|Lake Elevation||7487--32' low|
|Boat Ramp Hours||5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.|
Better kick off the summer with some fishing on Blue Mesa! Our water temps are still hanging around 51 degrees, but we are seeing some changes across the lake. The brown trout population seems to be at or near an all time high in the lake and from some brief discussions on the dock, it seems that CPW is grasping the significance that the brown trout are having on the newly stocked 2-3″ kokanee salmon. I would encourage you to keep your limit of brown trout under the 20″ mark, as there are plenty of them! We are starting to see more brown trout over the 20″ mark, which has the potential to be an incredible resource and add even more value to the fishery at Blue Mesa, especially if we can release those fish to keep their genetics dominatnt in our lake! Run off has started, but the Bureau of Rec is still dropping the lake to make room and avoid high flows down stream later into June. So there still isn’t much debris floating in the lake yet, but you should always keep an eye out and use caution. The lake has dropped to be around the 32′ low mark. Right now all of the boat ramps are open from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. except for Ponderosa which is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday through Monday.
Trout- the trout fishing is still good but there seems to be less fish up shallow. You can catch them shallow, just not the incredible number that we were initially seeing. A lot of the rainbow trout are in the inlets and the backs of coves preparing to spawn and spawning. Maribou jigs, jerk baits, spoons, spinners, are all catching fish! Crawdad, rainbow trout, perch, and sucker colors seem to work best. The bite has been good all day long and the stormier the weather, the better.
Kokanee- the salmon activity has been good for this time of year! A lot of the fish are running small, but we are seeing a few bigger fish! I anticipate that we will see another slow year for four year old sized salmon, but the population for fish under that size/year class appear to be strong! From my few outings for kokanee thus far, it seems that it is hard to keep the small fish (1 & 2 year olds) off and it is important that we do the best we can to release those fish in good health. I try to avoid touching them by leaving them in the net and using pliers to get the hooks out. Get them back to the water as quick as possible and more often than not they will release just fine as long as they weren’t hooked bad. If you do have one die, it does count as part of your possession so please don’t throw it out to the sea gulls! The salmon have been all over the water column and where you will find them depends on the weather and their mood. I continue to catch them on the surface all the way down to 70′. Read your electrconics, tip your baits with corn, and if you know you are running through fish, but you are not getting bit, change your bait until you find a combo that they like. Rocky Mountain Tackle squids and spinners and Radical Glow spinners have been dominating as far as producing kokanee! **Don’t forget that the daily bag limit has changed to 5 fish this year! The rangers have been checking and handing out tickets to those who are over possession!
Lake Trout- Reports of bigger fish have slowed down, and from what I have seen, the majority of the big fish moved deep with this last full moon. You can find 2-8 lbs still shallow and the fishing can be very good for them if you find the right pod! Throwing a whole dead sucker on the bottom still seems to be a favorite option this time of year and yes, this technique is effective and yes it is legal. However, the mortality rate is incredibly high! More often than not, these big old fish either get hooked deep or sustain damage to their gills using this technique. If you must use suckers, consider experimenting with some Trokar saltwater circle hooks! Using circle hooks, you don’t have to let the fish swallow the bait, you just start reeling once the bait is in the fishes mouth and 95% of the time the fish will be hooked in the corner of the mouth! Even better, spend some time learning how to troll or jig for these fish. Yes, they are smart and consistency can be tough, but the reward is far greater when your time and efforts are result in a nice fish! The number of trophy lake trout in Blue Mesa is considerably down from what it was 10 years ago and because of that, it is more important now than ever before to practice catch and release on the bigger lake trout! Yes, it is legal to keep one fish over 32″ a day, and the decision is up to the angler, but I encourage you to do some soul searching before you even get to the lake. I will give you a list of taxidermists that can make you an incredible replica that will last far longer than a skin mount and if you want food for the table, email me about tactics for targeting the sub 22″ fish that are the best eating and I will help you out! “CPR” (catch, photo, release) will help ensure that furture generations have an opportunity to catch these rare, elusive giants of the deep! Carl (pictured below) of Colorado was blessed with a fat 44″ lake trout on one of our trips and got to experience our CPR practices first hand! He has memory and picture that he will never forget and he also has the satisfaction of knowing that he can come back in the future and have the posibility of catching that fish again!
Yellow Perch- it’s a little early for perch, but we have caught a few and have heard some reports of other folks catching a few. The bite is slow, but there are some decent fish to be had if you can find them and get them to bite!