KOKANEE SALMON FISHING
Kokanee salmon are one Colorado’s most sought after and most elusive fish. They are incredible table fair and pound for pound, deliver the most exciting fight. Kokanee salmon spend an average of 3-4 years feeding in the open waters of Blue Mesa until they reach maturity and head up the Gunnison River to spawn, most heading right back to the Roaring Judy hatchery where they were born. From early May until August, we catch kokanee salmon on Blue Mesa by trolling with downriggers at varying depths, looking for large schools and offering lures with an array of colors and sizes, until we find the combination that triggers a strike. This is a fun fishing technique for all ages and experience levels! A great day of kokanee fishing is a 30+ fish day with many lost during the fight or at the boat. Once kokanee salmon see the boat they tend fight voraciously for one last chance to swim away. An average day is around 20 fish and we allow each angler to keep their daily bag limit of 10 fish, and enjoy Colorado’s largest kokanee salmon population and fishery. Once anglers are picked up at Elk Creek or Lake Fork marina, trolling will begin immediately with some, assistance needed from the you! As fish strike the baits you will grab the rod with the fish on and begin your battle!
TROPHY KOKANEE SALMON FISHING
***This magical time period begins in late July/early August, when kokanee begin to gather in huge numbers as a pre-spawn pattern. The captain of Blue Mesa Fishing's opinion is that this is the most exciting peak seasonal fishing activity in Colorado! We fish for trophy sized kokanee and enjoy the most strenuous battle from the depths below. This the most desired time to catch fish with catches reaching 40 fish per boat consistently! Again, anglers will be able to keep their legal daily bag limits of kokanee salmon. Anglers can expect to travel by boat to the fishing grounds and wait while the captain searches for trophy kokanee. This can take time as the season gets later, although sometimes they are located in minutes. Once the fish are located the captain will give the command and you will fish you lures into the school, then it’s up to you to trigger the strike!
MACKINAW LAKE TROUT FISHING
Fishable Months- January through July
Best Fishing Windows- >Mid April through May- Trophy Trolling & Jigging open water >June through July - Trolling and jigging numbers >January through March - Trophy and numbers jigging through the ice
To catch lake trout we sometimes have to employ a number of methods. These come down to three main categories. The first is to troll lures , tempting big fish hunting throughout the lake, to strike. The second is to deep troll lures along classic lake features and attract fish searching in the open water for food. These kind of strikes can be hard and fast and challenge an angler to a long fight. Third, is to jig for these fish. Lakers can be almost anywhere in the column throughout the year and finding them is difficult, but rewarding. During the use of any of these tactics you can expect to have to wait for the captain to locate the fish. When fish are located, some will strike immediately and others will scrutinize our offerings and sometimes just slink away into the depths of the lake. A great day is catching a few large, trophy size fish that you can take your picture with, then we will carefully release all lakers over 24” back into Blue Mesa Reservoir to fight another day!
BROWN TROUT & RAINBOW TROUT FISHING
Fishable Months- January through December
Best Fishing Windows- >Mid April through Mid June- Casting/Trolling/Jigging open water for all sizes >Mid September through November- Casting and jigging numbers >January through March - Numbers jigging through the ice
Trophy Brown and rainbow trout live throughout Blue Mesa in very large numbers. They travel from the Gunnison river into the lake and back throughout the year and provide a variety of opportunities. They can be caught in boats by casting and jiggind and are also caught trolling while fishing for kokanee and lakers, or targeted specifically. These fish are good fighters and decent table fair.
You can choose to fly fish, without a boat, along the Gunnison river where you will have a chance at catching browns and rainbows anywhere from 1 pound to 8 lbs and the occasional trophy. For an additional fee, anglers can travel by boat to the remote lake arms of Blue Mesa and anchor along the shore line. From there, you can fly fish or spin cast by boat, or choose to walk the bank.
Trophy fish live in these arms and receive less action than many other parts of the Lake and Gunnison river, and are less scrutinizing of well presented baits. At times you will find yourself chasing hooked fish down the bank as they struggle to shake your hook free!
BLUE MESA ICE FISHING
Fishable Months- December through March
Best Fishing Windows- >December through January- Hot rainbow and brown trout action >Mid January through Mid March- Excellent fishing for kokanee salmon, lake trout, and rainbow and brown trout
It’s cold, snowy and dark! But all trout species, as well as 1-3.5 year old salmon remain active under the ice searching for easy prey. Ice Fishing can be hot and heavy and the eating quality of most trout becomes better with the lowed water temperature. Browns, rainbows and kokanee can be caught lake wide as well as lakers. The dedicated ice fisherman of Blue Mesa share much knowledge and information that allows us to put you on the fish. Angler can expect to meet as early as they can wake up and will walk out, or take snowmobiles to ‘hot spots’ and will be offered the option of fishing in a tent with a heater, or just sit outside. Electronics will be provided to enhance your ice fishing experience and increase number of accurate hook sets. You've got to try this- you'll be hooked after the first bite!