Colorado > Ice Fishing Colorado

Colorado River Pikeminnow... 80 lbs!

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Historical perspective:

In the early 1900s landing Colorado pikeminnow estimated at 20 to 80 pounds gave some anglers the thrill of a lifetime, according to a research document published by the Upper Colorado River Recovery Program.

"I pitched that green frog out there and this (Colorado pikeminnow) hit it, just about straight across, and he ran down that fast water, riffles, and took out about 200 feet of line before I turned him around," the report quotes Maybell, Colo., resident Gene Bittler as saying. "It was one of the most thrilling fish I ever caught if you want to know the truth."

The report, "Historical accounts of upper Colorado River Basin endangered fish," is based on more than 100 interviews conducted last year with senior citizens in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The document includes historic photos of the fish as well as residents' first-hand accounts of catching, cooking and eating the now-endangered Colorado pikeminnow.
Anglers reported catching voracious Colorado pikeminnow on everything from swallows and mice to earthworms and chunks of chicken or rabbit.
Tim Merchant of Green River, Wyo., said his grandfather caught pikeminnow using chicken parts to bait multiple hooks on a clothesline. His grandfather tied the line to the bumper of his truck and waited. "When (the line) went tight, they'd just back the truck up and drag those fish out on the bank," Merchant said. "They were as big as a junior high school kid, 90 pounds. That's a big fish."

Anglers told of Colorado pikeminnow that were up to 5 feet long and 80 or more pounds; most recalled pikeminnow in the range of 20 to 40 pounds. Many of the seniors said they used Colorado pikeminnow for food, especially during the Depression.


Couple of hogs there for sure. Dunno if I buy 80lbs....20 maybe....biggest I've caught is 6 and it was a bloody hog. Biggest I've SEEN  was probably 10-12.....I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that ol monster cruise by. The pic on the far right is majorly over-stated.....that fish might weight 10 lbs, not anywhere near 25.

wow those are some different looking fish

ive heard of them but didnt think they got very big

They don't...usually....average maybe 20" where I'm from....but I pull em out every year bigger than 5 lbs. Never cracked the 7lb mark yet though....been close....longest I ever got was 29"...only 5 1/2 lbs...real thin

Are you are talking about catching the Northern Pikeminnow? Weights of over 7 pounds have been reported in Montana, with weights of nearly 30 pounds reported from Canada. If so, do you catch them ice fishing and do they put up much of a fight?


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