No ex­cuse for not find­ing good fish­ing

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Terry Wick­strom Fol­low Terry on Face­book at Terry Wick­strom Out­doors. Join Terry ev­ery Satur­day at 9 a.m. for all your out­door in­for­ma­tion on Terry Wick­strom Out­doors at 104.3 FM The Fan.

Ihear an­glers talk about the “dog days of sum­mer” but if you live in Colorado, those frus­tra­tions are not nec­es­sary.

Colorado of­fers such di­verse op­por­tu­ni­ties for an­glers there is al­ways a “hot bite” to take ad­van­tage of some­where. Some­times it means fish­ing a dif­fer­ent type of wa­ter: a moun­tain lake in­stead of a prairie im­pound­ment, a river rather than a reser­voir, but of­ten the so­lu­tion is to chase a dif­fer­ent species of fish.

As we head into late sum­mer, one species that can of­fer in­cred­i­ble ac­tion and great table fare is the white bass. White bass are an ex­cel­lent fight­ing fish that typ­i­cally grow to 16-17 inches.

This school­ing fish of­ten ex­hibits char­ac­ter­is­tics sim­i­lar to wipers, pound­ing schools of for­age fish in mass num­bers. White bass can be eas­ily con­fused with wipers. How­ever, they are gen­er­ally smaller in size and have bro­ken stripes, and the tongue wiper will have a split in the tooth patch.

Many of Colorado’s warm-wa­ter reser­voirs are home to white bass. Two of my fa­vorites lakes are Boyd Reser­voir in Love­land and John Martin Reser­voir in the south­east­ern re­gion of the state which has world-class white bass fish­ing.

This past Satur­day Ronny Castiglioni joined me on my ra­dio show to share how he tar­gets white bass on Boyd Reser­voir. Castiglioni is an ac­com­plished an­gler who also guides on Boyd.

Castiglioni said the white bass on Boyd can be found at any depth. If you are con­fi­dent in your use of elec­tron­ics, you can lo­cate white bass hold­ing on the bot­tom near schools of shad and go af­ter them with blade baits or jig­ging spoons. Not only is this an ef­fec­tive way to tar­get white bass, you will typ­i­cally catch other species such as wall­eye and cat­fish.

The fish that can be the eas­i­est to tar­get are the ones chas­ing shad on the sur­face. Not only can they pro­vide non­stop ac­tion but the ca­sual an­gler can catch these fish with min­i­mal ex­pe­ri­ence and gear. The key is spot­ting them. Castiglioni prefers to fish in lower light, early and late in the day or when it’s over­cast. While the ac­tion can heat up dur­ing these times, I have caught them all day, even when it’s sunny.

Calm wa­ter makes spot­ting the fish much eas­ier. White bass are con­stantly on the move chas­ing bait­fish. Castiglioni likes to mo­tor around the lake, look­ing in­stead of wait­ing in one area to see if they show up.

Bird ac­tiv­ity can give away their lo­ca­tion. If you see seag­ulls feed­ing on the sur­face, you can be sure there are white bass be­low.

In ad­di­tion to the lakes I men­tioned, many of Colorado’s reser­voirs have good pop­u­la­tions of white bass which will typ­i­cally range from 12 to 16 inches. In ad­di­tion to providing a lot of ac­tion, they are strong fight­ers for their size and ex­cel­lent table fare.

Due to their abun­dance, don’t shy away from har­vest­ing a few. Prac­tic­ing se­lec­tive har­vest and en­joy­ing a meal of fish can be the cul­mi­na­tion of a great day on the wa­ter.

Don’t for­get: You can get your out­door ques­tions an­swered by send­ing them to ter­ry­wick­stro­mout­, and you might win a gift card from Sportsman’s Ware­house.

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