Summit County Fishing Report: Action slowing on reservoirs, consider fishing old ice holes |

Summit County Fishing Report: Action slowing on reservoirs, consider fishing old ice holes

Special to the Daily
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We’ve still got a couple of months of ice fishing season left before things start to open up. Rivers will be first, followed by lakes and reservoirs. In the meantime, enjoy the ice fishing. The only problem is deciding where to go with the best chances of success.

South Park waters are always popular, in part due to their proximity to metro Denver. Eleven Mile Reservoir has close to 24 inches of ice, making a power auger a welcome addition to one’s ice fishing equipment. The reason is simple: If the hole you first drill doesn’t produce in 15 to 20 minutes, consider moving. Also, on most reservoirs the action has slowed substantially, in part due to heavy fishing pressure, so consider fishing areas with few anglers or old ice holes. Most reports from Eleven Mile indicate the action has been very slow, with maybe a couple of fish being the norm. A couple of folks have done well. The difference has been using something different in one case; the other fished deeper water using a jigging machine to bring in kokanee.

At Antero Reservoir, the more successful anglers are sticking out the day for the afternoon bite, flying in the face of the “early bird gets the worm” philosophy. Best action is coming a couple of feet below the ice over weeds. The heavier the weed cover, the better. Small light or brightly colored jigs tipped with a bit of sucker or wax worms. This is a different pattern than a few weeks ago. The best thing to remember when fishing is if it isn’t working, both move and change things up.

If lake trout are your preferred quarry, Green Mountain Reservoir is a good option. While not red hot, the action has been steady. Most are using “typical” laker fare, 2- to 4-inch jigs or tube jigs tipped with a little sucker meat. If fishing two rods, a good tactic is to work a bright spoon aggressively, and mostly dead stick the other rod with the sucker-tipped jig. Don’t hesitate to tip with other things also; night crawlers are a good choice.

Granby and Grand lakes are also popular lake trout destinations. While both are producing a few lake trout, for the most part the action has been on the slow side. Spend some time moving around. Look for the edges of flats and points for the better action. This is where a good contour map can be invaluable.

Turquoise Lake has several inches of snow over a slushy ice layer over a foot of solid ice. These conditions call for waterproof footwear, as drilling a hole can often result in watery surface conditions. Lake trout fishing has been excellent, although most fish are smallish, 15 to 20 inches. Jigs tipped with dead minnows worked for one party.

Dave Coulson is the Colorado state editor for He contributes a weekly fishing report to the Summit Daily.

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