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Catch of the Week & Fishing Tips
Catch of the Week & Fishing Tips
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Bruce Morrison with Northern Pike​​

Bruce Morrison landed this 34-inch Northern Pike (Esox lucius) at Spinney Mountain Reservoir on October 3rd!

(Photo credit: Calder Morrison)

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Fishing Tips of the Week

Fall Spawn 

For several species of fish, fall means it is time to spawn. These fish in general become a lot more active, aggressive and present some great opportunities for anglers to catch big fish! For lake trout, many males cruise around one female's nest site and can be caught from aggression bites. Kokanee stack in deep pools laying and fertilizing thousands of eggs, afterwards dying once their mission is complete. Anyone fishing a river or stream during a spawning season needs to be educated so they can avoid making crucial mistakes that hurt the fishery they love to fish. A redd is an area that a trout has cleared for laying eggs. The female and sometimes the male will protect the nest area aggressively. Eggs will be layed and fertilized anywhere between 500 to 1000 eggs depending on the size and health of the fish. Biologists, guides and angling experts agree that stressing a fish that is actively spawning will negatively affect them, hindering their spawning potential as well as the fishery itself. Fly angler Gabe from St. Pete's Fly Shop explains why fall is such a great time to get out on the water but also a time to be aware and educated about the spawning trout. "Fall is many anglers' favorite time to fish. Cooler water temperatures and a transitioning season usually puts trout on the feed. This fall as you are out on the water, PLEASE be mindful of trout spawning beds called "redds". Avoid stepping on and fishing through spawning areas. You can avoid targeting actively spawning fish by fishing the deeper runs and pools downstream from spawning areas, which are typically in shallow gravel beds. You can use a redd to your advantage by identifying one, then sighting for fish that are downstream scavenging for eggs. Before casting, ensure the fish downstream are in fact not spawning, put on an egg pattern, get a good drift then be ready to set the hook!" -Gabe from St. Pete's Fly Shop, Fort Collins. Please educate yourself on redds before heading out on the water this fall. A simple internet search will reveal in depth explanations and pictures to help with identification.      

Take Advantage of Reduced Fishing Pressure 

Our tip of the week relates to the seasonal changes not only in weather but angler's priorities and how you can take advantage of this time of year. This week's tip comes again from Local Denver guide Austin Parr, "With big game season upon us, many anglers hang up their fishing equipment in exchange for a pair of boots, and a bow or rifle, leaving many popular fisheries void of the summertime crowds. With less fishing pressure and cooler temperatures, reservoirs such as Spinney Mountain, Antero, and Stagecoach have action that is just heating up. Look for receding weed edges in lakes such as these. Big trout will use weeds as a structure point, meandering along them in search for food. Try casting spoons such as Tasmanian Devils or Krocodiles and work them quickly along these weed edges. Boat anglers can also have success trolling with these lures behind a planer board along the same weed edges. Tube Jigs are another highly effective technique in these crawfish rich lakes. Try casting a 2.5 inch brown tube paired with a 1/8 ounce jig head along these weeds or points, using a snap jig approach." – Austin Parr with Discount Fishing Tackle, Denver. Additionally, the cooler weather is pushing those cold water species out into the open in the mornings and late evenings. When the water is cooler fish leave cover and search the open water for food. The use of 'search baits' this time of year is a must. Search baits are fast moving lures that allow anglers to cover a lot of water, such as spinners, spoons, jerk baits, and crank baits. Until the bait is hit, continue to throw multiple casts to the same spot. Fish congregate this time of year and usually one fish on the line almost always means there is several more in the area.