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Jumbo Walleye!

by: Ben Swigle 6/7/2013

For a substantial number of years, June 1 signaled the beginning of a two week Canadian fishing adventure with my father.  Certainly not deterred by a lack of success, I havenít revisited Manitoba angling since 2002.  Dad put on a few more years while I started a career and a family of my own.  While I will sit on the sidelines a bit longer until I have the opportunity to take my youngsters north, all has not been lost. 

For the past 4 years, I have dialed down my spring fishing trip to 3 days and reduced the travel by several thousand miles by fishing Jumbo Reservoir, one of Coloradoís premier walleye fisheries.  Jumbo is located 30 miles east of Sterling, offering no-fee boat launching and free camping provided you posses a valid fishing license or access permit. 

 A 2011 angler survey revealed that roughly 450 boats launch at Jumbo each month.  Horsetooth or Pueblo Reservoirs easily surpass that number of visits in a single weekend.  Thus with little crowding and a robust fish population, my group of anglers caught solid numbers of walleye along the various weed lines situated in 5-7 feet of water.  When the walleye fishing slowed, smallmouth bass, crappie, and rainbow trout became willing participants.  We ended Day 1 with roughly 6 pounds of walleye fillets which made for a great shore dinner amongst friends. Day 2 was hampered by windy conditions but we gained refuge behind a number of bluffs and sandstone jetties and continued catching fair numbers of fish.

Not interested in fishing, no problem!  Jumbo Reservoir also offers recreational boating for skiers, tubers, and wake boarders with 1600 acres of open water and few other boats.  Sandy beaches dominate the eastern shore while water temperatures near 70 degrees accommodates swimmers.  Vessels other than those launched by hand must undergo a required inspection but the experienced staff and a newly-installed boat dock had our boats on the water in a matter of minutes.  If life has put a squeeze on your annual outdoor excursion, consider staying a little closer to home by visiting one of Coloradoís Eastern plainsí reservoirs. 

Claims of a fish kill in Jumbo Reservoir were certainly not warranted by my fishing experience and the local biologist survey completed last fall.  Go fish Colorado!

As you read many of my posts it will become evident I am a primarily a walleye angler.  You may see me jigging at Lonetree, Carter, Horsetooth, Jumbo, and Union on my days off in a 18ft red Lund with a 115 HP mercury.

However, professionally I take my bias for walleye out of management stratgies and manage each water in my district specifically for what the average angler desires and I attempt to accomodate the widest range of angling goals and desires. Keep in mind I could not be successful unless Colorado Parks and Wildlife Hatcheries produce the requested fish and the anglers abide by the biologically supported regulations enforced by park rangers and wildlife officers.

View the fish survey for Jumbo Reservoir by CPW aquatic biologist Mandi Brandt here:

Blog content © Ben Swigle
Member comments
IceFishingFool, CO   6/7/2013 11:12:35 PM
You might just find a shadow of an 18 ft Starcraft, slipping up on you one of these days, on Jumbo. 8-) Have never been there to fish, Thanks for the blog and CPW link. Bud
buddy&me, CO   6/9/2013 7:03:35 PM
Thanks for the update Ben! Good Stuff! One of these days I will get my butt off the shore and into a Either way my 5yr old like fishing for the Wallys. (That's what he calls them) Good Fishing!!!
opencage, CO   6/9/2013 7:58:55 PM
Great write up Ben. I was trying to decide between Jackson and Jumbo, and you just made that decision a lot easier. Fun fishing out there!
Ptarmigan, CO   6/10/2013 7:50:45 AM
Wondering if the camping at Jumbo has some shade/tree cover? Love to take my two kids out there but you never know if you get any cover on the eastern reservoirs.
Ben Swigle (Swigs), CO   6/10/2013 9:39:55 AM
There is also a sandstone point on the South end that should be good, as for the sahde there are some rather large cottonwood, primitive bathrooms, and some additional sandy spot to camp along the SW side. Crook is the closest place to get fuel and cold ones.
Ben Swigle
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