Learning From The Locals- Tips To Maximize Your Fishing Success.

If you've been following my blog, or have seen some of my recent posts, you would know that I recently went to Blue Mesa Reservoir for five days of camping, boating and fishing.  This was my first time at Blue Mesa since I was a small kid and the first time I had ever gone out on the lake in a boat.  I had been doing a lot of research on  www.fishexplorer.com, trying to figure out where the fish were biting and what they were biting on.  I was particularly interested in fishing for salmon.  I had never caught a salmon before and wanted to get as close to my 10 fish limit as possible.

The Fish Explorer website had a lot of good information, but I made one big mistake, when they mentioned lures that I hadn't used before, such as Assassins and Wedding Rings, I kind of ignored those suggestions and only payed attention to the lures that I was familiar with, such as Kastmasters.  The first day and a half of fishing showed that I had not payed enough attention.  Between four adults fishing we managed to bring two rainbow trout to the boat and lost another at the net.  Not exactly what I would call a productive trip.

Assassin fishing lure at Blue Mesa Reservoir
When we came back to the dock for dinner I decided to stop by the marina and ask what was working, they again mentioned the Assassins, as well as squids, all behind a dodger.  I also got a chance to talk with Robby from www.sportfishcolorado.com.  He was just coming off the water.  He gave me some great tips, not only on what to use, but what depths and where in the lake to try fishing.

Using the advice from Robby and the marina I bought a small selection of Assassins and squids from the marina, I also bought a dodger for both of my leadcore lines.  We also decided that instead of putting the boat in at the Elk Creek ramp, we decided to move to the Lake Fork arm, most of the people we talked to, including other vacationers, indicated that more people were having success in the Sapinero basin, which is accessed by the Lake Fork boat ramp.

We only had a few hours left to try the new lures and advice that we had received.  Even though we were still getting used to the new lures, I managed to land my first three salmon of the trip.

Now that we felt like we knew what we were doing, we hit the lake the next day ready to catch more salmon.  We tried the different lures and different colors throughout the day.  One of the best pieces of advice was to switch up lures if we hadn't received any bites after about 20 minutes.  Between two leadcore lines and and a downrigger we didn't have enough lures to completely switch out more than two or three times, so we didn't always follow the 20 minute rule.  We did, however, notice that the salmon seemed to like one color at a time and it often switched.  We would have an hour or so where a pink Assassin would be getting all of the bites, then all of a sudden it would stop.  After switching some colors around we would find that something else was suddenly working.

Overall, we had a much better experience once we actually took the time to talk to some locals and see what had been working for that lake at that time.  If we had continued to use the methods we were used to, we would have probably continued to be frustrated by catching a few fish and possibly never catching the fish we were really interested in, salmon.

Most of us have a favorite fishing spot, where we know that certain lures will almost always work.  When you are at a new lake, take advantage of some of the intimate knowledge that the locals have.  Just like with us, you may get some tips that put you on to the fish, rather than waiting and hoping that your standard methods will eventually produce some fish.


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