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Fish: Sunfish (Bream)

Fort Collins Panfish?

Post By: agt      Posted: 2/20/2012 8:36:29 AM     Points: 70    
I would like to get into some panfish early in the year. I don't know of any locations so if you know of one that will help. Try to keep it in the Fort Collins area. I'm also unsure of what bait to use.
 Reply by: ScottyMagoo      Posted: 2/20/2012 8:58:26 AM     Points: 13
Dixon Reservoir, North Shields Ponds, and Arapaho Bend are great places to get into sunfish. the classic worm and bobber technique seemed to work pretty well, but most often i used small crank baits usually an inch long or so. Look into North Shields Ponds. I spent many days out there last year catching too many sunfish to count, with the occasional bass or crappie.
 Reply by: smalliefan      Posted: 2/20/2012 9:36:49 AM     Points: 26
I don't know if you fly fish or tie flies, but you can always use a bubble on a spinning rod. A small hook with a bit of black thread works really well. Add a little peacock hurl and it works even better. I have had fish swallow these flies. You don't need a pattern, just make it look buggy and keep it small, keep it small. Did I say keep it small? Just cover thee hook. Less is a lot better. Bluegills have small mouths and are shy. I have watched them study a larger bait but commit to a smaller one a lot quicker. In addition, most of the ones I have seen around here are on the small side to begin with, typical of a lake with a small 9 - 11 inch bass population and a big bluegill population. I am sure the big carp populations don't help the bluegills grow. If the hook is too big, you won't catch any. I would have said the same locations as the previous post, so I won't repeat it except to add that almost any of the Fort Collins ponds shown on a Fort Collins fishing map holds bluegills.
 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/20/2012 10:31:00 AM     Points: 70
I couldn't agree more. North shields is one of my go to places to catch a bunch. I have never caught bass or crappie there. Where did you catch your bass? I have caught questionable fish that look like perch but they could just be oddly colored sunfish. Which of the three ponds has worked best?
 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/20/2012 10:36:25 AM     Points: 70
I forgot to ask if you think that sunfish are active this time of year. I haven't had any succes using a Gulp minnow under a bobber for them.
 Reply by: lewdog      Posted: 2/20/2012 12:01:36 PM     Points: 3940
I have had lots of luck off small jigs n a waxie or piece of crawler.
here's on i got last week n wasn't even targeting him. He swallowed my hook so had to eat em
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/20/2012 12:51:11 PM     Points: 3482
That's scary man with your rod handle in the ice like that! *Is it that new form of trotline? JK

That is a nice gill.

 Reply by: lewdog      Posted: 2/20/2012 1:23:28 PM     Points: 3940
The ice was only two inches n solid but i was only fishing in four ffow. One of the times u need to fish alone in fear of to much weight on the ice
 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/20/2012 4:36:35 PM     Points: 70
Where did you catch that lewdog?
 Reply by: lewdog      Posted: 2/20/2012 5:46:47 PM     Points: 3940
Banner lakes pond
 Reply by: whiteboyrick      Posted: 2/20/2012 6:07:03 PM     Points: 20
Little mini monster
 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/20/2012 8:45:15 PM     Points: 32
Boulder area but fly and bubble produces some very large pumpkinseeds and bluegill at sawhill ponds.
 Reply by: Djfan      Posted: 2/20/2012 11:28:54 PM     Points: 670
Take Overland south. It dead ends into a park. That pond there is over populated with them. Please take some.
 Reply by: walleyemaster101      Posted: 2/21/2012 7:03:33 AM     Points: 173
Nice fish! I have always wanted to catch Panfish this time of the year but never know where to go to have luck.
 Reply by: walleyemaster101      Posted: 2/21/2012 7:05:16 AM     Points: 173
@ Bronc do you know if sawhil ponds are ice free?
 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/21/2012 7:16:31 AM     Points: 32
I would bet that they are not. i live in fort collins so I have not been up there in a good while.
 Reply by: walleyemaster101      Posted: 2/21/2012 7:21:45 AM     Points: 173
Ok thanks I live in Denver so wanted to know if anyone knew before I went up there. Are any of the lakes in Fort Collins ice free yet?
 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/21/2012 8:26:48 AM     Points: 70
Where is overland south?
 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/21/2012 8:51:15 AM     Points: 32
Overland is the road that runs from laporte past the stadium and the drive in. If you go all the way south on overland it dead ends into a park.
 Reply by: ScottyMagoo      Posted: 2/21/2012 9:15:24 AM     Points: 13
Agt- I've caught bass and crappie out of the first pond right off shields. Supposedly there are a few catfish in there as well. I've seen a couple bass in the smaller pond to the west, but never hooked up with any. There are so many small panfish in that pond, but I never caught anything with any size whatsoever. You're right about the big pond its full of sunfish, perch, and bluegill. I've caught sunfish and perch out of that pond that were pushing MA lengths.
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/21/2012 9:19:53 AM     Points: 3482
That would be Cottonwood Glen guys.
Fun little pond that you can ice fish for crappie, nothing large, about 5 to 6", but so active it's only one rod because two is just too crazy. Small largemouth bass, bluegill, and green sunfish also reside in there. It is prone to winterkill when we have really cold winters (winterkilled about 4 years ago). But basically since most ponds are open, anywhere will work. Also look into Golden Meadows as that is one of my favorite little places. Rolland Moore should have some good action between the pump house to the basketball courts and around the rocky riprap. Sheldon lake, aka City Park, should also be pretty good around the shorelines and handicap dock area.

Good luck and have fun!

 Reply by: ScottyMagoo      Posted: 2/21/2012 9:19:57 AM     Points: 13
Here's a bass from North Shields last summer.
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/21/2012 9:36:38 AM     Points: 3482
Nice Scotty,
My best was 15" out of there on a popper. If you really want the bass, hit the north side. Spinners and poppers work really well. However, during this season, just worms or some slow jigs might be more appropriate.
Work the weed mats and cattails, that's where they are at.

 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/21/2012 9:38:35 AM     Points: 32
I know shields isn't very deep can you wade those ponds? I have never checked the regs to know.
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/21/2012 9:48:06 AM     Points: 3482
Yes, you can wade them. However, it is deeper than you think. If you looked at a map, about halfway across the narrow section, there is a dropoff. From the dock, I cast at about 10 o'clock and then slowly pull my bait to me until I reach it. I catch channel cats and black bullheads there. I think there could be a good sized cat in there, but I just haven't put in the time for it.
If you wade it, use chest waders and be careful, there is a lot of sludge in them that can make it difficult and you may lose a boot. I've been in them for sampling and plain fishing. If you're wading, I suggest the W half as you can find a way all the way across. Find the cobble bottom and stay on it. The ridge that works around is amazing.

 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:06:33 AM     Points: 32
All this talk about the ponds has me heading out to see if there is any open water on that back pond. I wouldn't mind catching a couple fat perch for dinner 2nite. Thanks for the tips on the wading I never wade without chest waders and a belt.
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:09:20 AM     Points: 3482
Perch? wow, I haven't caught those out of there.
I usually go to sheldon for perch.
 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:11:03 AM     Points: 32
The back pond is full of perch. If I am thinking of the wrong place I will be sure to post when I get back lol. Where I am thinking is north end the river is just to the south as is an emrgency services shack.
 Reply by: walleyemaster101      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:11:48 AM     Points: 173
I may head up there to try and catch some panfish instead of going out to Jacson today
 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:15:40 AM     Points: 32
Walleye when are you thinking about getting out there?
 Reply by: panfishin      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:16:04 AM     Points: 9248
just about any pond you stop at will have a population of sunnies. fly and bubble, worm and bobber, small spinners/spoons/cranks are dynomite! there are a couple of ponds behind a 4x4 shop north of downtown, and i can't think of the names right now, but if you head out there in the evenings it is non-stop action on small flies. and as a bonus there have been several MA bass pulled out of there too. i've caught bass, bluegills, pumpkinseeds, crappie, and green sunfish in there. as soon as i find the name i'll post it back up. Dixon is another personal favorite of mine.
 Reply by: ScottyMagoo      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:18:07 AM     Points: 13
The perch are in the large pond to the north. It used to be called Sterling Natural area, but has since been incorporated into North Shields Ponds.
 Reply by: walleyemaster101      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:18:32 AM     Points: 173
I will probably get out there at around 12 30 or 1 bronc.
 Reply by: ScottyMagoo      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:19:45 AM     Points: 13
Panfishin are you talking about Mcmurray ponds?
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:19:53 AM     Points: 3482
Those would be the McMurry Natural Area. Right now, that's the only way to get to Legacy also. Awesome brown fishing through there.

 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:20:26 AM     Points: 32
I will get back there around 11ish prolly if you want my number email me on my skipper link and I will shoot it to you. I am going to hit a few other lakes around the area to see how much open water there is b4 I get there.
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:21:40 AM     Points: 3482
Good luck and I hope you get numbers and quality.


Dude, so not fair. I'm stuck here at work and I haven't even seen a fish over an inch yet. LOL
 Reply by: walleyemaster101      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:23:50 AM     Points: 173
ok i will send you an email bronc
 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:23:55 AM     Points: 32
If it makes you feel better I would rather be working. I left my temp gig at parks and wildlife 7 months ago and thats the last I worked.
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:37:21 AM     Points: 3482
Well, if it was 7 months ago, you'd be eligible for another temp hire. I would check in a the Prospect office for the front desk. They've had a notice up for a student for a long time. If they haven't found anyone, someone they've hired before would have a good chance at getting it.

 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/21/2012 11:16:38 AM     Points: 32
I will check that out thanks.
 Reply by: panfishin      Posted: 2/21/2012 11:17:00 AM     Points: 9248
that would be the ones i was talking about scotty, thanks!
 Reply by: panfishin      Posted: 2/21/2012 11:21:24 AM     Points: 9248
@FishSeal- i have never fished the river behind there, always thought about it though. i might have to try that next time i'm up there.
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/21/2012 11:29:44 AM     Points: 3482
I pulled one of my personal best creek chub (unexpected) from there, 10". However, I normally catch 14 to 16" browns and maybe a few 14" bows. There are some awesome opportunities there. Downstream to Legacy is also good.

One of my favorite spots is the Poudre from North Shields upstream! I usually just walk the riverbed. I've caught and seen some nice 16" browns in that stretch.

 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/21/2012 3:58:23 PM     Points: 32
Well the perch bite wasn't happening today. The wind was pretty brutal. I did hook into something big enough to snap my little ultra light rod I was using never got sight of it so my guess is carp.
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/21/2012 4:01:50 PM     Points: 3482
Wow, probably.
Broke your UL, I'm sorry. That's no fun. No perch? Hm, I wonder if the storm front had something to do with it. How were you trying for the perch?

 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/21/2012 4:23:58 PM     Points: 32
Just using a nitecrawler both off the bottom and with a bobber. I tried some plastics in the first pond for a little while.
 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/21/2012 5:37:26 PM     Points: 70
Does anyone know if that VERY small pond in the back of north shields has bass? Ive caught some sunfish out of there but it doesn't look deep enough to hold anything of any size.
 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/21/2012 5:39:24 PM     Points: 70
What brand for small 1'' crank baits do you recommend?
 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/21/2012 5:41:55 PM     Points: 32
I believe it is only the front pond that has bass. But that little one is pretty deep.
 Reply by: LewsTherinTelemon      Posted: 2/21/2012 7:55:41 PM     Points: 535
agt, I like to use StrikeKing Bitsy Minnows in just about any colour. Deadly for bass and panfish. I'd imagine a small Rapala countdown would suffice.

Good luck!
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/21/2012 9:53:19 PM     Points: 3482
I believe that little pond is connected to the Sterling pond. Yes, I have caught bass out of it. Small, around 8", but they are growing.

 Reply by: Djfan      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:20:51 PM     Points: 670
Where exactly is that North Shields pond?
 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:37:52 PM     Points: 32
at the north end of shields shortly before it runs into 287
 Reply by: panfishin      Posted: 2/21/2012 10:54:26 PM     Points: 9248
I've used 1"bomber crankbaits, althought o haven't seen my favorite color in the small size in several years...metallic blue on top w/a Chrome bottom and a couple black stripes across the back. I've seen tons of em in the larger size. I've caught a good number of panfish, bass and trout on that one little lure.
 Reply by: ScottyMagoo      Posted: 2/22/2012 12:07:08 AM     Points: 13
I agree on the Strike King bitsy minnow. Those things are awesome. I've caught bass, crappie, panfish, and even trout on them. They sell them at walmart. also the nano crank by mizuno (i think) produced pretty well.
 Reply by: Sleazy E      Posted: 2/22/2012 12:27:21 AM     Points: 447
North Shields pond is a stone's throw away from the bridge that rises above the Poudre river. It's North of the bridge on the west side. Small dirt parking lot with a porta-potti.
 Reply by: Djfan      Posted: 2/22/2012 6:21:06 AM     Points: 670
Thanks. I have seen it, but always thought it was private.
 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/22/2012 8:26:38 AM     Points: 70
Does anyone know if North Shields is open yet?
 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/22/2012 8:30:22 AM     Points: 32
The front pond is about half open. The whole west side is open prolly from about ten yard from the dock to the edge. The back pond is completely open the river is free of ice. I may go out tomorrow and fish it in the lil bit of snow we are sposed to get.
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/22/2012 9:16:23 AM     Points: 3482
did you check with the Prospect DOW office about the job?
 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/22/2012 10:47:17 AM     Points: 32
I am going to go in later today. I applied for a temp job at the bellvue hatchery and one at the cherokee SWA. I think I am getting just the motivation I have needed for a while to go finish my degree.
 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/22/2012 3:01:09 PM     Points: 70
Some people on this post were talking about legacy. What is Legacy???
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/22/2012 3:32:46 PM     Points: 3482
Legacy Natural Area.
The entrance is the area that the City of Fort Collins has torn up just north of the Vietnam Bridge over the Poudre on College or 287.

I love that area. Every now and then I pull an 18" brown out. But that whole area is challenging, fun, and interesting for fishing.

It's all Poudre River fishing. I've caught Browns and Rainbows and heard of cutts coming out of there, feasible shortly after run off.

 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/22/2012 3:40:29 PM     Points: 70
What do you use to catch the trout at Legacy? I've never had any succes at rivers and woul love to get into some trout.
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/22/2012 3:44:38 PM     Points: 3482
I'm a hardware fisherman most of the time.
I've done okay on rapalas, rooster tails, and even bait dunking (worm under a bobber, letting it drift).

Right now would be a great time to hit it. Don on the waders and make the trek from McMurray downstream.

I've never done well fly fishing the stretch as I think a lot of people hit it. It takes skill.

 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/22/2012 3:55:59 PM     Points: 70
Are hd trout good for the trout at Legacy?
 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/22/2012 3:56:32 PM     Points: 70
Are hd trout lures good for the trout at Legacy?
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/22/2012 3:57:53 PM     Points: 3482
I haven't tried the HD's at legacy. You might be onto something there. I may have to give it a try.
 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/22/2012 5:40:10 PM     Points: 70
How deep is the water at Legacy???
 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/22/2012 5:41:13 PM     Points: 32
Based off of it being the river I would guess it is going to vary based on season. Always remember to wear a wading belt.
 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/23/2012 7:45:15 AM     Points: 70
Has anybody fished Prospect Ponds in Fort Collins? What species are in there too?
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/23/2012 9:33:08 AM     Points: 3482
Legacy varies in water depth. Right now the deepest hole is about 5-6' and the runs around 2'.

Prospect ponds have largemouth bass, bluegill, shad, cats, carp, green sunfish, and wiper (haven't heard one come out for years, probably all gone).
The little pond that is connected to the water plant always produces since it's warmer.
We've had our belly boat out there and that was fun. However, I think the north pond would be fun to try next time as we only boated the south pond.

The poudre right there can be very productive also for browns, bows, bass, and perch.

 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/23/2012 7:39:17 PM     Points: 70
You mentioned Cottonwood Glen on this post. Is that the one by Spring Canyon Park and somewhat by Dixon? What do you use at Cottonwoood Glen too???
 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/23/2012 8:42:46 PM     Points: 32
Fishseal I did get your email and emailed you back just wanted to make sure you got it. I am thinking about changing my linked account because it seems like my emails get sent to junk when I respond oftentimes.
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/24/2012 7:30:11 AM     Points: 3482
bronc, I got it thanks.

agt, Yes, that is Cottonwood Glen, at the S end of Overland Trail. You can use anything and they'll slay it. I have had a couple of slow days, but usually a small white lure or bait suspended by a bobber around 2 to 3 feet will work.

 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/24/2012 4:10:12 PM     Points: 70
Sorry to keep bugging you FishSeal but is the pond that really dirty one by the basketball courts? It just doesn't seem like a place to hold fish.
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/24/2012 4:13:40 PM     Points: 3482
Well, it's not the only by a basketball court. There's also Rolland Moore on Shields street.
And last time I was there, for both parks, there was only one pond. So, yes, that's it.

 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/26/2012 11:39:31 AM     Points: 70
Does anyone know the species at Golden Meadows? I've seen sunfish and carp, and caught a bass. Anything else?
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/27/2012 10:02:51 AM     Points: 3482
Black Crappie, Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Largemouth Bass and Carp (you said so, I haven't seen them). 8)
 Reply by: Wiperman10      Posted: 2/27/2012 11:10:02 AM     Points: 21
As for the smaller pond in the back( shields) I caught a 18 inch LM last summer!
 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/27/2012 11:12:38 AM     Points: 32
Well i am going to try cottonwood and may end up at shields by the end of the day if anyone wants to meet up shoot me an email at my skipper link with a phone number and it will come to my phone.
 Reply by: agt      Posted: 2/29/2012 8:04:53 AM     Points: 70
If I'm just looking to catch a fish, do you reccomend portner reservoir (fossil creek) or golden meadows? What would you use there too?
 Reply by: bronc      Posted: 2/29/2012 9:51:03 AM     Points: 32
There really is a wealth of info in this thread already.

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