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Lake: Arvada Reservoir
Fish: Smallmouth Bass

Help w/ Arvada Smallies.... anyone?

Post By: wickedfisha      Posted: 4/24/2014 2:48:39 PM     Points: 2205    
So my Dad arrived in Colorado yesterday from the East Coast, and I was really wanting to put him on some warmwater fish. Most of the lake updates I'm reading are reflecting water temps in the 50s, leading me to believe that, if it isn't a small pond, maybe the largemouth aren't quite on the hunger prowl yet. But the smallies should be getting a little kick in their step, I'm hoping once the water is in the mid-to-high 50s.

Not living on the Front Range makes it hard for me to decide exactly where to take my Dad based on this info, but I've been seeing that Arvada has an electric motor only rule (perfect for me and my 50lb thrust on my 12' Tracker Topper). It also sounds like Arvada is a decent little smallie fishery.

Can anyone give me some smallie fishing pointers for Arvada (locations, presentations, that have proven fruitful at this reservoir)? Is it like Chatfield in that the smallies are staged all along the dam?

Hit up my email if you don't wanna blast it:
powdahound13@yahoo.com

Me and my old man will greatly appreciate any help. Thanks!
 Reply by: Little D      Posted: 4/24/2014 3:50:19 PM     Points: 508    
Hit the dam with suspending jerkbaits, tube jigs, and blade baits
 Reply by: Gunny Airborne      Posted: 4/24/2014 9:53:27 PM     Points: 3387    
Wicked, one thing for sure, Arvada is quality with Chatfield being quanity on good days.
Haven't been to Arvada in a couple years, but I'm sure it still fishes well from a boat.
As mentioned, hit the dam dam-you should be in for a good time.

You might even get bit by a monster cat as they are large and aggressive in there and are accidently caught by folks fishing with lures for bass and trout.

Either way, fish or no fish, have fun and enjoy your dad....
 Reply by: Timbish      Posted: 4/25/2014 4:49:59 PM     Points: 216    
I would recommend that you also try the points on the North side of the lake. I also like fishing senkos and crawdad imitations. I had a friend who kept one of the nice smallies that he caught last weekend as it was deeply hooked and couldn't be released. He said it had 3 large crawdads in its belly. the water clarity is not nearly what it normally is, so it may actually make them a bit less skittish.
 Reply by: creole      Posted: 4/25/2014 5:36:58 PM     Points: 176    
Wickedfisha I live 5 min. From the res. The opportunity abounds at this lake if u hit it just right. And now is that time. While the dam is a good place to fish the south side of the lake and by the fishing pier has lots of boulders that is perfect for crawdads. Biggest smallmouth ive seen are feeding in this area. Also dont forget the walleye. drop shot rigs with a crawler are always my go to rigs. Suspending jerkbaits always end up producing. good luck n let the biguns go please.
 Reply by: Timbish      Posted: 4/25/2014 7:57:19 PM     Points: 216    
Alright Creole, you brought it up. Two years ago I was fishing near the dam and found a large group of walleye turning the water right on the shore, and some of them were very big by anyone's standards. they would not hit anything, I probably could have netted them. In hind sight, i wish I had tried just to measure one. I have only been able to catch one jigging in about 20 feet of water off the dam. I appreciate the drop shot rig idea. If what I heard is true they have put thousands of walleye fry in each year. Not sure how many survive, but there definitely are some big fish in there.

I don't know how far back this reservoir goes, but I am impressed with this small lake as a fishery. There is plenty of forage for all kinds of fish and produces some hogs from time to time.

Last year I was out with my 12 years old son. He caught a smallmouth that we measured and released. Based on the length and girth measurement calculator is was over 5 lbs. It was fun to watch him fight that one.

Looking forward to continuing to learn how to find and catch the smallies and walleye. I have spent most of my life chasing the silver fish.

 Reply by: wickedfisha      Posted: 4/25/2014 8:30:20 PM     Points: 2205    
Awesome feedback guys... thanks a lot.

We got out on the res today to chase some smallmouth bass, and the water was still in the 51-53 degree range which unfortunately seemed to be keeping the smallies somewhat turned off. We marked a lot of fish on the finder, but they weren't eating very heartily today. A few times we watched on the sonar as the fish would swim up to check out our jigging presentations and then refuse it. We did manage two bass to hand, both not far from the launch ramp along the south side. We were in relatively deep water (25-40 feet) for both bass, but they ate shallow running lures while trolling both times. First it was a kastmaster and a then a Dynamic J-Spec. Both got hit while running in the 1-5 foot zone.

Other than that, we spent some time targeting the stocker trout schools, boating 6 slimers, most in the 12 inch range with one pushing up around 15 (maybe a second year holdover.) We missed at least five other trout that came unbuttoned shortly after hooking up. The trout came on crawlers cut in half under bobbers, red&white daredevils, fly'n'bubble w/ olive bugger, and a kastmaster in rainbow pattern.

All in all an awesome day, especially since my old man landed his smallie right at the end of the day as we were trolling back to the ramp... and it was a FAT beauty- 17.5 inches and in the 3-4 pound range. What a way to finish!

Pic 1: My Dad's end-of-day-slay- beauty smallie.

Pic 2: My smallie, a nice start to my bass season! Love the J-spec already!

Pic 3: Maybe a 2nd year holdover stocker or just an alpha from this year's program, but a decent rainbow and a fun fight (multiple leaps).