Sunday, June 21, 2009

Prospect Ponds (FT. Collins) 6-20

Scouting new water is a never-ending pursuit of mine and it has been a while since I have dusted off my scout list. This weekend I decided to head north and scout some waters that I have never seen and knew very little about. Tucked away in a section of eastern Fort Collins, Prospect Ponds offers some viable warm water fishing and a few rumors of big fish.

(Above: Boat geared up and ready to hit lake 2. Not knowing what to expect, I brought the kitchen sink. )

(Above: Photo of the first lake. This lake was experiencing some water quality issues and I didn’t bother casting. The second lake was a bit better quality wise so my focus was spent there.)

Prospect Ponds contains two lakes that are accessible by the public and both have fish. The first lake was brown in color. Very stained. The second lake seems to be the better of the two and the one I chose to spend my focus on. Water quality was not what I would like but much better than Lake One. Cotton is starting to build up and a bit of a problem at this time of year. Just another element you have to fish through.

(Above: Park Map with trails and parking lots marked. There are no bathroom facilities, which eliminate this as a kid’s fishing spot. The closest restroom would be the CSU Environmental Center and a good distance away. Just saying.)

I put in on the southern most edge. The paved trail rolls pretty smooth and there are a few launch spots that don’t require much effort. This lake is better suited for belly boaters than other hand propelled craft due to the heavy foliage and tree line that guard the section closest to the parking lot.

(Above: Decent numbers of decent fish pretty much sums up my day out here.)

Action on the second lake was consistent but fairly ho-hum. The fish size was not very large and I suspect that baiters take out the larger fish during the precious spawn cycle. This is a problem that a lot of Colorado anglers don’t fully recognize. I’ll spare you the usual rant and simply say more education needs to be done. The numbers of fish were decent for a lake this size. I was able to pull 5 or 6 fish total in a mere three hours.

Tree structure around the lake’s edge congregate the fish and the main area to focus on from boat or from shore. Lure choice should match the forage base, which appears to be a steady diet of bluegill. Originally I started running a combination of senkos and spinnerbaits after running into a few snags with the jigs. The first two fish were caught on the senko so I just stayed with that most of the time.

One of my larger strikes came on a black and white spinnerbait. A large green flash was seen under the water’s surface and I felt the heavy thump on the line. I dug into the hookset but there was nothing there. The fish hit the blade and didn’t even graze the hook. A few more casts to the same spot…nothing.

The wood structure on the west side can get pretty intense. There are a series of fallen trees laying in the water and this provides some of my favorite type of fishing. I thought the fish would be stacked up in here as it would be virtually impossible for any shore pressure to reach this area. Cast, cast, cast, switch rods, cast, cast, cast, switch…

“Dammit!” I curse to myself. “Where are the big guys?”

(Above: Map of Lake Two and where the best action of the day was found. This lake has a lot of structure and fish location could vary greatly on any given day.

All in all it was decent. Not great, not really good or even what I classify as “good” in the sense that it was worth the trip to Ft. Collins. The best way to describe this trip and Prospect Ponds is with one word…Decent.

Good luck and Good fishing.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

I tried pond #2 today and got skunked in 3 hours. I put the belly boat in at 6:30 and fished 2 loops around the pond by 9:30 using everything I had in my box - 2 or 3 colors of 4" power worms, Pop-R's, various crankbaits, and senkos. The weather was pretty nice overall, partly cloudy about 60F. The water was very murky with visibility about 3-5". It will be a while before I try this one again. I did head over to Simpson ponds in Loveland for an hour of bank fishing and caught two 12" largemouth.