Post By: Sir_Castalot Posted: 1/19/2020 6:53:03 PMPoints: 171
It seems whenever I go ice fishing I have an awesome day, but I also always just catch a ton of like 12in stocker rainbows. In lakes that are stocked with predominately rainbows does anybody have any tackle tips for specifically targeting bigger fish?
If all your catching is stockers,then stockers it shall be . . . .there are a ton of lakes in the area that are stocked with what I call "put and take trout" the CWP stocks millions of p&t trout every year.You have to go to lakes that have "holdover" trout.A holdover trout lake will be places like 11 mile or Antero and will give you the trout you are looking for.Places like Evergreen and Red Feathers will be more stockers . . . .I use different set ups for stocker and holdover fish. BTW . . .bigger/more is not the answer.
Yea HP and goose gave the beat advice you can get. There will be some holdovers in lakes that are heavily stocked, but lakes that are heavily stocked are heavily fished. Catching the big one is more chance than anything at these lakes. Seek trophy lakes for trophy fish.
Where are you fishing when you catch all the stockers? Is everyone around you catching stockers?Some key things you should look for when looking for big rainbows . . . . . . .is there a stream or river passing through the lake? The bigger the lake the better the chance for a holdover to get to be bigger fish . . . .whats for dinner? Is the lake a good food supply for a holdover fish . . .bigger fish don't happen if there's no dinner!We have plenty of bigger fish,I think you need to look where your fishing first.
Reply by: skiman Posted: Jan. 20, 9:32:47 AM Points: 2349
Unless a large .fish is “brood stock”, it didn’t get that big by being stupid! What I mean is to catch bigger fish, I think you need to mix it up a little. Try new baits and techniques, and alter your presentation. I’ve found that I can get into a rut using the same baits and tactics that “work”, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I need to remind myself to try something new and different...something the bigguns haven’t seen before! Sometimes, a simple change is all it takes.
Reply by: brookieflyfisher Posted: Jan. 20, 10:31:04 AM Points: 6136
Fishing the right lake is probably the most important part. Some lakes are managed for large trout (like 11mile) and others aren't necessarily managed for trophy fish but either experience low angler pressure (west slope lakes) or have very high productivity (Antero). But another part is where you fish in the lake.
Stocked trout are planted near boat ramps and in areas of easy access. These fish are stupid and naive and tend to concentrate in the area where they were planted. Get away from these areas and the crowds unless you're seeing 20 inchers in people's buckets.
Larger trout will act much more like walleye, bass, perch, or any other predatory fish on the prowl for insect or fish prey. They will use whatever structure provides them with convenient places to hunt, rest, and escape competition. Large trout will often feed shallower than you think, and also have a curious tendency to cruise right under the ice even over very deep water. Use your electronics, a map, and an understanding of trout prey items (which can range from zooplankton on the small end to baby bluegill and other trout on the large end) and you'll have plenty of opportunities to land a large fish. Good luck!
Go fishing at odd times and places off the beaten path. Get super bundled up and go during a stormy period---or very early/late. Have newer line and fresh knots. Set your drag looser than usual. Target bigger bodies of water with a history of lunker production. I will never forget 20 yrs ago icing THE MILE all by myself on Christmas eve. The wife and kids went to the in-laws out of state while I wrapped up the year--trying to hit max bonus sales numbers. It's a fish story because I didnt land it. I had a bow on that took off like a truck. You couldnt even feel the tail pulsing. Had it on for about 15 minutes and nosed it up just 4 inches above the water line SNAP!!!! Never went back to 4lb line again. Never went again without a cap mounted flashlight either. That fish probably died of exhaustion. 2nd biggest bow I have ever seen. Kind of keeps you going back again and again and again......................
Location . . .location . . .location! Evergreen is a top P&T lake because of how close to Denver it is.Red Feathers is too small to produce BIG Trout and is also a P&T destination. If your going as far as Red Feathers,you might as well go to South Park/11 mile/Antero . . . .be forwarned . . .South Park can be a real wind tunnel at times and it has its very own climate that get down out right cold.
If he lives in northern colorado then red feathers is a lot closer. Plus parvin and some of the lakes that you have to hike into have quality fish. Just hard to catch if you aren't used to not using bait. I myself have caught bigger fish out of parvin than any of the south park lakes.