The lakes are starting to freeze over and the snow is beginning to fall on the ground, not just the mountain tops. Colorado ice fishing season is here! Wintertime in Colorado is always exciting. People can go snowboarding, skiing, sledding, and plenty of other outdoor winter activities. One of the more relaxing and enjoyable things for a lot of people is a nice calm day of ice fishing! We’ve compiled a list of some of the best places that Colorado has to offer for the ice anglers.
Best Lakes for Ice Fishing in Colorado
- Chambers Lake
- Eleven Mile Reservoir
- Lake Granby
- Twin Lakes Reservoir
- Trinidad Lake State Park
- Crawford Reservoir
- Chatfield Reservoir
Surface area wise this is the smallest lake on the list, but Chambers Lake also extremely deep. This 250-acre lake is filled with rainbow and cutthroat trout. There is also an abundance of kokanee salmon and lake trout as well. To get the biggest fish you’ll have to explore the deeper parts of the lake. Luckily this lake is generally frozen until late March which gives you a long season to explore every inch of it!
Eleven Mile Reservoir
About an hour west of Colorado Springs is Eleven Mile Reservoir. The reservoir is filled with weed beds that host plenty of freshwater shrimp for fish to indulge in. This means that there’s potential to find plenty of trout between 14-20 inches long. There’s plenty of rainbow trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, and kokanee salmon living in this reservoir as well. It’s roughly 3,400 acres big which allow for plenty of opportunities to find schools of fish.
Lake Granby is stocked every year with rainbow trout, kokanee salmon and massive lake trout. This 7,200-acre lake with nearly 40 miles of coastline has a long history of huge fish. There have been plenty of reports of lake trout being caught that were over 32 inches long. There are also two other lakes right next to it called Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Reservoir. For the last 29 years, every January there’s a massive ice fishing tournament there called the Three Lakes Ice-Fishing Contest.
Twin Lakes Reservoir
Two lakes joined together at the base of Mt. Elbert in Leadville is home to 2,700 acres of lake trout. There are also plenty of longnose suckers, white sucker, rainbow trout, and snake river cutthroats. With multiple different amenities and lodging options surrounding Twin Lakes Reservoir, there’s always something to do and somewhere to stay during the ice fishing season.
Trinidad Lake State Park
If you want to catch a ton of trout, then this is the place for you. This 1,000-acre lake gets stocked every year with nearly 50,000 trout. Located about 20 minutes north of the Colorado and New Mexico border in Las Animas County, a good catch is nearly guaranteed at Trinidad Lake. This lake has more than trout to offer though with tons of walleye, crappie, large-mouth bass, bluegill, and wiper. With incredible views of the mountains and a constant flow of fish being caught, having a boring time is not really an option at this lake.
This small sized reservoir has an extended season unlike other lakes in Colorado. With a size of 390 acres, you can generally get an extra few weeks of ice fishing at Crawford Reservoir than any other lake. There’s plenty of potential to catch yellow and rainbow trout, as well as yellow perch, northern pike, crappie, and catfish if you’re lucky. Located about an hour and a half southeast from Grand Junction in Delta County, make sure you have tons of storage with you to take plenty of fish home.
Arguably the most popular fishing lake year round in Colorado, Chatfield Lake is also an incredible spot for ice fishing. Due to its close proximity to Denver, it’s very rare to find yourself alone on this 1,100-acre lake. Just because there are always anglers here doesn’t mean you won’t catch any fish, however. Like any other fishing trip, patience is always rewarded and this reservoir is no different. There have been reports of people pulling nearly 2-foot walleye and trout from the ice, as well as massive yellow perch and crappie. This is a must try lake especially with it only being a 45 minute drive south of Denver.
Colorado Ice Fishing
Ice fishing in Colorado is starting to grow in popularity because of the amazing lakes and reservoirs. Make sure you have all the proper equipment by checking out an ice fishing gear list. If you are planning on taking a trip to Wisconsin or Michigan for some more ice fishing fun, make sure you check out our lists on the best places to go!