How to Catch a Tiger Muskie in Colorado? An Easy Guide That Works

Colorado anglers that are looking for Tiger Muskies face one of the biggest challenges, as Tiger Muskies are extra hard to find there. But while it is hard, it is not impossible. In fact, I have been able to do it successfully one year after the other, and you can, too.

So, let’s get right to it;

how to catch a Tiger Muskie in Colorado? To catch a Tiger Muskie in Colorado you need to target late summer, with a medium-heavy fast action rod, a 6-to-8 gear ratio reel, bucktail or crankbait for lures, sonar units, and a musky net. You need to cast your lures in shallow waters and everywhere near weed edges and rock structures.

Read on to know more about how to cast your lures for Tiger Muskies in Colorado and never take them out without a Muskie on the hook.

What to use to catch a Tiger Muskie? 

men fishing in Colorado to illustrate how to catch tiger muskies in Colorado

Tiger Muskies’ population in Colorado is very low. They are stocked in few lakes for management purposes, they are used to get rid of the overpopulation of some species like carp and suckers which Muskies feed heavily on. That means the number of Tiger Muskies in Colorado lakes is very limited, and so are the chances to get one on the hook.

But if you used the right gear and identified the right spots and time, your chances can go way up. So what can you use to catch a Tiger Muskie? To catch a Tiger Muskies you need:

  1. Sonar unit to spot fish.
  2. 8-to-6 feet (2.5-to-1.8 meters) medium-heavy fast action rod.
  3. Good quality 6-to-8 gear ratio reel. 
  4. A 100-pound-test (45 KG) braided line and a 150-200-pound-test (68-to-90 KG) fluorocarbon leader.
  5. Highly visible lures.
  6. A musky net.

First, you need to choose the best time to catch Tiger Muskies according to Colorado weather. Late summer, late August and September, is the ideal time to try and fish for Tiger Muskies in Colorado, as they are stocked during this time of the year. The best time of the day to target them is around dawn and dusk.

Can you find them at night? You can, but your chances do get slimmer. You can check my post on catching muskies at night here for a complete guide.

Fishing for Muskies in late summer means searching in shallow waters, once the water reaches lower temperatures Muskies return to the top of bars, near rocky areas, drop-offs near the weed line, or weed lines where they feed or seek shade. 

Speed is also a very important key to maximize your chances, so make sure to retrieve fast enough to entice Tiger Muskies to catch your bait. The medium-heavy fast action rod and the 6-to-8 gear ratio reel will allow you to be fast and in control. 

You can check out the reels I use for catching muskies here as I believe that after my years of testing, these can actually be as useful to you as they were to me and hopefully bring you the same awesome catches they did me.

The best musky lure during this time of the year is bucktails. Bucktails with attractive colors entice Muskies to catch, with the ability to add blades that shine in the sun to get more attention. They’re fast, easy-to-use, and effective in catching Tiger Muskies. Topwater lures are a good alternative as well since you’ll be targeting shallow waters.

A musky net is a must when going after Tiger Muskies, these game fish love to fight their way out of a lure. Musky net provides great control and ensures both the fish safety and yours as well. It’s advisable to put the caught Tiger Muskie in the net and keep it under the water during the measurement process not to stress it out.

You must also know how to handle a Tiger Muskie right as they can be dangerous and they can even bite, and you can do that by checking my guide on handling tiger muskies safely here.

Where to Fish for Tiger Muskies in Colorado? 

So where can you fish for Tiger Muskies in Colorado? These are the places you can fish for Tiger Muskies in Colorado: 

Lower Big Creek Lake

Lower Big Creek Lake is considered the best trophy Tiger Muskie fishery in Colorado according to many anglers fishing there. Many trophy Tiger Muskies were recorded, one of them is 45 pounds, which is surprising to find in general, not only in Colorado. The lake is rich in weeds which is the primary habitat of Tiger Muskies, you’ll find no difficulty locating Muskies there.

Evergreen Lake

Evergreen Lake is one of the Colorado lakes that have big Tiger Muskies roaming around in shallow waters waiting to be caught. The state recorded a 40 inches (1 meter) Tiger Muskie caught by a little boy on a boat. Believe me, you can do it too.

The Gross Reservoir

The Gross Reservoir population of Tiger Muskies is high due to how the state stock them to control undesirable species, so a trip to Gross Reservoir is a good idea that won’t end up frustrating after all.

Pinewood Reservoir

Credit: Larimer County

Pinewood Reservoir is a good spot for catching Tiger Muskies as well, even though it might be more challenging than other places mentioned above, it still has a chance that you don’t want to miss.

Pro Tips for Catching Tiger Muskies 

Tiger Muskies are heavy hunters who feed on lots of things, however, they’re very moody and unpredictable and if they don’t feel like biting on your lure, they simply won’t. So being patient and persistent is a crucial part of catching Tiger Muskies especially in places where they are rarely found. So don’t give up and be ready to change your technique every once in a while. Here are my 7-pro-tips that can help you optimize your results when fishing for Tiger Muskies:

  1. Be fast as speed entices muskies during this hunting season of late summer, make sure to cast in your lure and reel it fast to the boat. This tip has been tried and tested with good results.
  1. Use bright red and yellow lure as these colors work very effectively around weed beds and water plants where Tiger Muskies usually stay. 
  1. Change directions of bait to trigger muskies to chase them. Going in different directions entices hungry Tiger Muskies to go after the bait.
  1. Vary your retrieve to best ensure you’re using the right speed. Sometimes they go after swift moves but sometimes they are triggered by much slower moves. The only way to know is to try.
  1. Pick areas with thick weeds and shallow rock cover where big muskies are roaming, Target weeds in the depth of 7-to-9 feet (2.5 meters), and the rocks are in the depth of 3-to-8 feet (1-to-2.5 meters).
  1. Try night fishing where the water temperature is suitable for Muskies to stay longer in the shallow water. Night fishing is also a good chance to catch muskies as they find it hard to see your boat so they’re not easily spooked. Make sure to use a highly visible lure to catch their attention in dark waters.
  1. Use the Figure 8 technique of drawing the figure in the water to gain more time to catch them before you take your lure out. For a quick tutorial of the Figure 8 technique watch this very helpful video below:

Related Questions 

What Colors Can Muskies See? 

Muskies can see all colors but in a very different way than we do. The difference in perspective is due to the lack of the third set of cones. Some argue that Muskies see colors in a way we would if we put on yellow sunglasses.

Do Tiger Muskies Bite Humans? 

Yes, Tiger Muskies bite humans, and they do it with their sharp set of teeth. However, it happens very rarely and due to other reasons than prey. Tiger Muskies like to hunt all the time, if they attack a person, which is very rare, it’s because they mistook it for something they can eat.

Helpful Resources 

Musky Fishing Tips

fish explorer Colorado

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