For me most species in Colorado that I chase have pros and cons. Bluegills fight crazy hard, but they don’t get very big. Average sized walleye taste great, but they tend to make a head shake or two then give up. Carp are freshwater freight trains, but they rarely jump out of the water during a fight. The list goes on and on with species that have both pros and cons….
That is until I get to wiper. They fight like you hooked into a gorilla that just took a year’s supply of steroids. They’re one of the few species in Colorado that will make you wonder if you have enough line on your reel when they’re running. They don’t just fight hard they grow big, REAL BIG! To add a little icing on the cake they also love smashing topwater baits. A quick recap: A species with a seemingly never-ending appetite that fuels their amazing fighting ability. Wipers can also grow in excess of 20lbs and in some bodies of water catching a handful of 10lbers isn’t a big deal. They can also be caught using a number of methods including my personal favorite, TOPWATER. The one and only con concerning wiper is they’re a man-made species, and in order for us to have viable wiper fisheries they need to be stocked. In order for wipers to be stocked in the numbers needed to produce amazing wiper fisheries like we’ve had in the past we need to communicate with the CPW. We need to let them know there’s a lot more wiper fisherman than they think. In my opinion there are two types of wiper fisherman. Diehard’s that love everything about the species and are willing drive hours upon hours to chase them if need be, and those unfortunate souls that have yet to have the privilege of hooking into one.
Greg Austin and Rocky Mountain Adventure Guides owner Neal Wilkinson are doing everything they can to help Wipers in Colorado. They’re looking to host a Wiper symposium in mid-November and need your help and input. They’ll cover all things wiper including stocking information, lake management where Wipers are present, and an open dialog between anglers and CPW staff. Possibly a seminar or two to help those that haven’t yet experience catching a wiper the information they need to hook into what I consider the hardest fighting fish in Colorado.
Ultimately we’re hoping to help the CPW make Wiper fishing great again in Colorado. In order for us to do so we need your help and input. How many of you would be willing to show up in support of improving Wiper fishing in Colorado?
Please share any ideas you have below and feel free to contact Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org . Also check out Wiper Addicts on Facebook!
Fishing has been a passion of mine ever since I can remember. I’ve committed myself to helping others not only catch more and bigger fish, but also enjoy themselves more while doing so.
D-Zilla, CO 9/25/2015 12:07:49 AM
I love Wipers, they are the species I have chased most this summer.....sadly, I've yet to find them. Drum take a close second on the fight card though.....a good Drum will run your line pretty hard too.
I hope that CPW takes note of the outcry, and puts more wipers in the rotation.....I'd rather see wiper stocked than trout! One of my favorite fish to catch growing up, and I'd love to find them here!
Ajax5240, CO 9/25/2015 1:06:21 AM
I thought I remember hearing that we buy them from another state? And that the breeding in that state had trouble? Or am I just imagining things? I would sure trade a few trout lakes for good wiper lakes!!!
IceFishingFool, CO 9/25/2015 1:48:08 AM
personally I think they are Artic Bass in disguise. Sure would like to see them prosper.
Eric Allee (TigerHunter), CO 9/25/2015 11:10:11 AM
Ajax5240: We were getting our wipers from out of state and they did have an issue at that hatchery. The state has been trying to make our own wiper for a while. I've heard conflicting stories on how successful we've been. If it'll take a few years for us to be able to provide all the numbers we need from our own hatchery surely we could work something out with another hatchery... at least I'd hope we could.
bcolvin, CO 9/25/2015 10:44:55 PM
I love fly fishing for wiper but I don't spend much time here in Colorado trying. There needs to be some changes in order for wiper populations to flourish. Nebraska produces the wipers we buy. They also have a 2 fish limit. We purchase/trade for those fish, but our regulations allow, in general, 10 fish with no size limit.
The value for Colorado wipers are food... not for trophies. Our wipers with the large bag limits are too vulnerable to mussels/crawfish fished on the bottom. It really won't take more lakes or more fish to get populations in check but a change in value for the fish. It would be fun to fish Colorado for wipers but until then I will choose nebraska, kansas, utah, and arkansas for those turbo charged fighters.
Kolorado KingFisher, CO 9/26/2015 2:36:27 PM
I have a major con for the wiper (although one of my fav's species by far), they do not taste worth a ____. Cats are numero uno on my list, the only cons with cats is that there can never be enough of them!
the fishing dj, CO 9/26/2015 7:51:54 PM
From the little experience I've had with wipers, they are a blast. However, I have yet to catch one over about 15in, and the one that I got on a fly was like 5in lol. I agree that we need more in Colorado though, and specifically, some wiper lakes up north here. It would be nice to be able to stick close to home as apposed to driving either down south or way out east. Even with those lakes, I don't hear of a ton of wiper coming out. It seems like most of the good wiper fishing I hear about is out of state at lakes like Swanson.
opencage, CO 9/27/2015 6:31:52 PM
Best thing to do is be sure to respond when CPW asks for comments at meetings or online. The more of us clamoring for wiper, the more they work toward's getting them in the water for us. I've yet to have any experience with the bigguns' myself, but whenever I'm at Lonetree I think it could be the day. Thanks Eric.
Dangly, CO 9/28/2015 6:52:54 AM
Another plus for wiper- they eat stocker trout. We need a smaller bag limit and hopefully a slot.
Flyrodn, CO 9/28/2015 1:31:37 PM
Not adverse to seeing more wiper, and support the concept in general. But keep in mind that when they are plentiful, many other "fisheries" suffer. It's rare that they can exits in good numbers with another top end predator, such as walleye. I feel they're best for waters that can't support good levels of other sport fish, such as black bass, crappie, and walleye, but those waters support good populations of shad/shiners. Typically plains lakes for irrigation that have large level changes, such as Jackson, North Sterling, Prewitt. Getting fry to stock is more an issue then CPW's willingness to stock them in my mind.
Ajax5240, CO 9/28/2015 3:39:38 PM
We used to have a lake or two up north that were great Wiper fisheries, I think one of the biggest hurdles they have to growing and survival is the fact that they are great table fare. Heck, Chad even did a show where he prepared and cooked them. With them being as hard as they are to get for CPW, I am surprised that there are not stricter limits on the species. But to beat Dave to the point, I did not attend any of the meetings to voice that opinion. I would see increased stocking of white bass as a good compromise if they are easier to stock and manage.
rjmcc, CO 9/30/2015 10:20:52 AM
I am all in for wipers. Lonetree had a world class wiper fishery back in the late 90s. CDW stopped stocking wipers last year in favor of Large mouth and walleye. Sad considering Lonetree's topography favors the wiper over the other species. Even with he wipers present, we successfully fished Largemouths waiting for the evening topwater bite to start.
By the way, I can only locate Rocky Mountain Adventure Guides on Facebook. Do they have a website?
fish2, CO 10/3/2015 10:35:19 AM
I went to John Martin this year in late august. We couldn't put anything shiny in the water without hooking up a 6" to 8" wiper. Literally thousands of them were cruising and eating anything that moved. There were staggering large schools of bait fish all over the lake. So if the wiper grow to 14 to 18" by next summer that lake should have a pretty epic wiper population going next year.