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Bass Fishing In Colorado

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Guide to fishing for spotted, smallmouth and largemouth bass.

By Rick Seaman

Bass fishing At Daybreak

Colorado Bass Fishing

Bass fishing in Colorado is a beloved pursuit, cherished by anglers of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. Few experiences rival the thrill of hooking into a largemouth or smallmouth bass, making it a timeless pastime that transcends cultural boundaries. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice angler eager to learn the ropes, mastering the art of bass fishing can be immensely rewarding. That's why this page is dedicated to offering invaluable insights and tips on bass fishing, providing a comprehensive guide on everything from bass fishing techniques to essential bass-catching strategies. Whether you're seeking advice on selecting the perfect lure or honing your casting skills, we're here to equip you with the knowledge and expertise needed to excel on the water. Dive into our wealth of information to discover the secrets of successful bass fishing and unlock the full potential of your angling endeavors.

Bass fishing basics video.

Bass Fishing Favorites

Largemouth Bass Fishing In Colorado

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are the most abundant, and most pursued bass in Colorado. They are available in most warm-water lakes in the state, they tend to thrive in most water conditions and grow to bragging size in relative short order. Often called big mouth bass, or wide mouth bass, they are savvy predators that feed on most things that live in their territory. Bass in the 5 to 10-pound range are common in Colorado. The state record largemouth bass is over 11 pounds.

Finding & Catching Bigmouth Bass

Anglers can target big mouth bass in various lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. Spring and early summer are typically the best seasons for targeting largemouth bass as they are more active and feeding in the shallows near shoreline cover. Start with topwater baits, as they cover the water most efficiently. Reaction baits like crankbaits and spinnerbaits are the next choice. For finicky bass, plastic worms and jigs may entice a bite as you can move them very slowly around cover. In the heat of summer and the cold of winter bass move to deeper water, usually following the baitfish. Jigs, drop shot rigs and spoons are a good approach for bass holding in deep water. Vary your retrieve speed and action to find what the bass like today!

Smallmouth Bass Fishing In Colorado

Smallmouth Bass

While smallmouth bass don't grow as large as their cousin the largemouth, they make up the difference with tenacious fights. Known for long battles and spectacular jumps, smallies grow fat and strong but rarely exceed ten pounds. Their range and locations are often with or nearby the largemouths. The state record smallmouth bass is over 6 pounds.

Smallmouth bass prefer cooler, clearer waters, such as rivers and rocky reservoirs. They are often found near submerged rocks, drop-offs, and other underwater structures. Anglers targeting smallmouth bass often use techniques like crankbaits, jerkbaits, and finesse worms. These hardy fish offer a thrilling challenge and can provide an exciting day on the water for those who seek them out.

Spotted Bass Fishing In Colorado

Colorado Spotted Bass

Spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus) are less common in Colorado compared to largemouth and smallmouth bass. However, they can still be found in some reservoirs and rivers throughout the state. Spotted bass closely resemble largemouth bass in appearance, but they are typically smaller in size. They have a reputation for being aggressive feeders and can provide an exciting angling experience. Spotted bass can be caught using similar techniques as largemouth and smallmouth bass, such as crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and soft plastics.

Colorado's diverse bass fishery provides ample opportunities for anglers to target largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass. Whether you prefer the thrill of hooking a massive largemouth, the agility of a smallmouth, or the tenacity of a spotted bass, the state's lakes and reservoirs have something to offer. It's essential to familiarize yourself with the regulations and licensing requirements before heading out on your bass fishing adventure. With proper planning and a bit of skill, you can enjoy the thrill of bass fishing against the backdrop of Colorado's stunning natural beauty.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Colorado

Best Bass Fishing Lakes In Colorado

Colorado's cold water is a limiting factor on bass fishing in CO. Many of the fisheries are too cold for bass. Those that are warm enough have a shorter growth season than lakes in the southern part of the states. Still there are nice opportunities for bass fishing in Colorado. Some of the major impoundments with a population of bass include Adobe Creek Reservoir, Aurora Reservoir, Bonny Reservoir, Carter Lake, Chatfield Reservoir, Cherry Creek Reservoir, Echo Canyon Reservoir, Horsetooth Reservoir, John Martin Reservoir, Lake Pueblo, Lathrop State Park, McPhee Reservoir, Navajo Reservoir, North Delaney Lake, North Sterling Reservoir, Pueblo Reservoir, Quincy Reservoir, Ridgway Reservoir, Rifle Gap Reservoir and Standley Lake.

Smallmouth rivers

Many rivers and streams in the state have varying levels of smallmouth fishing. The Arkansas River, the Colorado River, the Yampa River and river systems surrounding the lakes on the Colorado Front Range are among the most popular.

Bass In Colorado

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 11 lbs 6 oz

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 6 lbs 11 oz

Spotted Bass

Spotted bass

World record: 9 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 4 lbs 7 7/8 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top 5 bass fishing lures for Colorado this year

When bass are shallow, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and stickbaits are the most productive. As they move deeper, worms and jigs are among the top producers.

The state record largemouth bass was taken out of Echo Canyon Lake.

The state record smallmouth bass came from Aurora Reservoir.

Valco Ponds served up the state record spotted bass.

Bass fishing book

Catch big bass!

Understanding the primary seasonal movements of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass is key to locating them on your local lakes.

Also enjoy this article about spring bass fishing on the Front Range.


Bass fishing information by state.

AL Bass Fishing AR Bass Fishing AZ Bass Fishing CA Bass Fishing CO Bass Fishing CT Bass Fishing DC Bass Fishing DE Bass Fishing FL Bass Fishing GA Bass Fishing HI Bass Fishing IA Bass Fishing ID Bass Fishing
IL Bass Fishing IN Bass Fishing KS Bass Fishing KY Bass Fishing LA Bass Fishing MA Bass Fishing MD Bass Fishing ME Bass Fishing MI Bass Fishing MN Bass Fishing MO Bass Fishing MS Bass Fishing MT Bass Fishing
NC Bass Fishing ND Bass Fishing NE Bass Fishing NH Bass Fishing NJ Bass Fishing NM Bass Fishing NV Bass Fishing NY Bass Fishing OH Bass Fishing OK Bass Fishing OR Bass Fishing PA Bass Fishing
RI Bass Fishing SC Bass Fishing SD Bass Fishing TN Bass Fishing TX Bass Fishing UT Bass Fishing VA Bass Fishing VT Bass Fishing WA Bass Fishing WI Bass Fishing WV Bass Fishing WY Fishing


The lifecycle of bass

The more you know about the seasonal migration of bass, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit Colorado bass fishing lakes. Visit the bass fishing page for more in-depth information about bass activities.