Colorado is famous for its winter activities. People travel from all over the globe to experience the centennial states world-famous ski slopes. One great winter activity that is often overlooked is ice fishing. In Colorado, the peak season for ice fishing is December through February. For many, ice fishing is not the winter activity that brings them to Colorado, but for those true anglers that are willing to put up with cold for that great catch, ice fishing in Colorado is a must!
Ice Fishing, Colorado | Image Courtesy of Grizzly Rose
We’ve put together a list of the 8 best lakes for ice fishing in Colorado.
1. Eleven Mile Reservoir
This 3,400 acre reservoir is open for ice fishing 365 days a year. Eleven Mile Reservoir is known for its large rainbow trout that can range from 14-20 inches long. This is a great place to go for the ice fishing and a great place to stay for the camping.
Location: Park County, Colorado about 1 hour west of Colorado Springs, CO.
Fish species: Eleven Mile reservoir offers kokanee salmon, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, & brown trout.
2. Trinidad Lake State Park
This lake is stocked with 50,000 trout each year, so a good catch is guaranteed! Trinidad lake is also known for its beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.
Location: Las Animas, County, Colorado about 20 minutes north of the Colorado and New Mexico border.
Fish species: You can expect to catch rainbow & brown trout, large-mouth bass, walleye, crappie, bluegill, and wiper.
3. Chambers Lake
On this 250 acre lake, you can catch lake trout that can be between 16-18 inches. On a lucky day, you may snag a kokanee salmon as well. This lake typically stays frozen until March or even April, so you have plenty of time to get your ice fishing in at Chambers Lake.
Location: Larimer County, Colorado about 2 hours west of Fort Collins, CO.
Fish species: Most commonly found in Chambers lake are cutthroat, rainbow, and lake trout
4. Harvey Gap State Park Reservoir
This 190 acre lake is a favorite for anglers in the winter. The reservoir sits in the high-plains with Grand Hogback mountain range just south of the lake, which gives anglers a great view throughout the day. Harvey Gap does not allow overnight camping, but there is nearby camping in Rifle, CO.
Location: Garfield County, Colorado about 30 minutes west of Glenwood Springs, CO.
Fish species: Harvey Gap is well known for its catches of catfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch, crappie, rainbow trout and northern pike.
5. Chatfield Reservoir
The 1,355 acre reservoir is fed by the South Platt River, and full of a variety of fish. You can often catch trout that are 18-25 inches long and Walleye that are 2 feet long. This reservoir is often stocked by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, so have no fear of days with no bites!
Location: Douglas and Jefferson County, Colorado and is less than an hour south of Denver, CO.
Fish species: You will find trout, walleye, yellow perch, crappie, and bluegill.
6. Crawford Reservoir
This 390 acre lake is surrounded by beautiful landscape and found in Crawford State Park. This lake is busy during the summer days, so the best time for a great catch is during the winter.
Location: Delta County, Colorado about an hour and a half south east of Grand Junction, CO
Fish Species: You can expect to catch some yellow & rainbow trout, crappie, yellow perch, northern pike, and occasionally a catfish.
7. Lake Granby
This massive lake of 7,250 acres is continually stocked throughout the year. Its two sister lakes, Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Grand Lake, are also stocked and home to the 3 Lakes Ice Fishing Contest! The contest is held January 25-27, 2019.
Location: Grand County, Colorado is just 15 minutes from Grandby, CO.
Fish species: Lake Grandby is known for its rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, and lake trout that are known to be up to 32 inches long.
8. Twin Lakes Reservoirs.
Right at the base of Mt Elbert, is the Twin Lakes Reservoir. These two lakes make up a surface area of 2,700 acres and is filled with excellent amenities for fishing and camping.
Location: Chaffee County, Colorado just 20 minutes from Leadville, CO.
Fish species: Twin Lakes Reservoir is loaded with rainbow trout, lake trout, brown trout, longnose sucker, white sucker, and snakeriver cutthroat.
Be sure to do some research and get informed about the ice conditions before you embark on your ice fishing trip. Just remember, some lakes have much shorter seasons of ice fishing, so safety first. Enjoy your adventure out on the ice catching some amazing fish!