Black bass are not native to Colorado, but today they provide one of the state’s most exciting angling challenges. Largemouth Bass were introduced to the Centennial State as far back as 1878, with smallmouth bass following in the 1950s. They thrive in Colorado’s deep, clear reservoirs, and these five lakes provide the best chances of hooking a trophy.
This 15,000-acre lake extends over the New Mexico border. There are some big largemouth bass around, but Navajo reservoir is primarily a smallmouth lake, with great opportunities to load up on fish in the 3-pound class. Shallow flats provide some of the best action, and soft plastics on a drop-shot rig are a local favorite.
At just 27 acres, Stalker Lake would be easy to overlook, but this tiny reservoir is one of the best largemouth bass lakes in the state. Spinnerbaits, topwaters and soft plastics work like a charm around weed beds, submerged stumps and drop-offs, and the lake’s small size makes it great for exploring by canoe, kayak or float tube.
Despite being managed historically as a trout lake, 1,900-acre Horsetooth Reservoir has developed into an outstanding smallmouth bass fishery, with some of the best action taking place around rocky ledges and rip-rap shorelines.
This 4,000-acre reservoir contains populations of largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. Smallmouths are the most abundant species, but largemouth bass typically grow bigger in Pueblo Reservoir, with lots of fish 16 inches and larger having been caught in surveys by the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife.
McPhee Lake is the second-largest reservoir in Colorado at 4,470 acres, and its reputation for bass fishing has only grown with the numerous tournaments held in recent years. You can catch lots of smallmouths around rocky shores in spring and summer, particularly in the House, Beaver, and Plateau creek arms of the reservoir. Largemouths are less common, but you can find some big ones around weeds.