Ice Fishing

In the Pikes Peak Region

The ice fishing season in the Pikes Peak region usually starts about Thanksgiving (conditions permitting ) and will last until about mid March. The popular lakes in the area are 11-Mile, Antero, Tarrayall, Monument, Palmer lake and Skagway.

There are other lakes just a bit further out that are also very popular with the locals. These are Clear Creek, Cottonwood, Twin and Turquoise lakes.

Getting Started

11-Mile a very popular lake for ice fishing . Large trout with fish going over 10 lbs are to be had with the average size around 16 to 20 inches. In addition to trout are northern pike, some attaining 40 inches plus. 11-Mile is a lake that you love to hate and hate to love. One day the fish of a lifetime are everywhere and the next day there’s no sign of them. That is fishing.

Antero Reservoir draws its ice fishermen for the numbers of healthy trout averaging 16 to 20 inches at 3 to 4 pounds with possibilities of a 10-lber.

Skagway and Tarryall are great lakes to take the kids fishing with high numbers of trout and an occasional northern pike to be had. Early in the season it is not uncommon for anglers to catch 30 fish a day. The average size of the trout are 10 to 15 inches.

Pro Tip

Lures and bait will consist of small tubes and ice fishing jigs tipped with a meal or wax worm (pinch the head of the meal worms). Dead stick about 12 to 18 inches about the bottom are the preferred method for trout. Jigging a small Kastmaster or jigging spoon is a close second.

For Pike, Tipups with Live Waterdogs or dead suckers on a quick strike rig is the preferred method. In Colorado, live fish /minnows may NOT be used at elevations above 7000 feet.

Be Prepared

Early Ice is usually some of the best fishing all year and people are chomping at the bit to get the season started. To take advantage of this you will need a few things. Number one is good warm boots and clothing, it can get down to -40 degrees out on the ice. A way to drill through the ice with a auger or chisel, auger being by far the most popular as the Ice can get up to 36+ inches. A couple of short ice fishing rods about 24 to 30 inches in length and medium, medium light action spooled with 4 to 10 lb fluorocarbon. Using small jigs and spoons tipped with either wax or meal worms work best.

Be sure to pack
  • Ice Fishing Gear
  • Ice Fishing Shelter or Tent
  • Warm Clothing
  • Ice Picks or Cleats
  • Ice Fishing Accessories
  • Ice Safety Essentials
  • Food and Drinks
  • Sun Protection

Outdoor Ethics for Ice Fishing

The Leave No Trace Seven Principles are reprinted with the permission of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. For more information, visit

  • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit.
  • Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
  • Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
  • Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
  • Repackage food to minimize waste.
  • Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
  • Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
  • Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.

Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.

In popular areas

  • Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
  • Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
  • Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.

In pristine areas

  • Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
  • Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
  • Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
  • Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
  • Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.

To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.

  • Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
  • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
  • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
  • Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
  • Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
  • Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
  • Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
  • Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
  • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
  • Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
  • Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
  • Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
  • Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
  • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
  • Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
  • Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
  • Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
  • Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.

Gear & Services


Guided Adventures

Featured Places to Explore

Curated trails & experiences

Eleven Mile State Park

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Anglers and​ ​writers consistently tout Eleven Mile’s large reservoir for its outstanding fishing. When not reeling in a trophy rainbow, brown, cutthroat, kokanee or pike, there…
Public Parks

Tarryall Reservoir

North of South Park, this Reservoir is open year-round and has excellent vegetation.  Access via County Road 77.

Spinny Mountain Reservoir

About an hour west of Colorado Springs, Spinney Reservoir is one of the best stillwater fisheries in the state, with a Gold Water rating.

Elevenmile Reservoir

Located off of County Road 92. Open year round, this amazing fishery Reservoir is the heart of South Park big fishing.

Antero Reservoir

Park County, Co
Park County, Co. Available for fishing, boating, camping, and hiking. This reservoir is open year round.
Places_Lakes_Reservoir_Antero Reservoir

More Fishing Actvities

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