Went out on Horsetooth today, only one other boat out that we could see. Got really windy quickly around noon. Around 2 we started catching fish, ended up with 2 walleye, one bass, and a big Splake. We were fishing white clousers down about 5-15 feet deep on a 300 grain Rio sink tip. Retrieves were mostly slow or dragging with drift.
Around 2:30 we were drifting over a point that topped out at 12 feet where we crossed it, and was over 40 feet on the upwind side and 25 feet on the downwind side. I had hooked a few bushes in this area before, but after a split second I could tell this hook up was no bush. This heavy fish started shaking its head and I initially though it to be a walleye. But the way it ran was different. This wasn't a dead-weight fall to the bottom, this was a fighter.
After a few tough runs, we got to see the fish next to the boat. Phil excitedly grabbed the net, which we keep on board for the normal 10-18" fish we catch here, not the 32" monsters! The fish was a little green so we let it run a few more times then lifted its head into the net. The head made it, but Phil had to do some tweaking to get the rest of the body in. Sure enough, seconds later the Splake was in the boat. Eleven pounds, 3 ounces, 32 inches.
Man what a fish. I've got a new favorite. Now I looked up the DOW state record by length and it shows 20 inches. I guess that'll be changing, if not by me, by the few guys I've heard that have caught big splake this fall. And the state record by weight is the exact same length, but weighed in at over 18 pounds. So I think with the advent of this new fish the recs will be changing quite a bit. Go get 'em, and release them if you can!