Conditions for Anglers
by: David Coulson 12/9/2012
Maybe I should have titled this blog “Angling for Conditions Reports.” Despite a drier and warmer than average fall, the reality is Old Man Winter continues his incessant march forward. Consequently cold weather will ice up lakes and streams much to ice anglers delight and to open water lovers dismay. Simply, conditions are changing. With this current cold snap there soon be a lot more ice, consequently we need all the conditions repots we can get.
I know there is a group of members that has grown adverse to “posting” information as they feel doing so has a negative impact on our fisheries through increased fishing pressure. There is some merit to that argument when specific information is posted on the forum, especially coupled with a heavy dose of bragging. This is also true of such reporting no matter where it occurs, a report board at the tackle shops (most have one), bragging to the neighbors, newspaper articles, TV shows, magazine articles, books, you name the source, if it lists a specific water(s) it can increase fishing pressure. It is also true that everyone with internet access in the world can potentially read a forum post without logging on to the site. Those types of posts ARE NOT, I repeat ARE NOT CONDITIONS REPORTS. They are forum posts and they are not what we are requesting.
So what is a condition report? From our perspective for any lake or river it is a report that includes one or more of the following, water levels, water temperature, water clarity, aquatic vegetation conditions, and other observed environmental factors, such as bird activity, insect hatches, ice, changing levels, in/out flows, etc. Not a single word has to be mentioned about fishing. We have never asked for anyone to post a fishing report, although many, including myself like to report general fishing results. And the best reports in my opinion, especially those with fishing results, are still general in nature. For example, rather than saying I used a #9 floating Rapala in shad colors off point XYZ … listing the rest of the details, say something like we work top water minnow style lures over the top of submerged vegetation.
Second, we do not want the reports on the forum for the world to see, and thus potentially hot-spotting specific waters, which is why we have a dedicated submission form accessed through the lake and river update tabs on the menu bar. Please use them to submit conditions reports. We are serious enough about this view that we are looking at developing tools so they can quickly be moved to the lake pages from the forum or at the very least hidden from those who are not logged in.
So please help your fellow members out by submitting conditions reports whenever you note them, especially now when conditions are rapidly changing.
Blog content © David Coulson
CYObrad, CO 12/9/2012 2:24:15 PM
There are ways to update conditions without giving away secrets. Enough people fish the lakes around Colorado that holding back a report is not going to keep someone off your spot. The condition reports that are most helpful to me are those that include road conditions (muddy, closed....whatever) or if the lake has shutdown for the season.
There are times that a little bit of info can have a negative effect on a lake like the crappie bite at Lon Hagler several years ago...but those negative effects are far out-weighed by the positive ones like conservation education, clarification on regulations and helping people be more successful at fishing.
reconfisher, CO 12/10/2012 8:37:08 AM
Couldn't have said it better myself Dave. This website is a MEMBER driven site. So anyone's contribution while logged in is greatly appreciated by all. You do not have to give away all of your knowledge in a conditions report either!
JKaboom, CO 12/10/2012 1:55:16 PM
Good write up Dave :) I would say though in my opinion to not dedicate resources to having a tool to move forum posts to the lake/river page as anyone who takes 2 minutes to create an account can see it as well. If the purpose is to strictly get the informaiton from the forum to the lake/river update then great but if it is to limit access then like I said it takes 2 minutes to create an account.
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO 12/10/2012 2:56:30 PM
I agree it only takes two minutes to create account. But it also means the member has to have somewhat made up their mind as to where they are thinking about fishing, and then go to that specific water looking for recent conditions. Simply, they have to seek out the information rather than having it handed to them by someone saying on the forum this spot is hot right now. Big difference. Personally, I almost never go to a water recently broadcast on the forum as being great fishing, I much prefer to be the "first" on the scene. So rely far more on history, as nature repeats itself. I study historical reports and use that info coupled with current conditions to pick area that have the potential to be turning on.
pathfinder 1, CO 12/11/2012 6:44:54 AM
Good article, being rather new to the site, I appreciated you covering the conditions report, and explaining what is really needed in the report. I will try and give a good report next time out.. Had a stroke last year that put a kink in my out door activities, but on the mend, and realy appreciate this forum. thanks again
JKaboom, CO 12/11/2012 11:06:25 PM
Good point on the historical aspect Dave. And I am happy you wrote about what is really needed for conditions and not X lake at Y spot using Z tactic :)