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JohnFinney

Colorado Springs Report: Quail Lake

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Overview:

A 33 acre lake on the south side of Springs that is mainly used as a trout fishery. The lake receives stockings a few times a year for this purpose. Reported species of fish include black bass, crappie, sunfish, catfish (channel), northern pike, small mouth bass and of course, common carp. A very popular fishery that is heavily fished, especially at weekends and public holidays.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife:

Stocking of trout was on this year was on weeks of 2nd & 9th & 23rd April, 8th May, 5th June - no stocking reported since June. This is a "wakeless" water though often anglers are out on the water a variety of inflatable craft, paddle or self-propelled. There is no Fish Management Survey data available (that I could find that is!).

Map:

Quail_Lakebmp.jpg

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Current Conditions:

Sunday Aug 26th 2012: Water levels were down a foot or so, expanding the "bank" access around the Lake. I saw many locals pulling trout from the waters and one angler nearby reported catching some wipers from the lake - though I was unaware the lake even had wiper! Fished from around 11am - 3pm, caught two small (4lb and 5lb respectively) common carp from location (A) on map using panko/creamed corn pack with orange flavored corn on the hook.

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Note: 17 Acres in size, not 33 as previously stated.

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Nice, thorough report John!

you may have alot of fun (& surprises/table-fare) on the float!

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Once/when I get a true 12ft carp rod, I may very well rig one of my existing rods and old reels for float - lighter line, etc. I have tried float fishing a few times at this lake and so far all all I have snagged are trout which devour just about all baits suspended in the water.

You would be surprised at how large a hook bait those rainbows will attack and swallow - i've had small ones take a size-2 covered with corn as big as the poor trout's head - no clue how it got the hook inside the mouth ! I may also try my hand at some fly fishing, though as a youth, I darn well sucked tremendously at casting a fly - also the effort, rather just put my feet up, pull down the lip of my cap and snooze, waiting for a carp to take the bait ! Yes, im getting lazy in my old age!

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Friday 31st August, 2012

Spent a morning down at Quail Lake again today with Patrick from work who was hunting for rainbow and cutthroat trout.

Weather was nice, about 82F and little wind. Fished using two rods, both rigged with a 2oz pear sinker on a safety clip to a 8" 12lb fluro leader, size 2 octopus curve hook, loaded with my favorite panko/creamed corn packbait, today flavored with banana! Hook bait was white corn with a hint of orange - yummy!

This is my 3rd time fishing at this lake. The water level was up slightly from a week ago though the lake was quiet, very few people fishing - probably due to it being a school day and a Friday morning. Fished about 20' out from some reed beds to my left and about 30 yards straight out. Location ( B ) on revised map.

Quail_Lakebmp-1.jpg

The morning was quite productive, in quantity, if not size. After starting with a hook pull managed to bring in a 6.5 lb common, a 5.5 lb common and then 4 more ranging from 3-4 lbs each. Ended with another 2 hook pulls ! Arg ! Seems this Lake is pretty well populated with commons 7 lbs and under - I am sure the fish can only be a few years old so my new quest here is to locate their "parents".

P8310012.jpg

P8310009.jpg

Sadly my colleague blanked out on his trout quest, even after trying some "Hail Mary" corn and pack off the bottom with an egg sinker for his last hour of fishing . Guess the trout gods did not favor him today! Yes, I know, deep down inside he wants to catch carp!

Certainly planning to return to Quail, I am sure there must be some monsters in there somewhere !

All told, was a great morning out and a steady haul from Quail.

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I would think with pike in the water the carp would be thinned out, but then again the pike may prefer trout instead...;-)

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I would think with pike in the water the carp would be thinned out, but then again the pike may prefer trout instead...;-)

Those pesky northerns will eat anything they can swallow. Here's a 14 inch pike swallowing a 10 in trout.

post-1122-0-24027000-1346560836_thumb.jp

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Haven't posted on here in a long time.. Just thought I should let y'all know this is a nice place to fish. I've caught several 20+lb fish here. I use my own personal strawberry dough bait and it works great. I also use a crawfish flavored dough bait that works well too. I would recommend Willow Springs Ponds down in the fountain/widefield area if you really want to catch the monsters. I've caught a 33lb grasser and a 28 lb common there. More specifically on the larger lake, farthest side from where you park.

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Wanted to point out that my profile picture was taken at quail lake on the closest pier to the dam. One of the first carp I ever caught. He gave me the "bug". I actually caught him on crawfish tail accidentally.

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I am looking forwards already to springtime next year when the waters are clear and the carp ready for some spring action ! Perhaps i'll be brave and venture out in the new year to find some open water, not sure what won't be frozen here over winter!

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I shall have to add Willow Springs Ponds, to my 2013 venues - sounds like it could have some great potential ! Thanks !

John

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Inphamous - If you are still in the Colorado Springs area, drop me a email (merydian@msn.com) /or message here, would love to "hook" up this year for some Carp hunting in our local springs areas. Now, if the ice would just melt life would be good - at present would need dynamite to get a bait out and into the waters here! grrrrrrrrrrrrr..............

John

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Finally managed to get down to Quail Lake last Friday morning after work, 3/8/2013. It was a cold, dreary and overcast day, temps in the low 30s when I arrived and only managed to creep up to high 40's by the time I departed. The lake had some open water to the south and east sides, it was still frozen solid to the north and north west banks. Having fished here successully last year I had a possitive feeling and knew some good spots where I thought the carp would be hanging out, basically, down the margins and near the weed beds.

I fished 2 rods, both with my usual panko/packbait, unflavlored sweetcorn cramming the hook from a distance of perhaps 10ft-10 yards out from the weeds. Sadly the morning wasn't too productive. I was hounded by the trout and was sure they gobbled down greadily anything I threw out there. I landed 3 of them and a few more got away. Urg. Once the sun appeared through the clouds the ice around the western shore turned to a mud pile and I was forced to evacuate that are and head to the eastern bank.

Spent another couple of hours fishing from the east bank, perhaps 30 yards out, where the lake drops off to deeper water. I had a couple of carp out of that spot last year. My chilly and frustrating day was culminated with yet another trout on the bank and finally 3 decent runs, likely carp, where each time the fish came off and was lost.

Finally called it a day around 2:45pm and headed home. On the plus side I had gotten some good runs, on the negative I certainly was suffering from some kind of rig failure. This year I had been using a 9" leader, about 3-4" longer than last year - perhaps that was the difference. I'd also run out of my usual "carp hooks" and was using some smaller ones that I had left over. I reckon my rig change and the longer leader was resulting in the poor hook hold. I shall certainly be addressing my terminal tackle issues before my next trip out (hopefully, that is, if my hook order arrives before this Friday).

I again continued with my endeavors of video blogging, and uploaded the final cut-down version earlier today. Here's the link incase you're curious.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/38ZOIJXzuas

I shall likely return to Quail Lake, or perhaps WIllow Springs again this Friday - forecast is the weather may hit 70F - oh yes ! toasty !


John

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I returned to Quail Lake today for my second session at this venue this year. With but a month left officially of "winter" I was determined to finally see a carp in my net and on the bank. I fished the East shore again from 8am, same spot as last week, with both rods, unflavored sweet corn and my usual panko packbait. Both baits were straight out at the 30-40 yard range where the lake drops off into slightly deeper water. Weather reports were good with predicted temps reaching the low 70s'.

Well, my day started out immediately with a take, reeled in and had the "usual" stocker trout on the end - well, almost the end - the trout had actually trailed into my line, with a snapped of "multi hook trout rig" still in it's mouth. I removed the meter or so of terminal line and hook from the trout and returned it once again to the waters. I am sure it was one happy, and lucky!, fish to be swimming free again! Around 9am, another trout, so far this day was turning into a deja-vu session of last week. Another trout released, bait out there again.

Another angler stopped by, someone I had met last year at Pikeview, he was also down at Quail Fishing for carp - thus, I am officially now _not_ the only C&R active carp fisherman i've met in person here in Colorado Springs. I gave him my contact details and those for CAG website, hopefully he will stop on by this site, or drop me a line and we can get out fishing again in the future. He noted that he had also fished Willow Springs (my venue a few weeks back) and last year had a grasser out of the large pond and a common from the small pond. Useful information to note.

Around 9:30am another local stopped by to see my carp setup. I have seen him before down at Quail and he fishes for trout but also sells his own homemade metal rod holder with spring loaded action to "automatically" hook the fish. We chatted for a while and as he was about to depart when the left rod, whose bait was about 30 yards out, went screaming off, alarm screeching. "Fish-on" and this certainly was not a trout. A 5 minute struggle later and my first "winter" carp was in the net, Mr. Spring-Loaded Rod Holder helped me net it - good chap!

To say I was elated at finally seeing a slab of gold lying in the Carp Cradle Deluxe, is an understatement. Not only had I managed to catch a "winter" carp in Colorado but I had also put an end to the 10 session blank-fest for carp that started near the end of last year. The little beauty weighed in at 11 lbs. Mr Spring-Loaded Rod Holder departed leaving me to take some video of my prize. He seemed impressed that a carp of this size was in Quail Lake but did also mention that Runyon Lake/Ponds to the South of Colorado Springs held many more large carp. (mental note, best go checkout Runyon one of these days). Needing a photo to get this fish scored for TOKS another local angler dropped on by and assisted. Video and photo taken the fish was returned to the chilly water.

Quail_Lake-3-15-13-Fish1_zps1be06ab0.jpg

A common theme is that the local anglers, though not fishing for carp, are interested to see them, curious about the setup, gear and tactics used and generally helpful either with assisting with the landing of the fish, or taking some pictures when needed.

Well, the rest of the day was quiet, trout after trout hounded me but at least the sun did finally manage to emerge around lunchtime and temperatures climbed to just around 70. Throughout the day many more locals stopped by to chat, mostly curious about my DIY rod-pod, or the carp cradle - it gave me a chance to talk them about C&R carp fishing. I am getting the sense that most of them now see me as some crazed foreigner! One local mentioned that a couple of German lads fished the lake regularly and caught carp to eat. Ironically those two lads did actually make an appearance around lunchtime and seemed quite perplexed that I would return to the waters such a "tasty" morsel. Each to his own I guess ! Interesting to note that many people i've talked to this year are fishing almost literally for their "supper" - a sign of the times and bad economy perhaps ?

I packed up around 2pm and headed home, my coffee and packbait both exhasted. Will be another week before I can make it out to the bankside again. Likely will try Willow Springs, perhaps Prospect, or Runyon. If I have the time this weekend I want to checkout Chatfield Reservoir up West of Denver to scout it for a potential fishing/camping spot later this year. I'll try to get the video footage of this session edited so I can post the "CarpQuest Colorado 2013" update to Youtube and will include a link here once completed.

Regards & Fin's Up !

John

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Finally got the video for this session posted up to youtube.

http://youtu.be/zFg-NYB8Rz0

for some reason the embedding of the youtube video's isn't working - most weird !

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Good stuff John! Really brings up memories of my childhood in Colorado Sprgs...:)

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Another nice Sunny day was spent at Quail Lake this past Sunday, 14th April. The day started off amusing. As I was setting up my first rod on the pod, lifted it up to readjust, and hooked a line running left-right across my swim (that's what I get for having my hook dangling in the water whilst I setup!). Pulled in about 50 yards or so of heavy weeded line and guess what, on the end of the line, a small carp, about 2.5 lbs, looking up at me with those carpy eyes! I removed the hook and set it free to swim again. So, 1 carp banked and not even got bait on my hook - the day was starting well !

I was fishing with someone from our local Fishing forums, my latest convert to Carp fishing. He was pretty sickened that I had caught the 1st carp of the day, by hauling in yet another anglers broken off line - obviously CAG members don't even need to bait their hook or cast their lines to haul in the carp !!!

Today we switched things up from corn packed on the hook to big-bobs corn on the hair with a piece of enterprise floating corn to tip it off with. Given the run of hook pulls i've experienced recently I wanted to give the hair rigs another try to convince myself I would get some better hook holds. These rigs were paired up with Korda Kaptor hooks. We were both using panko based packbaits.

The morning was good, my comrade banked his first ever common carp, a pretty 7 lb 8oz 'er that did not come in without a good fight on his 6ft rod. Seeing him hold that carp up for a photo I know that's another convert to carp secured ! Just before 11am I got a good run and a while later banked a fiesty 15 lb 2oz common, to date, my biggest carp from this venue. The rumors I keep hearing of 20+ monsters lurking in Quail's watery depths may be true - that's if they can avoid the crew of germans that regularly fish Quail for carp for food !

We caught our obligatory couple of trout and ended the afternoon around 4pm and headed home. All told, a good days fishing on a remarkably nice and sunny spring afternoon here in Colorado - only downside, was the wind really picked up in the afternoon.

I'll try to get the video editted and posted and some pics later.

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Update video, widescreen, of the carp captures from Quail on Sunday.

http://youtu.be/-bPQv0L_w4k

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QUAIL LAKE UPDATE:

Just one more session at Quail Lake so far this year near the end of April. Did bank a nice 6 lb common in sunny, albeit quite windy conditions. Some on my carping colleagues continued to fish Quail this summer and have been successful in landing a few carp in the low singles. Quail, much like Runyon, appears to be dominated with smaller fish, between 2-7 lbs on average. I have banked a couple of doubles here this year, up to 15 lb being the best. Rumors of there being a 20+ in Quail from the local fishermen are still being told but if there is a 20 in there, it's a rare old beast that has yet to show itself. The carp are certainly spawning and surviving in Quail in good numbers. There is also a contingent of overseas fishermen that subsistence fish this lake for carp for their dinner. I met a few of them, ironically on a day as I was releasing my 15 lb'er, they were bemused that I was letting such a tasty meal return to the water ! :swimminfish:

Quail lake is a VERY popular family venue for both walking, picnics and fishing. During the peak season fishermen are almost shoulder to shoulder along the bank with their lines cast out all over the place (and each other) in the search for the stocker trout and the northern pike that inhabit this water. I made a conscious decision to avoid this lake during peak season. I would like to get in another session or two before winter and the ice sets in , we shall see if I manage to get myself down there and the lines in the water.

Tight-lines,

John

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