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Looking Towards Open Water

by: Scott Brands 1/30/2018
Looking back at previous years, this is about the time when lakes along the front range start to really lose some ice which means open water is just around the corner! You always hear about not fishing history, but that doesnít stop me from doing it anyways. So hereís the bites Iím going to be looking to take advantage of once the lakes open up.

Ice off fishing for walleye is a good way to catch numbers of fish along with a decent chance of catching a giant pre-spawn female. My favorite method at this time is ripping blade baits on structure. If that isnít working I am not afraid to go shallow (especially on a warm day) to try casting jerkbaits or jigs along dam faces or other rocky areas. This year I plan on also adding in night trolling from my Coosa FD kayak with planer boards (something I had hoped to do once I got a pedal kayak). I have asked for the input of a few other anglers, put a lot of thought into my kayak setup to keep things as efficient as possible, and I may post another blog in the future depending on how successful I am with this method so stay tuned.

The water may still be cold but donít think that doesnít mean you canít go bass fishing and get on a good bite. My experience has been that bass seem to only be willing to hit a few lures this time of year, and each year my go to lure changes. One year I got on a hot chatterbait bite, the next year I couldnít buy a chatterbait bite, then it was an underspin, then it was a jerkbait, then a lipless crankbait, then a tube, and the list goes on and on. My point is try a lot of things until you figure it out, and donít be afraid to fish fast. You often hear about fishing slow for bass this time of year, which can sometimes be the deal, but there isnít anything slow about burning a lipless crankbait or grinding a diving crankbait along the bottom which has caught me plenty of bass in cold water.

Iím not a big trout guy, but this is also a good time to get out and get a few browns or bow bows as well. Rainbows should be gearing up for their spawn and the action is pretty hot anywhere they stock these fish. Get out to your local pond and fish your traditional trout lures. I tend to mostly stick with tubes, jerkbaits, spinners, and spoons, but if youíre a bait fisherman then it can be hard to beat salmon eggs, powerbait, or worms for stocker trout.

So those are the bites Iím going to be looking at here shortly along the front range. There are sure to be plenty of other species willing to play this time of year as well so whatever your target species is, youíre sure to have a good opportunity at them. What open water bites are you most looking forward to? 

Blog content © Scott Brands
Member comments
panfishin, CO   1/30/2018 3:24:46 PM
I'm looking at doing some night trolling from my Predator PDL too, I still need to figure out the lighting situation though. Do you think that the pedal drives would spook the walleyes the way that a kicker or big motor would on a boat? How are you going to monitor the boards...are you going to be pedaling backwards so that they are still "in front of you"?
Scott Brands (Skookshunter), CO   1/30/2018 5:05:33 PM
I asked Nate from Tightline the same question. He thinks the kayak will spook the walleye as well, but my thought is maybe they won't spook as much or maybe they'll spook off once we get closer than we would with a boat. I guess I'll find out. The reverse on my kayak isn't as efficient as going forwards so my plan is just to do a lot of head turning. My kayak is roomy enough where I can adjust enough to keep me from over-extending my neck. If it does become too much of a pain I may try going in reverse anyways. That's another thing I won't know until I get out there and try it.
rkhancock, CO   1/30/2018 8:43:09 PM
Im looking forward to early season bassin. Next warm spell we have I will be out chasing smallies at horsetooth. Then once some of the smaller lakes and reservoirs open up I will be going mostly for largemouth
pikeNcolorado, CO   2/1/2018 9:34:34 AM
What- No love for the Pike? I guess that answers the question on what I will be targeting. Ice off Pike = A good time!!!
Coyute, CO   2/1/2018 9:40:24 AM
I also enjoy throwing a bladed jig early spring. Early spring I always have a chatter, lipless and a jig on the deck.
Scott Brands (Skookshunter), CO   2/1/2018 6:17:25 PM
I would have love for the pike if I could catch those rascals!
pikeNcolorado, CO   2/1/2018 8:47:41 PM
Skoots, it's the same for me when it comes to Eyes unless I'm on private water. Maybe I should focus on them this year? Ah, who am I bs-ing, it's all about the Pike and bass for me. Haha
Scott Brands
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