Ice Fishing Lakes in Colorado
Ice fishing in Colorado has grown in popularity in recent years, with many hearty winter fishers investing in portable fishing shelters, electronic fish locators and use of several types of bait.
On all lakes, be aware of conditions, especially in those waters below 8,000 feet in elevation. Consult the Colorado Parks & Wildlife's ice-fishing safety tips. It's better to be safe than sorry!
The main season for ice fishing is December to late February, when the ice is typically sure and conditions are right. Before layering up and heading out, pop into a tackle shop for advice on the best places to go, the best bait to use and plenty of fish tales.
Here are four great ice-fishing spots in Colorado:
Chambers Lake Nearest towns: Rustic, Walden Fish species: Kokanee salmon, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, lake trout About the lake: This 250-acre lake is situated 7 miles east of the top of Cameron pass on Hwy. 14. While cutthroat and rainbow trout are the most common catches, lucky anglers catch the hard-fighting kokanee salmon. Lake trout, also common in the water here, can measure in at a pole-bending 16-18 inches — look to the deeper sections of the lake for these lunkers. Bait Shop Recommendation: North Park Anglers in Walden
Eleven Mile Reservoir Nearest towns: Hartsel, Fairplay, Lake George Fish species: Kokanee salmon, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, brown trout About the reservoir: This 3,400-acre reservoir is located between Wilkerson Pass and the pastoral town of Hartsel. A popular body of water, it’s known for large rainbow trout, often measuring in the 14-20 inch range. Bait Shop Recommendation: 11 Mile General Store in Lake George
Harvey Gap Reservoir Nearest towns: Rifle, Glenwood Springs Fish species: Yellow perch, rainbow trout, brown trout About the reservoir: Set up shop around the boat ramp to partake in previous years' best fishing spot. Deeper sections of the reservoir seem to produce more perch catches — meal worms and shrimp have worked well for these fish in the past years. Bait Shop Recommendation: Timberline Sporting Goods in Rifle
Chatfield Reservoir Nearest towns: Centennial, Denver, Littleton Fish species: Rainbow trout, yellow perch, walleye, crappie, bluegill About the reservoir: This 1,100-acre reservoir is easily accessed from Denver. The reservoir is perhaps one of the most heavily fished in the state, during both summer and winter months. Because of its size, no matter the crowds, a patch of water is always available for anglers. Patient ice fishermen can reel in rainbow trout measuring 18–25 inches in length, while two-foot-long walleye are also commonly caught. Stocks are frequently replenished by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, so don’t worry about arriving late in the season. Bait Shop Recommendation: Angler's All in Littleton