Post By: Team CO.F.F. Posted: 9/15/2022 6:37:19 PMPoints: 267
Went up really early with my buddy to do some fishing at a lake that holds some huge trout. After the long drive, we got there at around 7:00 AM and started getting the belly boats blown up and acclimated to the water. Got a couple bites early but nothing that committed until out on the float tubes. Had a really nice size cutthroat get off a few feet from the net, which was sad. Landed a small but healthy tiger soon after that. The next 4 hours were a grind with only one bite for me. Wish I had brought my fly gear this day. Things turned around though shortly after we got out of the water...
I was using a small lipless crankbait that I use for ice fishing (HD ICE) and casting it around some small, floating land masses that you could get out on...sort of. Best comparison I can make is a floating bog, with some being ok to stand on and others not so much. I foul hooked a fathead minnow while bobbing it around and figured just to keep the minnow on. Shortly after a really nice tiger trout came out from under the floating bog I was on and took the lure! It was really exciting to see as it missed the minnow a few times before just deciding to engulf the lure. I decided to try and catch a few more minnows with my buddies small-holed net and succeeded. This resulted in me missing a tiger that was smart enough to just nip the minnow off the hook, and me breaking off a big cutthroat.
BRIGHT and SUNNY morning with a big temperature fluctuation from arrival to departure. We showed up and it was 34 degrees and by the time we left it was 74. I was wearing my winter coat to start off the morning haha. No wind with plenty of small gnats and mosquitos flying around that the trout were rising on. I love throwing scuds on a hopper dropper and there were really big scuds swimming around all over. Might be heading back soon to get after it but until then...Hope you guys enjoy the fun fishing in the link below!
Amazing markings on that Tiger. The critter was a muskrat, a smaller rodent cousin of the beaver. Those fish are probably growing by leaps and bounds with all those fathead minnows to feed on. I wonder if one of Pete's swimbaits might have been the ticket.
Reply by: Team CO.F.F. Posted: Sep. 16, 11:22:59 AM Points: 267
Good to know, I figured something like that or a whistle pig...Ya the trout get MASSIVE in that lake, it's where my PB 22" Tiger is out of. I know several people that have pulled out 25"+ ones. Hoping I can get that mark this fall...I didn't include it in the post or video but we threw the whole 9 at the lake this day. I tried 6+ HD Trout patterns, J-spec, Z-Spec, some ice fishing lures, and the petes. After that first tiger I got, not another bite for 4+ hours. My buddy didn't get a bite or a nip the whole day😫
Reply by: Team CO.F.F. Posted: Sep. 16, 11:34:37 AM Points: 267
not too old to fish
Thank you! From what i've read on the CPW site - "Fish harvested in the wild for use as bait can only be used in the water in which it was caught and an no longer be transported and stored for later use." IDK if that applies to us but figured it did. I could see how that would be still maybe under the blanket rule of what you mentioned, as the pamphlet I have has my above quote as it's own bullet point after that blanket rule. Guess I was confused... But then again it wouldn't make sense to me to not be able to use what is already established and living in the water (just my simple mind).
Reply by: not too old to fish Posted: Sep. 17, 9:17:40 AM Points: 7391
C.O.F.F, From the fishing rules at CPW:
Restrictions on Live Fish Used as Bait. 1. The collection, use, or possession of live fish for use as bait is prohibited in the following waters: a. All waters east of the Continental Divide above 7,000 feet elevation b. The Arkansas River above Parkdale – Fremont and Chaffee counties c. Watson Lake - Larimer County d. All waters west of the Continental Divide, except in Navajo Reservoir.
Reply by: not too old to fish Posted: Sep. 19, 10:37:17 AM Points: 7391
Tyler, I wasn't aware of the live bait restriction on the western slope either. I know the 7,000 ft restriction on the eastern slope has been a rule for many years so I looked up the rule to see if it applied to the western slope also. It doesn't which makes no sense at all to me, why one side of the mountain is different than the otherside is a mystery that needs an explanation.
^ Invasive species. Lots of research has shown that bait buckets are a major spreader of all kinds of undesirable species.
Why live minnows can't be used out of the water they were captured may boil down to enforcement (how would a C.O. know where those minnows came from?), potential bycatch issues, and possibly effectiveness.
This regulation is not unusual. Idaho, Utah, Washington, Oregon, and almost all of Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming do not allow the use of live baitfish. Some of these states go further--Oregon does not allow the use of any live bait, while Idaho and Utah outlaw all aquatic baits (like leeches or waterdogs).
Reply by: not too old to fish Posted: Sep. 23, 10:42:46 AM Points: 7391
There are so many rules to follow in Colorado it's difficult to not have broken one or two out of not having a photographic memory lol. I think you can use dead minnows and fish them in a moving manner which might work but you might want to talk with CPW just to make sure that is legal. I can't believe using dead minnows would be a problem but check first to be sure.