“There’s one!”, “got ‘em!”, and “there he is!”…all phrases overheard in my boat quite often these days. Fisherman will immediately recognize them as announcements that another fish has been duped into biting. On Horsetooth Reservoir where I live and work, they’re common sayings during May and June. The lake is well ahead of schedule this year as far as warming goes, and the fishing, at least for bass, has been off the hook. Walleyes…well, a biologist I spoke with put it best when he said “welcome to smeltville”. My walleye catching has been hit or miss this year and the ones I can catch are much, much deeper than at any time in memory. Smelt are back in the lake in decent numbers and they’re deep water dwellers in daylight, not to mention they roam constantly…it doesn’t bode well for those of us that got spoiled catching walleyes shallow over the last 5 or 6 years. Hopefully other Horsetooth anglers are having a better walleye year than we are. For the record, I’d love to hear of your walleye adventures on The ‘Tooth this year, especially if you’ve been consistently successful in daylight hours.
Like I said, the bass are chowing early and often; throw what you have confidence in and you’ll catch them. I caught quality bass on six lure genres today, the biggest of which spanned 18+ inches and bit a 6” Huddleston swimbait colored to look like a bass. Why? Not to match the hatch, rather to match the competition. Smallies have low tolerance for other smallies in their area in late spring, so fishing a bass-looking large bait works to aggravate them. We always preach to consider WHY fish bite, not just what they bite, and this is a great example. Also consider that in the last week we’ve caught bass as shallow as near zero and as deep as 40+ feet (while trying to coax the aforementioned walleyes into biting). Like I said, throw, what you have confidence in.
If you’re lacking angling confidence, I have just the cure! Come to FishFest 2012 on Sunday May 20, noon- 6:00pm at the brand new South Bay Pavilion on Horsetooth Res. The event is hosted by all the folks here at Fishful Thinker, and it’s designed to provide some education (the cornerstone of all things Fishful of course) along with a fun social outing. Activities will include the second Accuracy Challenge…a casting contest rewarding accuracy with prizes including a St Croix Rage rod, an Abu Garcia Orra reel or a Bullhide 4x4 gift card. We’ll be providing some instruction if you’d like it as well. Fly tackle is welcome.
We’ll also host a raffle benefitting various youth fishing clubs. Bring your old (but serviceable) lures to trade for raffle tickets; the youth clubs will get all the lures to distribute to the kids, and you could win a pair of Costa sunglasses, $25 Sportsman’s Warehouse gift cards, or other prizes.
Want to check out the latest in Lowrance electronics? Come take a ride with Dan Swanson or me and see them in action on the water. We’ll also have a working HDS unit set up on land to demonstrate concepts. Just want to check out a Ranger bass or walleye boat, or just see the lake? Go far a ride with one of us.
The three Fishful guides (Dan Swanson, Ronny Castiglioni, and I) will present a seminar on Front Range reservoir concepts with a focus on Horsetooth and Carter Lake. We’ll have large maps and tons of tackle on hand. Bring questions. There will be snacks, cold cuts, and drinks as long as they last and you’re welcome to bring other food and drinks. There is running water, showers, BBQ grills and even a swim beach so come make a day of it. More than anything, we want to hang out with a bunch of fisher folks and pass on a few tips. Bring tackle and get some fishing in (you can fish off the bank right at the pavilion and there's fish there...I checked) and if you’re bringing a boat (which I encourage), email me a pic of it…we’ll be running the lake beforehand looking for visitors’ boats and handing out FTTV swag. FishFest is free, but you have to have a day pass for Larimer County Parks.
FTTV wouldn’t exist without Toyota’s support and I’ll be working a live radio remote at Pedersen Toyota on Saturday May 19, 1-3pm. If you’re in the Fort Collins area stop in and register to win a guide trip with me. My Tundra and boat will be on hand and I’ll have some DVD’s to hand out.
Sportsman’s Warehouse is also a key supporter of FTTV and I’ll be hosting a seminar at the Loveland store (Hwy 34 & I-25) on June 9, 11-noon. Titled “Topwater Tactics”, it’ll focus on multispecies (bass, wipers, pike, whitebass, trout) topwater fishing . This should be fun, and again I’ll have a bunch of swag. Topwater season will be in full swing by then, too.
So, on one of the busiest fishing weekends in CO, we’re hosting a fishing party! Why not, the fishing is great and here at FTTV we have a lot to be thankful for; namely all of you who read about, listen to, or watch our fishing efforts. Hope to see ya’ll at one of the events mentioned above, or on the water soon enough. Fish Big! CL