Grand County Fishing Report: Ice is finally here
Finally! With the recent storms and cold temperatures in the county, ice fishing is starting to kick off on the nearby lakes.
The snow has put some tremendous weight on the thin ice causing some very inconsistent ice conditions. We always ask that ice anglers please keep in mind that safety comes first when venturing out on the ice and ask not to forget to pack your safety gear. First aid kits, throw ropes, spud bars and making sure that you are properly dressed for the conditions are just a few suggestions when planning a trip.
Looking at the extended forecast, conditions will improve. We are only a couple of weeks away from the 3 Lakes Ice Fishing Contest and we can’t wait to see all of the new and familiar faces.
Lake Granby: The lake is completely capped and the ice is very inconsistent throughout the lake. There are areas holing at 3 inches of ice and there are areas with 6 inches. Testing the ice as you walk out is very important right now during this phase of the season.
Currently, we are not seeing many snowmobiles or other off-road vehicles.
Rainbows and browns have been pretty active in the early mornings before the sun beats down on the ice. These fish are definitely keying on shallow structure like rocks, river channels and points in about 7-15 feet of water.
The best presentations for these fish have been small jigs tipped with a wax worm or a small plastic on a dead stick. With the second rod, a search and attractor lure like a Tikka Minnow or Leech flutter spoon have also been producing.
The lake trout have been biting fairly well for the guys walking out looking for some deeper water. Most of the fish have been caught on small tube jigs with a piece of sucker meat in 25-45 feet of water. The early mornings have been best with the bite tapering off around 11 a.m.
With the lake gaining more ice on a daily basis, more areas will open up giving more opportunities to target specific areas that hold fish. Please keep in mind that the lake is very low this year and areas will fish differently that years past. We suggest that you look at a map and put a game plan together before venturing out.
— Guide Jake Foos
Williams Fork: Ice conditions are relatively good, some slush pockets are to be found and the ice is anywhere from 3-6 inches thick. A spud bar is still going to be essential the next few days, with reports of thin ice near the inlet and around the west end points.
Roads are not being maintained around the lake so the best bet is to park in the main lot or near the dam. Most of our snow has been blown off the lake so walking is manageable.
The lake has been fishing well for all classes of fish. Small and large fish have been found from 30-50 feet of water. The hottest baits have been a bare jig head with an small piece of meat or a spoon jigged aggressively.
Lots of fish are showing aggression to baits that are falling towards the bottom. Don’t be afraid to quickly pull a bait several feet away from a fish, just to have it fall back down and get hit on the way. Move until you find the fish and then work through them until they shut down. At that point you can either wait for a new pod to move in or relocate to fresh fish.
— Guide Rhett Feltman
Grand Lake: The ice season has started off strong on Grand Lake. Ice conditions do vary throughout the lake but for the most part, we are finding 4-9 inches. Snow has become a problem accessing the water on the east end of the lake but is still very manageable.
Rainbows and browns have been eager to eat small jigs early in the morning in the shallow water next to shore. The most effective patterns have been 1/16 to 1/80 oz jigs like the CLAM Caviar, Drop Kick as well as the Leech Flutter Spoon fished in 5-11 feet of water between 6-9 a.m.
Lake trout have also been chomping pretty well on 2-3 inch tube jigs tipped with a small piece of sucker meat in 30-70 feet of water and fished very slowly and as close to the bottom as possible. Please pay special attention to your electronics when fishing for lake trout on Grand because you never know when that hungry suspended fish will come in looking for its next meal.
One of our guides found some brookies the other day while fishing with some clients and that just shows that you never know what you are going to hook into out of this lake.
— Guide Jake Foos
The Fishing with Bernie team has been guiding in Grand county for over 25 years. For more info please check out http://www.fishingwithbernie.com, http://www.facebook.com/FishingWithBernie/ or our Instagram pages.
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The onset of winter has made a dramatic shift from dry and warm to moist and cold, with feet of snow being gifted to us over the holidays.