Blue Mesa Yellow Perch

BlueMesaIce

Ice fishers find yellow perch near a steep cliff at Blue Mesa Reservoir

Blue Mesa Reservoir – The pile of yellow perch in front of Cally Westcoat grew larger during the day. Although she and her fishing partner Colt Emich saw periods of slow action, there were times when she could not get her lure to the bottom before another perch was on her line. When the catch was tallied at the end of the day, Cally, Colt and Dan Emich had reduced the perch population by 72.

A school of hungry perch foraging below keeps Cally Westcoat so busy she does not have time to tie her bootlaces.

A school of hungry perch foraging below keeps Cally Westcoat so busy she does not have time to tie her bootlaces.

A small jigging spoon, a light rod, and a delicate touch were the right stuff for putting scores of small perch on the ice.

A small jigging spoon, a light rod and a delicate touch were the right stuff for putting scores of small perch on the ice.

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Blue Mesa Reservoir’s growing population of yellow perch is a concern for the overall health of the fishery. Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages anglers to keep all perch for the table, regardless of their size.

If you go:

  • Look for schools of yellow perch near shore in 20- to 30-feet of water
  • Groups of Ice fishers near shore might be an indication of perch activity
  • Use light rods spooled with four- to six-pound test fishing line
  • Small (1/8 oz.) jigging spoons in any bright color
  • Tip the spoon with a single mealworm or wax worm
  • Jig near the bottom around rocks or vegetation
  • Set the hook at the slightest tap

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