It's been several years since the kokanee snagging at Blue Mesa was worth the gas it took to get here. Fortunately, due to an upward trend in the kokanee salmon population over the last several years, this year is a different story!
Yes, the water is about 70' low so Blue Mesa looks a little different, but the snagging opened up November 1st and has been very good! The two hot spots have been the Blue Mesa dam and around the Bay of Chickens/Wind Surfing area, but I have seen schools in several coves all around the lake!
Snagging Tips: When snagging from shore, a longer rod (7-9') with a medium to medium heavy action will give you a lot more leverage to cast and set the hook. Spray paint your snagging hooks blaze orange or use some blaze orange tracking tape to tie around your hook so that you can see where your hook is in relation to the fish when they are shallow or close to shore. Be sure to work from the bottom, up to about 12' off of the bottom and continue to cover shoreline/water until you find them. They are usually very concentrated this time of year so it's important to dial in exactly where that school is hanging out.
More good news! Thanks to a lot of hard work and some new management practices, Roaring Judy has had another excellent egg take this fall! This is great news because a lot of the other lakes across the state have had poor egg takes in recent years.
Sport Fish Colorado and Ice Fish Colorado was created in late 2009 by Robby Richardson. Robby has had an intense passion for fishing and the outdoors since he was first able to walk. His grandpa was a great outdoorsman and his father took him fishing quite often as a child. As Robby grew so did his passion for fishing and in high school he began fishing as much as he could in between school and the sports he played. It was at this point in his life that he decided he would like to help other people enjoy the sport he loved so much and that guiding would be the best way to do that.
Robby then attended college at Western State College in Gunnison where he found himself in the epicenter of many great fishing and outdoor opportunities! He immediately fell in love with this part of God's beautiful county. The following summer, he was blessed with a job as a fishing guide working for the concessionaire at Elk Creek Marina. This was his first guiding experience, but he immediately took to the responsibility of helping people have fun catching fish!
Over the next four years Robby built up his clientele base guiding out of Elk Creek Marina on Blue Mesa and Morrow Point Reservoirs. Unfortunately, there were several factors limiting the flexibility of Robby's goals as a fisherman and a fishing guide so in the fall of 2009 with the help of his mentors and friends, Linnie and Konrad Krauland, he started Sport Fish Colorado. Robby is very thankful to God for blessing him with this opportunity!
Robby's vision for Sport Fish Colorado and Ice Fish Colorado is to continue to advance fishing and ice fishing in the beautiful state of Colorado by providing as much information and instruction possible in an effort to help fishermen and fisherwomen of all experience levels build their confidence as anglers. He strives to do this by teaching and putting into action the latest techniques and technology so that they can succeed and have fun using these tools and techniques with him and on their own. After all, fishing is all about having fun and enjoying God's beautiful outdoors!
Okay, someone isn't telling the truth. Mr. Robby here says - and I quote "Fortunately, due to an upward trend in the kokanee salmon population over the last several years..." while the CPW says they need to kill lakers cause the kokanee are crashing..... So which is it?
I attended the meetings in Montrose where the CDOW at the time, stated they need to start netting, killing, taking lakers so the kokes could flourish. But apparently Mr. Rob here seems to believe that the kokes are doing well. If they really are doing well then CPW needs to cease and desist their plundering of the lakers.
Hey Pilotfly, every think that maybe the reason the kokanee are flourishing is because they started netting the lakers out? You need to seriously think about the logic of what you're saying, genius.
GIRLS! GIRLS, relax your both pretty.
The lake trout kill wouldn't have such immediate effects, NE fisher. Any action taken by the DOW will take a few years to impact populations. The increase in egg take has everything to do with the way they collect the fish at the hatchery.
I was up there last week definitly worth drive caught plenty of big kokes
NEfisher - read the blog. Robby says "over the last several years". The CDOW killing didn't start until last year (or the year prior) but it still wouldn't have this quick of an effect. And, nice come back on the name calling. I think you should probably read, think, and then respond rather than firing from the hip.
Brookieflyfisher - "Any action taken by the DOW will take a few years to impact populations"
They have been doing it for "a few years". I know it started fall of 2009, possibly earlier than that.
"The increase in egg take has everything to do with the way they collect the fish at the hatchery"
I'm well aware of that, that's why I wasn't referring to the egg take. The blogger referred to "an upward trend in the kokanee salmon population over the last few years." So, what he was talking about has nothing to do with the change in spawning methods, because that's only in it's second year. If he claims an "upward trend", then something in the lake must be positively influencing the population in the last few years, but the change in spawning procedures could only affect fish that were stocked last spring (the current age-0 class).
Pilotfly - "The CDOW killing didn't start until last year (or the year prior)"
Once again, this is simply untrue. The boats were out fall of 2009, possibly before that.
Just in case you want a little proof about netting starting in 2009, simply go back and look at the Fishexplorer forum for Blue Mesa on page 16. There are posts about the removal starting there.
I'm sure you don't want to hear this, but the models from the researchers at CSU will tell you how many (currently harvestable) kokanee have been saved the last few years from the netting that started then.
The amazing fishing that the author is talking about is courtesy of 4 year class Koke's. These fish were tooling around Blue Mesa for at least a year before CDOW ever put there plan into action.
I understand about the lifecycle of a Koke and all that…and suppose if "grocery fishing" is your thing... then go for it.
Hey...one less snag-hook for everyone to dodge…
I went snagging on Friday Afternoon in the bay of chickens. Was good most people limited out.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife are doing a great job balancing Kokes and Macs at BMR. The Mac culling began taking large numbers in 2009, and both the Koke and Mac condition has improved since. Before 2009, the Macs were overpopulated and there was not enough food for all of them resulting in skinny, stunted, slow growing fish. Since 2010, the data proves the condition of the Macs has steadily improved and BMR is on its way to producing the big, fat lakers it became known for before 2006 when the Macs became overpopulated. Now if they could only do something about those skinny brown trout ...