A couple of buddies and I went out on the big Blue with reconfisher and his buddy Paul (KOKO) a few days ago. I was excited because it was the first time this season that I had iced the west half of the lake since in had only been froze for just over a week, visions of sugar plumbs and 30 lb lake trout danced in my head. Knowing that my GPS points from years past where all dry docked, we started off a point that I normally like to fish, just further out. I guessed where I thought the water would be around 35’-40’ and punched a hole. 20’. I moved out 20 paces or so and punched another hole, 22’. I moved out another 20 paces and punched a hole, 25’. I punched another hole and another hole, then another hole, and finally another one then one more for good measure. The reality of what I already knew hit me, all of my favorite spots are out of water.
With the bad winter we had last year, the lakes and reservoirs across the state are down and Blue Mesa is no exception. Fishing this summer was one of the better seasons I’ve seen in several years, but finding fish in a continually changing environment is a little easier when you can scan the bottom at 5 miles an hour. Now, with a white cap covering the entire reservoir, there’s is no way to know what lies beneath unless you drill a hole, and then another one, and another and so on. Blue Mesa is still an incredibly large reservoir. Even at is shrunken state, it’s still close to 18 miles long and many parts still see over 100’ of water with the dam area still over 250’. But the thought came to me after my 45th or so hole that day, we’re fishing an entirely new reservoir. Sure the same principles will hold, tactics, baits, time of day, haven’t changed much. But the number one rule in business, location, location, location, is an entirely new ball game when it comes to the business of catching fish.
I guess the moral of the story is, after half a tank of gas in the ice auger, a couple of moves and a few fish, we finally found the honey hole. So keep in mind when you’re on your reservoir that you fished for a thousand years, the same ol’ sweet spot that you have fished forever, might have lost its appeal to the slimy critters under the ice. I figure my auger holds just under half a gallon of gas and I can drill roughly 150 holes with a tank. So at a little over a penny a hole, why not drill another hole, then another, and maybe even one more for good measure.