(Above: Spring bucketmouth bass caught from an urban pond where no boats are allowed.)
As much as I enjoy being on the water a lot can still be said for the shore game especially as we roll into prespawn bucketmouth mode. The Denver metro area has a number of small ponds that offer great fishing for shorebangers in a “no boats allowed” situation. Aquatic vegetation is still in winter mode making those smaller ponds a great grab-n-cast right now. Weed free water also allows for more variety in lure choice. Search baits like spinnerbaits, Rat-L traps and crankbaits are good options as long as you run them slower than you would in summer.
To find the fish look for the shoreline that collects the most heat. It also helps if there is deep water in the vicinity. Fish tend to harbor near their traditional spawn areas and shift from deeper water to shallow water periodically to feed. The additional heat sparks their metabolism which helps add a boost to the early season bass fishing action.
In this case I hucked a blue salamander on a 3/8oz Carolina rig weight towards the rock structure on the north side of the lake. Snow has retreated from this edge several weeks ago while the south side still has some icy crust in spots. This is an obvious indicator that is where the active fish will most likely be. Normally I go light with an 1\8oz weight for finesse but needed the extra ounces to reach the far shoreline guarded by the “wildlife habitat” sings.
Warm sides of the lake will vary greatly depending on the landscape and contours of the water you are fishing. The sun does not hang directly overhead in Colorado, more of an angle, which allows shading of the water more so on the south side. Generally you would think the south side to be the warmest as it is closer to the sun’s warming rays. But if there is a high ground ledge or tall treeline there will be a cooling affect. Rocks and bare ground will absorb heat if exposed to direct sunlight. This in turn will have a warming affect and where I will focus first.
My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.