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Lake: Antero Reservoir
Fish: Tiger Muskie

Tiger muskie, skinny fish, and no weeds

Post By: catchem      Posted: 5/11/2020 10:26:49 PM     Points: 124    
Saturday 5/9 dropped the boat in the water about 1pm and started trolling. Not 10 minutes into it I have a lethargic but heavy fish on the line. A tiger muskie, 30 inches, my guess is it weighed 7lbs. Did not fight at all until it got to the boat, then it make a few dives but was pretty quickly in the net. I laid it out on top of my livewell cover in the sun to take a picture, and he was gone before I could get my phone out. Bummer, but a good 'self release.' The guy at the ANS station said that the largest he had heard about was 29" . . . but there should be some longer ones by late summer.

I caught 9 trout, including a brown and a cutthroat. All of the fish were skinny. Not skinny compared to most other lakes, but skinny for Antero. I caught a 19" bow, but I doubt if it weighed over 2 lbs. Nothing like the footballs when they reopened in 2017.

I haven't been to Antero or on this site much for a couple of years due to a move, job change, life stuff, etc. so maybe i missed the conversation. But what happened to the weeds? And does the lack of weeds = lack of bugs = skinny fish? I trolled all over the lake from the south ramp, out to the island, over to the north ramp, down to Green Lake . . . and I couldn't find much for standing weeds anywhere. Last time I was on the lake in a boat was late summer 2018, and there were weeds everywhere, even out in the deep water in front of the dam there were tall weeds in many spots. Too many weeds actually, it was hard to find large open pockets.. Now nothing. The absence of standing weeds wreaked havoc on my ice fishing strategy this past winter - I love to fish jigs around the weedbeds, summer and winter. I know it is still early and some weeds will grow, but it seems totally different from two years ago. Did Denver Water kill the weeds?

Finally, explain me this. There are almost no standing weeds to be found anywhere, but you can't troll a kastmaster for 10 minutes without picking up a hunk of floating weed. It doesn't seem fair!
 Reply by: anglerwannabe      Posted: 5/12/2020 4:18:54 AM     Points: 67074    
congratulations on the Musky. Don't worry about the weeds, there will be plenty.. this is from summer 2019

[log in for link]

 Reply by: Gwill      Posted: 5/12/2020 7:33:30 AM     Points: 4445    
I was out the other day with my dad and we caught a bunch of smaller fish as well. No footballs. Biggest were a couple of nice browns that were about 18 inches.
 Reply by: panfishin      Posted: 5/12/2020 8:25:25 AM     Points: 8791    
nice job on the Tiger Musky! Don't worry about the weeds...they're still there and they will come back in full force in a little while. they just take some time to get started because the water is still pretty chilly up there. I have a small garden pond that has some smaller clusters of plants and they really haven't started kicking yet and the water is hovering in the 60s depending on the weather.
 Reply by: catchem      Posted: 5/12/2020 7:58:45 PM     Points: 124    
Thanks for the replies and the great video! I will look forward to the return of the weeds this summer, as one of my favorite methods is to cast small jigs around the edges of weed beds, I just find that to be a fun way to catch fish. But I am still curious as to why in years past there were lots and lots of standing weeds all winter long, and now there are none, and even the bottom weed that I found was very sparse. And why are the fish no longer fat? That seems like a food abundance issue?
 Reply by: i2fly      Posted: 5/13/2020 7:36:45 AM     Points: 2072    
The weeds are still there they die back every winter. The answer is probably ice thickness and snow blocking sunlight. Photosynthesis canít occur. Some years the ice is covered in more snow. With less light penetration the greater the die back. This last winter it got very cold at Antero. It seems like I remember -44 degrees.
As the weeds blow up so will the bug populations. Donít worry those fish will be fat soon enough . Iíve caught some fatties this year. But some fish were definitely thicker than others. I fished last week and pulled weeds up every time I dropped anchor. Soon the midge larvae and the callibeatis will emerge from the mud. This yearís scud eggs will hatch, the damsels will proliferate, the crayfish will mate and multiply. Not to mention snails, leeches, dragonflies,,caddis and sucker minnows. Thatís why the tigers are there. Antero is just fine.
 Reply by: Anteroman      Posted: 5/13/2020 8:30:31 AM     Points: 6139    
I believe i2 hit the nail on the head, I am still in Florida but low weeds, early are a normal occurrence at all three lakes.
Last week the nightime temps at the lake were as low as 12 degrees twice. By June you'll have plenty of weeds.
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