Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go on a fishing adventure in one of the most enchanting destinations in the world? Well, you need not wonder about it any longer because we’ve laid out the best spots for ice fishing in Colorado. Experience first-hand the magnificent waters of this fishing town.
While Colorado is particularly noteworthy for being an all-season fishing destination, the winter season definitely comes with extra perks, since it creates the perfect conditions for ice fishing. As a matter of fact, ice fishing is the most popular sport during the winter season, which attracts thousands of enthusiasts to the magical wild west every year. Therefore, if you intend on visiting Colorado, you will be pleased to find out that this Centennial State is home to dozens of frozen lakes and reservoirs to enjoy ice fishing.
Here are the top 6 locations for ice fishing in Colorado
NOTICE: GEORGETOWN LAKE IS CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO COVID-19. HIKING AND BIKING PATHS ARE STILL ACCESSIBLE TO LOCAL RESIDENTS.
Typically around November, Georgetown Lake begins to freeze. However, this is no obstacle for the many ice fishermen that live to pull trout from the freezing depths. Later in the season, once the lake becomes thick enough to support fishermen, shanties quickly begin to pop up on the ice. If you’ve never tried ice fishing, get up to Georgetown and give it a try – it’s a blast.
If your toes start to get cold, simply head over to one of Georgetown’s restaurants and warm up on a cup of coffee or a bowl of soup. You might even catch one of Georgetown’s famous ice races while you fish.
Chambers Lake is a 255-acre water supply reservoir that is renowned for its numerous recreational opportunities. Located approximately seven miles east of Cameron Pass and sixty miles north of Fort Collins, the lake is a favorite spot for ice fishing enthusiasts visiting or residing in Colorado.
The deep, fresh waters of this man-made lake host a variety of fish, including cutthroat trout, lake trout, Kokanee salmon and rainbow trout. Most of these fish species inhabit inlet bay, making it the perfect spot for fishing.
Given its small size, the Chambers Lake remains frozen into the spring season (March-April). It is therefore not surprising that the lake is one of the most popular spots for ice fishing in the region.
For ice anglers who love rainbows, walleyes, bass and bluegills, a visit to Trinidad Lake will leave you yearning for more. The lake features a heavy stock of a wide range of fish species.
Situated right inside the Trinidad Lake State Park, the park officials stock the lake with over 50,000 trout every year. This means you are sure to catch a couple of fish or more regardless of whether you are a good angler or not.
Besides the good stock of fish, Trinidad Lake boasts of some of the most beautiful scenery south of Colorado. The lake is surrounded by hills and mountain ranges that create the perfect ambiance for a memorable ice fishing experience.
Eleven Mile Reservoir
The reservoir, which is the largest in Colorado, is located in the Eleven Mile State Park. It boasts of over 325 campsites, a marina and a visitor center. Besides, the area offers vast opportunities for hiking, nature trails, camping, boating, and of course, ice fishing. If you love camping in the cold season, you can bring your tent along.
The lake is quite popular among ice anglers, simply because it has one of the longest seasons of ice fishing in Colorado. In addition, Eleven Mile has a wide range of fish species, including cutthroats, browns, rainbow trout, and Kokanee salmons. The best part is that it is only one and a half hours away west of Colorado, making it easily accessible.
Located in Delta County, Crawford Reservoir is yet another amazing ice fishing destination worth checking out. The dam measures 390 acres, and it is situated just two-hours away from the Grand Junction. Furthermore, the area invites people of various recreational interests, ranging from ice anglers to water sport enthusiasts.
Unlike other lakes and reservoirs, which mainly have trout fish and salmon, the Crawford Reservoir boasts of perch, channel catfish, northern pike and bass fish species. Therefore, if you are looking for variety, away from the normal trout species found elsewhere, you could always rest assured that you would find perch fish, particularly the yellow type, in this location.
Apart from ice fishing, the area is also great for camping and hiking. However, make sure you carry your compass to avoid getting lost.
An ice-fishing trip to Colorado cannot be complete without heading out to Lake Granby. The lake is one of the largest in the state, measuring a massive 7,250 acres with a fish population of over 100,000 species. Interestingly, the lake has two sister lakes, including the Grand Lake and the Shadow Mountain Reservoir. With this in mind, the expansive size of this lake provides plenty of room for ice fishing enthusiasts to settle and find their spots.
One of the most exciting aspects of Lake Granby is that it hosts an annual ice fishing contest in January. If you believe you have what it takes to participate in this competition, then head out to Lake Granby for a memorable ice-fishing adventure.
What to do and not to do when Ice Fishing in Colorado
While ice fishing is a fun and exciting sport, the adventure could quickly turn into tragedy if you do not take the necessary precautions against the risks involved. For instance, if the ice surface on the lake is too thin, it can crack and you could fall in.
Furthermore, exposure to freezing conditions can cause frostbite or hypothermia. With this in mind, you should take urgent steps to safeguard yourself from any dangers. One of the most important things you need to have before embarking on your fishing adventure is a working compass. This will enable you to keep your bearings as you navigate the fishing grounds for ideal locations. You also need to make sure that you have the right fishing gear since you may not be able to find them on-site.
In case you catch any fish that do not meet the legal minimum length, you should return them into the lake. This is good practice to adhere to, since it preserves the ecosystem and helps maintain the fish population.
So, what’s the next step?
Ice fishing in Colorado is a great way to spend your winter holidays. Instead of locking yourself indoors, you can head out to any of the frozen lakes for a memorable adventure. The best part is that most of these spots have rentals and camping grounds where you can spend the night and enjoy your catch after a long day of ice fishing.