Fishing with Bernie: Best bites are in the morning for all species

Dan Shannon
Fishing with Bernie
Fishing with Bernie guide Dan Shannon with a lake trout on a rainy day.
Dan Shannon/Fishing with Bernie

Grand Lake

With the rain, the water temperature has remained in the low 50s for the mornings. Fishing has remained good for all species with best bite being first few hours in the morning while water is calm. Rainbow trout and brown trout action is best along the inlets and rocky shorelines.

Pink/silver spoons and spinners have been producing the most fish, but the larger fish are being caught on rainbow trout colored crankbaits. Lake trout action has been best when the water is flat, before the wind and waves arrive. Look for lake trout in 20-40 feet of water, a brown or black tube jig tipped with a small piece of sucker has been a consistent producer.

Williams Fork

Williams Fork is open to motorized boats. Ramp hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Water capacity has jumped to 83% since my last report. The lake is 11 feet low. In flow is 573 cubic feet per second, outflow is 30 cfs. Surface temperature is 52 degrees Fahrenheit warming to 54 degrees. The water is cloudy with sediment from runoff. Visibility is about 6 feet. There is a lot of debris on the lake so keep an eye out for these floating and partially submerged hazards.

The lake trout bite is very good for the first few hours of the morning, then stalls out until late afternoon. All age groups seem eager to bite tube jigs and grubs tipped with fresh sucker meat on the bottom. If you see fish but can’t get them to bite, downsize your jig and vary your presentation until you find something that works. Look for all classes of lake trout in 40 to 60 feet of water.

This week I did not see any lake trout break the surface so we may be nearing the end of casting season. I’ve heard reports of a few northerns being caught in the shallows. Northerns are in decline so please practice catch and release on all fish. Small rainbows are biting small lures and flies in the inlet where the river runs into the lake. Lake wide bank fishing with bait is slow since the lake hasn’t been stocked with catchable rainbows for several years. Kokanee trolling is very slow because they have not stocked any salmon in an effort to control the gil lice problem.

Lake Granby

Boat ramp hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunset boat ramp is open 7 days a week, Stillwater boat ramp is open Friday-Sunday. Water level is at 91% and filling daily. Water temperature has remained in the mid-50s with the cooler temperatures and rain. Fishing for rainbow trout has been good in the mornings along the inlets and dam faces. Spoons, spinners and float with a tungsten jig with a wax worm or piece of nightcrawler have all been producing fish.

Brown trout action has been best in the low light periods of the day or windy conditions. Use crank baits or spoons with an erratic retrieve to produce strikes. Lake trout action has been good to very good. Fish are being caught between 30-55 feet along main lake structure with deep water close by. Tube jigs, grubs, hair jigs and glow spoons have all been producing strikes, the key is to get away from the groups of boats and find the unpressured fish. Tip your lure with fresh sucker meat often to keep the fish interested.

The Fishing with Bernie team has been guiding in Grand County for over 25 years. For more info please check out, or our Instagram pages Fishing_With_Bernie and FishingWithAltitude.

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