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.
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.
Before You Get Started
What is needed to enjoy this great sport:
Clothing - Good warm clothing; dress in layers. Good warm snow boots, gloves, headgear, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
Safety Equipment - Ice picks, throw rope, cleats, and a spud bar.
Fishing Gear - Ice fishing rods lined with 4 to 8 lb test for trout; 10- 15 lb test for pike. A bucket or chair to sit on and carry your rods. A handful of small ice fishing jigs . Of course you will need a way to get a hole in the ice: An inexpensive hand auger 6 or 8 inches in diameter for early season and ice up to about 8 inches. As the ice gets thicker you will want to go to a larger power type auger to make the chore easier.
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.
The Lake Trout popular methods are Large Tube jigs from 3.5 inches all the way up to 10 inches long tipped with a small piece of sucker meat. The most common size tube is the 5 or 6 inch long.
Where to Go
Antero Reservoir, built in 1909, is a shallow reservoir with healthy plant life and more scud shrimp than you can shake a hook at. Because it is so loaded with these protein rich shrimp the trout feed on, their growth rate is significantly higher than fish in most other reservoirs within a reasonable driving distance. So if you have an appetite for catching large and beautifully colored Rainbows and Browns consider Antero.
Elevenmile Reservoir is the heart of South Park fishing. This amazing fishery can challenge anglers mostly because it is so big and it can be hard to locate fish. The reservoir has rainbow trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon, carp, and northern pike. The average fish caught is around 16 inches but because of […]
Spinney Reservoir is one of the best stillwater fisheries in the state. It has a Gold Water rating, and each season, anglers from all over the state line up at the entrance a half hour before sunrise to enter this gem. Rainbows measure well over 20 inches as a result of their main diet consisting […]
Tarryall Reservoir is located in the Northern vicinity of South Park. The fish feed year-round on leeches, scuds and small fish. Floating the reservoir is the best way to fish this lake. The lake has excellent vegetation growth and Northern Pike tend to lurk in the luscious weed beds. The Colorado Division of Wildlife encourage […]
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