Fishing Close to Home: Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area
Getting in quality fishing time lately has been extremely hard. I sneak away some lunchtimes, but no luck. I really don’t want to eat outside on a patio away from air conditioning when it’s hot, so I understand why the fish aren’t biting. Lazy fishes, don’t they realize that I have deadlines?
To increase my chances for success, I wait for the cooler temperatures of the evening to take a short trip to Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area in northwest Denver. Once the rush hour passes on nearby I-76, and the traffic noise fades to be replaced by the sounds of red-winged blackbirds, mourning doves, mallards and rustling cattails, the area becomes a relaxing setting. I take a short walk from the parking area, find a spot, kick off my shoes and cool my feet in the water as I begin to cast.
My only company is a bluegill that stays within a few feet of my feet in the water. It stares at me, taunting me. I run the lures by the fish, over it, around it. Nothing. The bluegill ignores some, follows some, runs from others, which gives me advice straight from the fish’s mouth. One lure he chased soon after hooks a bass.
A bit later a leech catches me. I haven’t thought of leeches in years, but I also haven’t been standing barefooted in muck in years. I take pics and video of the creature, the fascination overpowering the yuck factor. When I am done with the leech I toss it to the bluegill. Not sure if the bluegill enjoys or ignores my treat, but I have to reward him, he is the best companion of the day.
Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area:
Location: West of Lowell Blvd. on 56th Way.
Description: 43 acres. Fishing in warm-water ponds for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, crappie and bullhead catfish. Picnicking, hiking and wildlife viewing.
Agency: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Comments: Minimum size for largemouth and smallmouth bass is 15 inches long. Open year round; one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. Boating prohibited except float tubes for fishing.