Chatfield Reservoir is known for its more than 25 miles of shoreline where anglers can enjoy plenty of great fishing. Whether you fish from a boat or the shore, you’ll have a good chance of catching rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, walleye, sunfish, yellow perch, and channel catfish. You can find a few quiet places to fish in the reservoir’s “no wake” zones.
There are boat ramps and a marina at the reservoir, and the best fishing spots are near the inlets and outlets, cliffs, and shore banks. There are also usually large groups of smallmouth bass over the gravel pits in the south end of the lake during spring and summer. Take note that fishing is prohibited within 100 feet of the dam. No fishing is allowed within 100 feet of the walleye spawning nets during spawning season (March 1st – April 15th).
Bluegill spawns in shallower waters in spring, and they move to weed lines, mudflats, and deeper waters in summer. The best time to catch trophy-sized Bluegill is in autumn, often at depths of 15 feet and below. They tend to swim near coves, bluffs, and dock edges in winter. Bass is less active and can be challenging to catch during the winter months.
Live bait and jigging spoons are popular choices for fishing in the reservoir. Dropshot rigs and deep-diving crank baits work well for bass during summer as they move to deeper, cooler waters. Nightcrawlers, red wigglers, mealworms, and salmon eggs make great bait for rainbow trout. Bluegills have smaller mouths and require smaller bait, such as minnows, maggots, crickets, and snails.
The minimum bag limit for walleyes is 3 fish with a minimum length of 18”. You may only take 1 walleye longer than 21” per day. The minimum length for bass is 15”.