No excuse for not finding good fishing
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 email@example.com, and you might win a gift card from Sportsman’s Warehouse.