September is primetime for late summer fishing, and local residents in Baca County are lucky enough to have opportunities to catch fish close to home.
“We got just enough precipitation this spring to revitalize Two Buttes Reservoir and we recently drilled a new well at Turk’s Pond to help maintain water levels to improve fishing opportunities there,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife Manager Aaron Bartleson.
Both reservoirs were stocked earlier this year, and there are plans to stock them again before year’s end.
Turks Pond has crappie, channel catfish, wiper, bass, bluegill, saugeye, trout and black bullheads. Two Buttes has crappie, bass, saugeye and blue catfish.
As shorter days usher in cooler weather, fishing will improve greatly. As an added bonus, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will put trout in the local fishing holes in October to add even more fun for anglers.
Because Two Buttes was dry for so long, the best fishing at Two Buttes is for crappie, but most fish are on the small size because there hasn’t been a lot of time for the fish to grow. A project to strengthen the dam should help improve fishing conditions for years to come.
According to Bartleson, the population of decent-sized black bullheads at Turks Pond has increased dramatically. “Anglers can catch one almost every cast when targeting bullheads with bottom baits,” he said.
Bullheads strike hard and are notoriously stubborn fighters. Rolled in cornmeal and fried, they are delicious.
Night crawlers are a common bullhead bait but chunks of hot dogs or bacon are good and chicken livers are hard to beat. Bartleson said that he’s never tried it, but he’s heard that soaking worms in red beet juice makes them more enticing. People who swear by it say that it toughens a worm’s “hide,” making it harder for a bullhead to steal it off the hook.
A word of caution, bullheads are very sensitive to sunscreen, gasoline or any solvent that gets on bait, so be careful to avoid getting it on your hook, line or bait.
Bartleson notes that there are so many bullheads in Turks Pond they are starting to take over. He encourages the harvest of bullheads to help restore a healthy balance to the fish population.
Bartleson said there is no bag limit on black bullheads, so anglers can keep every fish they catch. “We really appreciate that anglers are stepping up to catch bullheads to help other sport fish flourish,” said Bartleson.
Now is the perfect time to get out and enjoy Colorado’s outdoors. Try for some crappie at Two Buttes or give the non-stop action for bullheads at Turk’s Pond a try.
For more information about fishing in Colorado, visit the CPW website at www.wildlife.state.cous/Fishing.
Logo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife