Want a record trout this winter? Ice fish in Colorado
Ice fishing in Colorado can be extremely rewarding when the ice first sets in and the fish are still active. If you’re looking to land a trophy trout this year, head to Antero Reservoir.
Five pounders are not uncommon for many first timers at this secret spot for Rocky Mountain natives and the current record for a cut bow trout weighed in at over 18 pounds! Located less than hour from FairPlay, the Antero Reservoir is striking distance for many anglers in Colorado but close enough to the resorts to sneak away from the slopes for a day if visiting.
While summer fishing is still world class the chance to angle here in flip flops cuts into my riding season, sometimes sacrifices just have to be made. If you are going to do some ice fishing out here ensure to check the current reports on ice thickness so you aren’t looking at them face to face if you go through the thin ice.
Many locals will be out so ask around if you are unsure before proceeding onto a snow-covered reservoir…make sure to let them know you’ll stay far away from their secret spots.
Going early in the season will yield better results than after the new years as the shallow reservoir has a tendency to lead to lethargic fish with the lack of oxygen as activity under the ice slows down. When you set up spread out a few holes and see where the activity or the amount of plant life along the bottom before you get your hut set up and start running the heaters.
It’s easier to warm up after investing some time in choosing the right spot before your ice shelter is unpacked than it is to leave a warm hut that isn’t producing.
A tip for here is to download a topo map and see what depth you want to be at for the type of fish you are going after as Antero is stocked with several types of trout as well as Kokanee. While I have not had as much luck jigging as I do tightlining it is possible to get a view of the trout coming in to inspect your line inside an ice hut where you can make your assessment if they want to play or you stand a better chance landing one as it passes.
A perk of this site is more often than not you can view the bottom of the reservoir wherever you decide to drill your hole and set up shop. The shallow waters found here lead to increased temperatures during the summer allowing the stocked trout to grow at a faster pace compared to many of the neighboring places to fish.
I have been dubbed the bearer of bad luck by my fishing buddies as all the trophy trout are landed when I am absent from the trips. No worries at all as I frequently reach my limit and prefer to brine up the smaller trout for the smoker.
Besides it’s not always what you bring home but getting out of the house and back outside for a little frost bite and warm whiskey, that’s the point of fishing in the winter isn’t it?