These Bass were caught at Sawhill (see below) on May 6, 2005. They
were both taken on a creepy crawler - a woolly bugger tied on a size
4 TMC 200R with a gold bead head and rubber centipede legs, brown
marabou tail, brown/gold body (Ice Dub) and black hackle (front only).
When spring arrives in Colorado, fly fishermen along the Front
Range start thinking about bass fishing. Largemouth Bass become
active and very aggressive during the spring spawning period which
generally coincides with runoff.
Largemouth Bass were first introduced in Colorado in 1878. The largemouth
bass is the largest and most popular member of the Centrarchidae
family of sunfish and its subgroup known as black bass. Like all
sunfish, largemouth are nest builders, spawning in 18-36 inches
of water in late spring when water temperatures reach 65° F.
Males guard the nest and young for two weeks after the eggs hatch.
The diet of bass changes from zooplankton to other food including
fish, frogs, and crayfish when the young reach a length of two inches.
Their coloring is mostly green, ranging from olive to dark green
on the back and greenish yellow on the sides, with a white or cream-colored
belly. A series of dark splotches form a horizontal stripe that
extends down the length of the sides along the lateral line. In
some circumstances, especially very muddy water, the largemouth
may lose much of its coloring, appearing almost white or very light
The largest largemouth bass ever caught weighed 22 pounds, 4 ounces
in Georgia in 1932. The Colorado record came out of Echo Canyon Reservoir
(Archuleta County) in 1997 and weighed in at 11 lbs 6 oz. I have heard
about larger fish being caught and I personally witnessed a fish released
at a private pond in Boulder that had to be well over over 10 lbs.
As the spawn approaches in early spring, Largemouth transition
from their winter holding patterns in deep water toward shallow
spawning sites. Because farm ponds and other small bodies of water
warm rapidly in the spring, bass fishing starts earlier there than
it does on large lakes and reservoirs. They remain in the shallow
water throughout the spawn, though sometimes retreat to deep water
near the nests during and shortly after spring cold fronts. Once
the spawn is complete, many Largemouth will remain in shallow areas
until water temperatures rise above 72 F. Then they often establish
summer residence in deeper water, moving shallow to feed early and
late in the day, or at night.
Almost all the public ponds and small lakes in and around Boulder
have Largemouth Bass in them. You could start with the Sawhill Ponds
Wildlife Preserve (18 ponds) owned by the Colorado Division of Wildlife
and managed by the Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Department.
It is located east of the Boulder city limits on the west side of
75th Street, 0.6 mile north of Valmont Road.
Next month we'll talk about tactics and tackle for this great gamefish.
By the way, here's an additional bonus when fishing for Bass:
I like to use white and chartreuse Clouser
Minnows for crappie