir where I have been actively hunting the Northerns that populate the reservoir. I have heard good stories of people pulling out giant trophy size pike. As of recent rumors that fueled our trip of a 40 lb 42 inch pike retrieved from the inlet by a fly fisherman early July. Knowing that this reservoir is home to a variety of fish to included Rainbow, Brown and Cutthroat Trout, hybrid species as the Cutbow [rainbow x cutthroat] and a good population of the beautiful Northern Pike. Which, by the way, have to be along the speciality fish when it comes to meat for cooking.

After careful planning and weeks of study, lake layout and data collections. We decided to worked the west side of the reservoir nearest the inlet. There you will find  good ambushing points in the grass and where the water drops off from 3-10 ft. Also a good fishing location for trout, anywhere you find lots of trout gathering you will find pike waiting patiently to strike. The morning was very unactive as the sun started to get higher and warm the waters. I moved location to the north cove just east of the north inlet opposite the dam. I walked out and worked pretty much every inch of the knee to waist deep shallows with my white spinner bait, seen lots of trout, pretty decent in size hiding under grass and weeded areas along the banks. I finally was able to find a good location nearest the inlet casting out towards the dam 60 yards off the west bank in thigh deep waters.

I casted out not knowing what to expect using the SavageGear 3D Duckling [yellow] for the 2nd day. I worked that along with my spinnerbait for hours, had a few followers with no success. the time is now 1030 and the sun is beating down on us with a steady temperature of 71 degrees. Near submission I decided to work a patch of weed near the inlet one last time. Out of NO WHERE i got my first top water strike on my new lure. The hit was undescribable. Having caught 3-5 pound trouts, this strike was strong and with instant bolt action. I started my battle over 15 seconds, heart pounding, I started my retrieve and heard a “SNAP”, to find my rod which was rated med action med weight, broke in three, also having a good amount of tension set on my reel. Leaves me only to believe that I had finally hooked that trophy northern I work 2-3 times a week to catch. I am truly a believer in having the proper tools to handle a fish you can only dream about, then to be unprepared and lose you trophy. I now use green, low visability, 30lbs weight, 12 pound test with a 18″ steel lead. I upgraded to a heavy/medium action fishing rod so something like the situation I have been through does not repeat itself. Better safe than sorry.

Tarryall Still Producing

 I have been working this lake for about a year now. I have caught pike hear and there from the 10-15 inch range. I have had success with white stick-baits, jigs and now spinners. I picked up these spinners after investigating an anglers YouTube page and seeing the success that he has had. These run anywhere from 1.00-7.00$ for a decent spinner. You want to make sure that the strings are long enough and it has a decent size flasher [double flashers work too] for better action.

 I have worked about every part of this lake from the deeps to the shallows. I have had the most action on the west side of the lake, last camp ground south of the inlet along the rockbed. 20-50 ft out is a nice grass bed with lots of cover for these northerns to hang out in and stalk prey. This also being the most active shoreline for trout make it even more believable that the pike love to be in this area as well. The best times we have noticed is early morning fishing while the sun is coming up and the late evening an hour or two before sun down. I know that if there is pike this size in this reservoir then the chances of catching a throphy like the fly anlger that landed him a 47″ 30lb pike out of here a month ago, is alot higher. However never seen the picture, os only rumored at this point.

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Green Moutain’s Pike Problem

After a few months of targeting Northerns at Tarryall Reservoir, a smaller lake, to see what these picky bastards are hitting. Trying everything to include SavageGear’s 3D Ducks/Rats, Spinners, Chatter baits and even the good ol fashioned crawler. Finally tuned in on the smaller pike, who were hitting off the white 4″ Spinners and white spinner with chatter rattles. So we planned a day trip and loaded up the family.

Once on the lake at Green Mountain we had high hopes with all the hype we have been hearing about the over population of notherns. The Colorado Division of Wildlife is paying $20 a pike to have these beauties removed from the reservoir. So we got busy, we worked about every patch of grass, coves and points the lake had to offer. Had a little action on the south inlet opposite of the dam west side on the river bend, lots of 12 inch followers but no strikes. Lots of Anglers including myself do not understand that the Northerns are sportfish and as aggressive as they are, they are smart and very hard to catch. I wont count this lake out, I saw a bunch of pike minnows along the west boat ramp and on the south part of the inlet. If there are babies their are pike. We also baited up and attempted to fish for trout, as I like to have a trout line close to where I am working pike lures. If there are pan fish activity chances are there is a bunch of northerns hunting near by. I will be venturing out a few more times before snow and will keep you posted.

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Educate the Youth #edukatetheyouth

 My almost 4yr old daughter has blown my mind this past year along with my other 3 children with their ability to understand and work together to become some pretty legitimate Colorado Angler’s.  We were fishing Dillon Lake last August, I was working a bubble and fly rig for hours with nothing to show for.  As a mask for my frustration I asked my little girl if she wants to reel my line in and you wouldnt believe it but she was able to nab her a little 5in rainbow. Since that day anytime I have a fish on she grabs the net, or if our ringer bells go off she is one of the first on site to grab the pole and set the hook. She instinctively walks the shore with her catch to insure it doest get off. She has now caught fish in the 12-20″ range her biggest was a 2lb Rainbow out of Slack-Weiss Resevoir.  At first site, you can

 see how she was blown away with the size fish she just retrieved. I am very excited to see her develope more as the years go on I will progress her into one of Colorados best Anglers.

 

Her older brother Gabriel, 9 yrs old who suffers from Intellectual Disabilities [mental retardation] has also set the bar high as a youth angler. When we first tried to let him work the reel, he would just hold it and act like he was reeling, partly cause he had not very good motor skills. This quickly changed. With patients and him seeing his little sister getting fish to shore he started to push himself more and eventually landed him a good size rainbow out of Tarryall Reservoir last August as well. I was hoping that him feeling the fish fight and lossing them he would eventually figure it out like any angler, after his first catch to see the sense of accomplishment on his face was priceless and thanks to fishing he now has a release and a way to live in this world without judgement and complete freedom. Gabriel has learned to sit patiently by his reel until he sees a strike and will also set the hook apon retrieve and has also grown to be one of my favorite Colorado youth Anglers.

One of the things that I find about fishing as a family team is it builds trust, sense of accomplishment, bonding and most importantly time spent with eachother. Most families don’t have as much time as they might need to spend with the family. So the next weekend you are bummin around the house the kids have their faces buried in the IPADs n video games. Load up and head to the closest lake and figure out how to catch fish together.

TIps:

1- google what kind of fish are in the lake of your choice [city lakes are no exception].

2- google the top baits for your fish [night crawlers usually do the trick]

3-YouTube!!!! look it up and show your family how to provide. Catch fish together, cut and prep fish together, sit down and enjoy the fish as a family and store it away as another awesome day and memory with eachother.

Walleye Insanity 2017/Chatfiled

Walleye Insanity 2017/Chatfield – 7:0 am
Welcome to the latest and greatest in Walleye Tournaments! We listened to anglers when creating this tour and built an event FOR the anglers! This is the largest paying Walleye tournament out there! You may purchase your team entry fee to all or just one of the events on the tour through this portal (even though the event date listed is April 15th). Please be sure to specifiy which tournament location you are wanting to attend at checkout. You will see a mandatory box to check which event(s) you are purchasing entry for. Please see the Fact Sheet and Rules and Regulations on http://www.tightlineoutdoors.com. Click on the Walleye Insanity box to see more details. Both team members must be present for the manditory rules meeting the day of the event
More info…

18th Annual 2 man Team Pike Tournament-Eleven Mile State Park

18th Annual Serious Fishermen Team Pike Tournament – 7:0 am
Saturday, September 09: 7:00 AM – 2:30 PM The annual pike fishing tournament is hosted by Eleven Mile Sports. The contest will take place at the North Boat Ramp of Eleven Mile State Park. The field consists of up to 150 two-man teams. A total of ten (10) pike may be weighed-in by each team and cash prizes are awarded to the top teams. Audience: All Ages Location: Eleven Mile State Park North Boat Ramp Eleven Mile State Park 4229 C.R. #92 Lake George, CO, 80827 Eleven Mile Additional Information: Registration required,Fee required 󈑗 Mile Sports, Larry Falk, 719-748-0317, http://www.11milesports.com​