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JohnFinney

Colorado 2015 - Master Angler Awards and year end report

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I had thought this was posted earlier in the year, alas, either I didn't post it, or it vaporized, so here it is again !

Colorado 2015 - Master Angler Awards and year end report.

The "Highs"

2015 was another good year for catch and release carp fishing here in Colorado. With the aid of the "CAG Colorado Challenge 2015" event, we had a good number of anglers across the state submitting proudly their photo's of carp, released, to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife MA program. Stats remained flat year on year, from 2014 to 2015, with 46 carp being submitted, 41 commons, 5 grass carp for a total of 46 fish. The uptick was in 2015, NO carp were submitted for the "Kept" category - hopefully a great step in the right direction. I usually only submit a couple of fish per year to this program (common and grass carp), else the stats/page would be a wee bit skewed ! 

"Mile High" carp fishing continues to be very popular with the fly fishermen, whom again hosted their "Trout Unlimited" Carp Slam event on the South Platte river last year for charity. The number of bank anglers for carp steadily increases as does the positive dialogue on local fishing forums. The South Platte River, in Denver, remains the "golden mile" for urban fly fishing. The big three reservoirs remain popular for carp and produced a steady stream of captures, Chatfield, Pueblo and Cherry Creek. A 30 lb'er was caught at Chatfield last year, and released. 

Tightline Outdoors, a local outfitter, hosted Colorado's first Catch & Release Carp Tournament at Lake Arbor in fall. The event was attended by over 20 anglers. It was won by a young 15 yr old lad, whom had never fished for carp before. He was very pleased to go home $1000 the richer. Though I did manage to blank during the event it was great to meet and talk to other anglers interested in carp fishing. TLO will be hosting the event again this year, on July 9th, again at Lake Arbor. The permit was a nightmare for them to obtain so there was only a couple of weeks notice for anglers to sign up and attend. Fingers crossed, it will be another good turn-out.

Membership wise, we remain steady at "2". We lost a member in 2015 and gained a new one. I hope to encourage a few more anglers to sign-up, this is still a work in progress. We did have an impromptu CAG member local fish-in, with myself and Andrew Holt. We banked a ton of carp and had a great time. If only we could grow the membership then others would come to realize just how much more fun it is to share the bank with other like minded individuals; we could then start hosting events with a far greater turnout and audience to the locals.

The "Low's"

During 2015 we had record rain and flooding across the state. Many of the usual big water and big fish venues suffered badly. Hopefully 2016 the weather will be more stable and these venues will again return to their full potential with regards to carp fishing. Late Summer through Fall in 2015 was excellent for fishing with 80%+ of the big fish captures coming in the months of Aug thru Oct.

Catch and kill hunting/fishing for carp remains a staple for many in Colorado. There are still plenty of Colorado State Parks and local communities that sponsor and support kill tournaments, either with bow, or rod & line. There were 5 state sanctioned bow fishing tournaments in Colorado last year and the plan is for 5 further events throughout 2016. One particular venue (Barr State Park) had over 1 ton of carp removed during an additional "round-up" event, with the majority of the fish being very small. The officials at this park have even gone so far to announce in 2016 they will be obtaining a number of "carp" shaped targets to add to their collection of archery targets used in their training and education programs for youth archery !

Chumming remains illegal in the state of Colorado though many carp anglers are using packbaits - this keeps the bait "on the line/hool when cast" and thus meets the letter of the wording of the law. Debate and confusion continues on the use of PVA - so anglers, beware!

Colorado has a 2-rod limit (with the purchase of a 2nd rod stamp). I have submitted a couple of "Citizen" petitions (one in 2014 and one in 2015) to have the rod limit raised to 3, however these have gone nowhere.


Closing

2016 is set to be another great year here for carp fishing in Colorado. We have some stunning fish, both commons and mirrors, with many venues holding 20s and some with very rare 30s. If you are looking for a Mile-High opportunity to wet your line and hold a stunning wild fish in your hands, then Colorado should be on your list of places to visit ! By all means drop me a PM, or message if you are looking to come to Colorado to fish for carp, I can certainly provide assistance, local information and advice.

 

MA Awards For 2015: (angler, size in ", venue)

large.577c071ddb1a8_CPWMAAwardsStats2015.jpg

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Thanks for the report, John. Pretty impressive to see all those 30s being reported.

 

 

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