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Author Topic: Pueblo Fish  (Read 4774 times)

skeeter20i

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Pueblo Fish
« on: July 11, 2010, 10:44:51 PM »

I know that many of us don't read these post but I was looking for a sort of brain storming session.  I myself have been having a tough time at our home lake as of late (really since March).  After seeing the results from the last tournament I see that maybe I'm not the only one.  Does any one have an Idea of whats going on?  On most all reservoirs I have fished across the country bass seem to congregate during the summer pattern.  Bottom line is why aren't we catching these fish?  I know some are suspended but I bet we see some fellas at Lake Linear, Forrest Wood Cup (sorry for the spelling) catch em suspended.  I am seriously doubting my ability.  We know the fish are there, Why can't we catch em?  Anyone have any ideas? 
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here fishy,fishy

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2010, 03:11:34 PM »

I for one would not doubt your abilities!
What I think is happening is there is a thermocline in the lake because of all the hot weather of late. This causes the oxygen level to be very low below that thermocline. The fish on the lower part of the lake are not able to set out in one place because of this. They start roaming around. It will be a hit and miss issue for the next two months. This also causes the fish to feed more at night when the oxygen levels increase sightly.

I would look for cooler water up on the west end, that would increase the oxygen level and hold more fish. There should be a lot more current and water movement up there and that will help things. Also something that is not helping is the lake level is dropping everyday. This too will cause the fish to suppend out of shore, but they should move in for feeding.

This is a great time to go to drop shotting points and back waters off the main lake. Most of the fish will be staying in the shaded areas and over hangs. If you find small fish be sure that a big one or two are close by, maybe just a few feet deeper.

Most of the fish I have caught lately have been very shallow, 1 foot or less during the hottest time of the day. This also tells me that there is a thermocline problem. The fish will not drop below it because of the lack of oxygen.

Hope this helps!



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skeeter20i

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2010, 04:04:50 PM »

I see your point, and I agree with it in theory but don't most lakes across the country develop a thermocline?  I am just trying to compare it to other lakes across the country.  It can't be the growing season because the lakes up north grow big fish, their are consistent limits on lakes in Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota,Oregon, Washington, and many others.  The forage base seems to be there.  Why cant we have tournaments in summer (hell anytime of year) where guys consistently catch 5 fish limits?  If I remember right the state qualifier produced 1 limit in two days last year.  Have we as anglers failed to unlock the mystery of Pueblo or is the fishery really that poor?
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here fishy,fishy

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2010, 10:13:06 PM »

I believe that 10 years of Drought in my opinion is the reason Pueblo really sucks. there has been such a fluctuation of water that the fish have suffered. There are a lot of people out there also that take those keepers home to eat. That doesn't help.

I believe that in one or two more years of high water will help things!

There are thermoclines in every lake, it is just that this year the fish have never had this much water to deal with, and the thermocline is more relevant.

I went down to the lake today and fish only the west end. My best five would be around 11 pounds.  I notice a lot more bait fish up there and remember all that water is protected from the skiers. It must help make thing more stayable.

Good luck,

Troy
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coldfront

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2010, 05:19:09 AM »


There are thermoclines in every lake, it is just that this year the fish have never had this much water to deal with, and the thermocline is more relevant.


not necessarily...thermoclines set up on waters that don't get 'recirculated'...

wind action can keep lakes from stratifying
current keeps lakes from stratifying

something else to consider:  the entire lake doesn't necessarily stratify...there can be portions where it sets up weakly...

on the other hand, canyon lakes tend to be stratified...

try to locate the stratification layer depth...probably somewhere between 15 and 25 feet or maybe deeper...should be a very week echo on the depth finder if you fiddle with the sensitivity...

then go looking for lake structure (points, channel swings, humps, etc) that intersect 'that depth' in the lake...

the fish should be there...or have pulled 'out' as they likely won't go much deeper...


although keep in mind that what happens when a thermocline sets up is this:
a layer of warmer water floats over a layer of cooler water...this density difference acts as an impediment to mixing and transfer of dissolved O2...then the layer under neath, the hypolimnion, is where a lot of decaying nutrients reside...and that 'takes' oxygen from that layer...

In some lakes, there's enough volume/area in that Hypolimnion that it never does go 'too low' on oxygen levels...these lakes support what are often considered 'two-story' fisheries...where cold water or cool water fish stay deep during the summer (like trout, stripers)...

a guy could  invest in a 'Cline-finder' (a temperature device on a long cord for measuring temps at very specific depths)... or even more in getting an oxygen sensor...although those things are notoriously challenging to maintain...and all this stuff tends to also get in the way of fishing time.


the thing is, those big fish are still in there...just waiting for some guy to unlock the secrets to location/technique to catch them...
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skeeter20i

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2010, 06:26:45 PM »

I agree with everything everyone is saying I guess I just still am not sold.  The water fluctuation theory make the most sense to me but look at lakes like Navajo.  Every year is is drawn down for spring runoff.  The water fluctuates sometimes more than 30 feet but the fishing has not seemed to suffer.  For instance at a Sun country tournament last year a good pattern of dropshotting brush in 25-30 feet produce two day limits well in excess of 20 pounds.  Lakes like Grand lake still hold fish on the ledges in summer and good fish are caught regularly.  I feel it unfair to compare non-grass lake to grass lake that's why I use those examples. (side note:  The best lake in the country is non-grass but hasten always been that way(non-grass) why I have no idea.  Its Falcon by the way. That flooding is crazy huh but I digress.  The west end of Pueblo would hold more Large mouth correct?  What if you wanted to focus on a limit of good small mouth or spotted bass.  I am assuming those 4-5 pound small mouth that were caught on the Dam end of the lake in spring didn't migrate.  I spend hours looking by sonar, structure scan, and baits in the water for suspended fish or deep summer fish(good fish).  So I know Tom Mann is a great offshore suspended fish fisherman, could he come to pueblo spend some time and put together a pattern for suspended spots that would blow our minds?  I feel like we all know that there are good ones to be had I just don't know why we haven't seen them during the summer patterns?  I really think this brainstorming could generate ideas to help us
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vikingbass

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 08:31:07 PM »

Ok well I cant find and catch fish like you and Troy, but I think that on top of the water fluctuations right now, the boat traffic is killing the fishing. Everytime you go right now the parking lots are full and there are more boats on there than you can count. I have been down there a few times durring the week when the traffic hasnt been that bad, and I have done a LOT better. It also seems like the water is a LOT more stained than it normally is this time of year. In places I normally fish and can see 20 feet down into the water i cant see 5 feet now. (so much for all those zebras cleaning up the water hu)    I think the lake is getting a lot more traffic due to the heat and the water level being up, heck when we had our night tournament we all had to park in the overflow lot and we didnt even get to the lake until 5 pm..I do agree that it seems like the big fish are not there, but they are, i just think the boats have them hunkered down and not comming up, kind of like when the water was low.  I think as soon as it cools off again and there are not so many people on the water they will move back up.  Last year i caught 10-12 pounds fairly consistent, this year i havedone it twice, and both of those were in the middle of the week when nobody was there. Again, you guys are better than me at finding them so maybe I am wrong, but it is just another thing to think about in all this.
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Todd Gentzel

skeeter20i

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2010, 05:54:07 PM »

I see your point with boat traffic, but wasn't Pikes Peaks annual night tournament weights way down?  If the fish are there they have to eat right?  We had a club tournament last Saturday, I heard the weather was rough but their were 17 anglers that fished for a combined 85 hours.  5 fish were weighted in.  That's 1 fish for every 17 hours fished!!!!!  That's like 2 full days of fishing!!!!!  This is a group of excellent anglers who fish the lake regularly.  There is something very wrong with the lake in my opinion.  I wish our DOW would spend the time to figure out the problem.  I have tried emails but obviously they don't share my opinion.
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vikingbass

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2010, 10:01:08 PM »

I agree with weights being down, I dont know if it was because we had no moon or what it was. But i did get down there last Wednesday with my 9 year old nephew. I would have had 4 keepers and my best 5 were 10.56.. I had a 3 lb largemouth and a 2lb smallie. They were in the same spots I fished for the night tournament, just dont know why they were not there then. The are gorging on shad as everyone I caught was puking them up. I dont have the answer tho, just think that the lake is a LOT busier than it has been in the past.
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Todd Gentzel

here fishy,fishy

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2010, 10:31:03 PM »

Another thing to consider, is that we only have five hour tournaments. This last tournament was also cut alittle short due to wind, and moving from south shore to north shore for launch etc...Joe was going to have us come in at noon, but some guys had things to do so we came in at 11am. I know one thing the 50 mile an hour wind did not help.

 Eric and I went out after the weigh in and in less than 30 min. found four more keepers. If we would have fished till noon like we originally wanted, the out come would have been a lot different. The wind layed down and the bite was on. We caught fish every where we went.

 Eric and I were talking about the weights and it does seem that last year we had a good 2 pound average. I think having the lake real high this year, in fact the highest it has been for 10 years, has a lot to do with it. And of course they are dropping the lake faster than ever before as well.

I know there are still fish there, it is just that I think the really big ones are staying deep or suspending over deep water. The overall population of the lake does seem to be off from years past, could it be they have more room to roam?  Don't know!
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skeeter20i

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2010, 04:45:29 PM »

Have to agree this is what is so appealing about this sport is the idea of everything changing and constantly having to change to keep up with it.  I wasn't at the tournament so I can't speak for the conditions, sometime wind is good sometimes its not good.  I too have done a little better lately but have had to change my tactics.  I have been basically pounding the bank which is not a strength of mine and really I hate to do it because conventional wisdom tells me the fish should be in a summer pattern.  Which to me in a non-grass highland Res. = deep structure.  But after countless hours on the water over 30-90 feet I have become frustrated.  I was so sure my new structure scan was going to killem.  It has helped especially last winter.  I am getting better at watching my spoon or drop-shot when vertical fishing on my graph but still most always small fish (sub 15'')  Have caught a few good schoolies over deep water on top along with wiper.  By the way I am now eating or giving away any wiper I catch.  Last few I have caught have been spitting up 6''-10'' bass.  Guess the bass are chasing the shad and the big wiper are chasing the bass.  Historically I don't eat many freshwater fish but if it saves bass especially ones of that size sign me up.  I imagine those crazy fish could decimate a year class of bass, and we all know the bass stockings in Pueblo are sub-par so we need those fish.  I just wish we could unlock the puzzle.  I appreciate your guy's impute into this subject.  It is nice to share opinions and get other opinions to think about while on the water.  I think this is a good feature of this forum since meeting only occur once a month.  I could honestly talk fishing 365.
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basscat75

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2010, 11:13:57 AM »

You are absolutley right about the wipers eating smallies, i cleaned 4 on sunday and 2 of them had 10" smallies in them. Sam, Adrain and i went out Monday night, and seen a couple big wipers 15lb plus class chasing smallies... I dont necessarily think thats a horrible thing, considering the amount of smallmouth in Pueblo...
One of the things i think is happening with Pueblo, is there is a huge population of under sized fish.. Especially smallmouth.. Its hard not to catch a small smallmouth, cause there are so many of them..I think the Dow could drop the size limit on smallies to 13 inches..
The other thing i have noticed about Pueblo is with the smallies and spots at leats, is the fish school in size... If your catching little fish in an area, it seems like thats all your going to catch..
I spent all night on Saturday and half of sunday out there, and  we had an amazing trip for numbers... Size was hard to come by for awhile, but when we did find the better fish, there were alot of them there.. Even in the middle of the night the bigger fish were still in 20 ft or more, and most were suspended.. The shad schools are about 15 to 20 ft down right now, and thats were the fish seemed to be as well..
The other thing to consider is there are so many shad in there , those bigger fish can just sit under the shad schools, and just swim up get a mouthfull, and then just sit there again, they do not have to work hard for there food...
Im going to traget the schollers a little more out over 50 ' and deeper, cause we found a little something on Sunday that worked pretty good, and its not hard to do..
There were so many good smallies and spots with the wipers it was crazy..

Greg im right there with you on finding a consistent patter this time of year at pueblo...
We just need to go out there and do something completely different and stick with it, the problem is we all go back to what has worked in the past... And i for one would rather catch a bunch of fish and only a few decent ones than none at all, at least when im out just fishing... Its hard to break old habits..
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coloradoman25

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2010, 03:35:16 PM »

Pueblo as a lake IMO is an anamoly.  It doesnt follow any conventional bass tactics on a consistent basis.  I think with the water fluctuations that many of those fish just roam, and roam, and roam, and roam and never set up on traditional waters.  I truly believe those fish have become accustomed to acting like wiper.  Suspending wherever the shad are and moving day to day.

Sure they will or at least SOME will move into the shallows and sit in that little bit of "textbook" cover.  But in the end the majority (especially spots and smallies) are just roaming.

Greg if you have spent that much time on your graphs you have to have see them suspended shallow like I had.  One thing I did a bit of was looking for schools suspended 10-15' down and rolled spinnerbaits through them or ripped a chatterbait like a spoon.  When you could ignite a school you could really have a good time on bigger smallies and spots, but it was inconsistent to say the least.

Shiprock, the dam, and a few areas near the north marina were the only places I ever had it happen more than once.  Seemed only to materialze on bluebird days with a long term steady barometer leading into them.

I hope the water stays high and these fish adapt to acting like normal bass for ya someday....PS Choke canyon is higher than it has been in years...9lbs won it 2 weeks ago.  So maybe its just an odd year.

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skeeter20i

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2010, 07:03:20 PM »

Dang 9 pounds on Choke.  With that flooding in South Texas I guess stuff is messed up.  Heard they finally opened the public ramps at Falcon this morning.  What a shame for those businesses.  Guess that's one of the problems with Pueblo, folks down south actually care about fisherman.  Economies actually revolve around us.   Even out in California this year you could see the respect the bass fisherman got.  Not far behind you dude I got about a year more of school and I'll be looking for a teaching job down that way.  Thanks for the tips I have seen the schools shallower and deeper I guess I have gotten to the point where I want somebody anybody, to win tournaments at Pueblo with a limit.   1,2,3,4 day tournaments it never happens consistently.  It is very demoralizing as a fisherman to fish tournaments and not get a five fish limit.  As a matter of fact I have never fished an individual tournament at Pueblo where I have caught and weighted on a scale in a bag a five fish limit.  I fished 5280 this year and I'm not sure but 3 or 4 fish won a team tournament that's 2 guys fishing 9 hours a piece equaling 18 plus hours for 3-4 keepers and they won.  Thia s____  is miserable and I am not sure why we keep putting ourselves through it.  This is not what bass fishing is about.  It's a wonder how we get anyone interested in this sport.  Sorry for the rant just frustrated..  I travel to a lot of other places and catch em sometimes, so I feel like it can't be all me..     
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coloradoman25

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2010, 08:51:43 AM »

Totally understand where your coming from.  I can say that 2-3 times fun fishing I would have had a true 5 fish limit.  one day would have been close to 15lbs.  Another day would have been a combined 15-17 with Todd and I fishing within talking distance.  That lake has the fish but man if your not there at that magic moment nothing is going to happen.

You all that know me know where I caught 90% of my fish on that lake.  And most everyone else just doesnt catch them in that particular area like myself and one or 2 others have.

I will tell you that during the qualifier there Todd and I had at least 15-20 fish that were so close that if we were allowed to pinch they would have gone.  That is not an exaggeration and he would verify.  Why in gods name they cant get that last 1/2-1/8" on that lake is beyond me.   

I gained a lot of knowledge fishing Colorado and wouldnt trade what I learned about over pressured, clear, cold, poorly managed lakes for anything.  It has been useful elsewhere to me many times; however I really dont want to pack up and come back anytime soon for the fishing.

Hopefully someday the state will get past its short sitedness that makes them worship the mush fleshed stocker.  The state could have one of the best pike fisheries on the planet but chooses to fill the lakes with disposable fingerlings instead.  While trying to eradicate esox.  They have an amazing smallie fishery on the Yampa that they have spent years and countless dollars trying to eradicate...Hell its the only state that I have seen spend millions trying to revive the native cutthroat only to find out decades into the project that they were stocking a wrong impure strain....And we all know they could have a decent bass population if they would actively manage the waters that would suit them, but they are too busy chasing dead shells on lower units.

I dont think the state will ever change, there just isnt much emphasis on fish that thrive below 10000'.  All I can say is cmon down to texas once the floods level out next spring and this fall should be insane.

Oh we have a nice coast line as well...Caught a few out there last weekend.

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skeeter20i

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2010, 06:08:53 PM »

"I gained a lot of knowledge fishing Colorado and wouldnt trade what I learned about over pressured, clear, cold, poorly managed lakes for anything."     

Very well said!!!!
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vikingbass

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2010, 06:29:54 PM »

I have only fished for Bass here, New Mexico and now Kansas, so I guess i dont know any better!!! lo
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Todd Gentzel

skeeter20i

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2010, 11:16:22 PM »

Dude 1 trip to Falcon and you will be ruined for life.  Do yourself a favor and take a few days!!!!!!!!!!  For the rest of your life you'll see that 8 pound bass breaking water.  I've seen the big bulls bugle, the 14 teeners, all the mountains have to offer, the women, and everything else.  Honestly I am still not sure why I live here.  Please mom and dad move to Texas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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here fishy,fishy

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2010, 07:16:25 AM »

When was the last time you saw a tournament on Pueblo res that was won with over 14 lbs of fish?
Answer, NEVER! But Dave Withee did it yesterday at the Youth fund raising tournament. There might have been some good bags in years past, but I think the reason the lake is so tough is maybe it is trying to come around to being a great lake! We shall see!!!
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coloradoman25

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Re: Pueblo Fish
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2010, 12:15:24 PM »

Pueblo has had that potential for years.  I can state for a fact that Todd and I have had fun fish days that would match or may have beat that.  For some reason those never come together in a tournament.  We fished last fathers day and honestly were within casting distance of eachother and would have had a combined 5 that were 14-16lbs.

I think the west end is just finally coming alive after a long dormant phase.  Or more people are venturing down there and stumbling on those "right" days.

I have seen fish on that lake that would bring a 20lb bag but never really got into them in numbers.  All it takes is a long calm day during the spawn and running around and LOOKING in the coves and cuts.  They are there just dont know where they go the rest of the time.

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