Fishing North Sterling Reservoir CO, Spots, Gear, Species

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North Sterling Reservoir, located in northeastern Colorado, is a popular destination for anglers seeking a variety of freshwater angling experiences. The reservoir’s history is intertwined with its creation in the 1950s, as it was built primarily for irrigation and water supply purposes. Over the years, it has evolved into a recreational haven, attracting anglers from both local communities and beyond. In this article everything you need to know about fishing North Sterling Reservoir.

The reservoir’s natural surroundings play a significant role in its fishing appeal. Set against a backdrop of rolling plains and wide open skies. The landscape offers a serene and tranquil environment for those seeking a peaceful fishing excursion. The water body spans a considerable area, providing different fishing zones that cater to various preferences and skill levels.

When it comes to fishing, North Sterling Reservoir boasts a diverse range of fish species. Anglers can cast their lines in pursuit of game fish like walleye, bass, and trout. Each offering a distinct challenge and experience. Walleye, in particular, have become a signature species at the reservoir, drawing in dedicated anglers looking for that prized catch. The reservoir is also home to catfish, which add an exciting dimension to night fishing endeavors.

Over the years, fishing practices at North Sterling Reservoir have evolved in harmony with conservation efforts. Fisheries management has been crucial in maintaining healthy fish populations and preserving the delicate ecosystem. Regulations, such as catch and release policies for certain species or size restrictions, have been put in place to ensure the sustainability of the fishery.

In terms of the overall fishing experience, North Sterling Reservoir offers a mix of solitude and camaraderie. Anglers can find quiet spots along the shoreline or venture out onto the water in boats, embracing the tranquility of nature.

Water Levels in The Reservoir

Water levels in North Sterling Reservoir can fluctuate due to a combination of factors, including precipitation, snowmelt, water demand for irrigation, and water management practices. The reservoir is primarily used for irrigation purposes, so its water levels can vary significantly throughout the year based on these factors.

During the spring and early summer months, water levels often rise due to snowmelt from the surrounding mountains and increased precipitation. This period of higher water levels coincides with the growing season and the demand for water in the agricultural region surrounding the reservoir.

As summer progresses and irrigation demands peak, water levels might start to recede. Water is released from the reservoir to fulfill irrigation needs in the agricultural areas downstream. This can lead to a gradual decrease in the reservoir’s water levels.

Fish Types North Sterling Reservoir

Fishing North Sterling Reservoir offers anglers an enticing array of fish species, each contributing to the dynamic and exciting fishing experience in the lake. The reservoir’s diverse fish populations include walleye, bass, trout, catfish, and more, each playing a specific role in shaping the fishing landscape.


Walleye, a prized game fish, are one of the most sought-after species when fishing North Sterling Reservoir. Known for their elusive nature and challenging behavior, walleye offer anglers a thrilling pursuit. These fish tend to be more active during low-light hours, making dawn and dusk prime times for walleye fishing. Anglers often employ techniques like jigging or trolling with artificial lures to attract these cautious predators. Walleye populations impact fishing by providing a premier challenge, drawing experienced anglers who relish the opportunity to master the art of catching this species.

Bass Fishing North Sterling Reservoir

Bass, including both largemouth and smallmouth varieties, add another layer of excitement to fishing North Sterling Reservoir. With their aggressive strikes and energetic fights, bass are popular targets for anglers seeking an adrenaline-pumping experience. The diversity of bass habitats, from submerged structures to weed beds, encourages anglers to adapt their fishing techniques. Topwater lures and soft plastics are common choices for bass fishing, creating a dynamic and versatile approach to angling.


Trout enthusiasts are not left disappointed when fishing North Sterling Reservoir. The reservoir is stocked with rainbow trout, providing opportunities for both novice and seasoned anglers to reel in these vibrant and acrobatic fish. Trout fishing can vary based on the time of year, water temperatures, and stocking schedules. Anglers often focus on using baits like spinners, flies, or baited hooks to entice trout into striking. The presence of rainbow trout diversifies the angling experience, particularly for those who appreciate the delicate balance of finesse and technique required to catch these swift swimmers.

Catfishing North Sterling Reservoir

Catfish, including channel and blue catfish, introduce a distinct aspect to fishing North Sterling Reservoir. These nocturnal predators come alive at night, offering a unique opportunity for night fishing adventures. Anglers interested in catfish often rely on bottom fishing tactics with bait such as stink bait, chicken liver, or cut bait. The thrill of battling a powerful catfish under the starlit sky adds an element of mystery and anticipation to the overall fishing experience.

Seasonal Patterns

Seasonal patterns play a crucial role in shaping the fishing experience at North Sterling Reservoir, influencing fish behavior, habitat preferences, and angler tactics throughout the year. These patterns contribute to the dynamic and ever-changing nature of fishing in the reservoir.


As the snow begins to melt and temperatures rise, the arrival of spring triggers significant changes in fish behavior. Warmer water temperatures stimulate increased metabolic activity among fish species. This often leads to more active feeding behavior, making spring an optimal time for anglers to target a variety of species.

During spring, many fish species, including walleye and bass, move closer to the shallower shorelines to seek out warmer water and potential spawning areas. Anglers can take advantage of this by casting along the edges of these shallows, using techniques like jigs, crankbaits, and soft plastics. The springtime increase in water flow from melting snow can also attract fish to areas where underwater currents concentrate food.


Summer can influence fish behavior and habitat preferences. As the water heats up, fish may retreat to deeper, cooler waters during the heat of the day, becoming less active and more selective in their feeding habits.

For anglers targeting species like walleye and bass, the early morning and late evening hours often offer the best chances for success. These times coincide with lower light conditions and slightly cooler temperatures, when fish are likely to be near the surface. Techniques like topwater lures and shallow diving crankbaits can prove effective during these times.

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The transition into fall prompts another shift in fish behavior as they prepare for the cooler months ahead. Many fish species, including walleye, begin to actively feed in anticipation of winter. In fall fish become more energetic and less discerning when it comes to feeding.

During fall, fishing North Sterling Reservoir can be particularly rewarding, as fish are often found in shallower waters again, making them more accessible to anglers. Techniques such as casting jigs, using live bait, or trolling can yield positive results. As the reservoir experiences a gradual cooling, a resurgence in fish activity occurs. Offering a final opportunity for anglers to make memorable catches before winter.


Winter’s chill brings about a slower pace to fishing North Sterling Reservoir. Cold water temperatures cause fish metabolism to decrease, leads to less feeding. Many fish species, including bass and walleye, tend to become less active during this time.

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However, some species, like catfish, remain active throughout the winter. Catfish are often found in deeper waters where the temperatures become stable. Patient anglers can still target these hardy fish using bottom-fishing tactics with bait that emits strong scents, as catfish rely heavily on their sense of smell to locate food.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, North Sterling Reservoir emerges as a dynamic and captivating fishing destination, seamlessly blending history, nature, and angling adventure. With a diverse range of fish populations, from elusive walleye and energetic bass to vibrant trout and hardy catfish. The reservoir’s seasonal rhythms offer anglers a multifaceted experience. From the thrill of reeling in prized catches to the tranquility of the reservoir’s serene surroundings. Fishing North Sterling Reservoir becomes an immersive journey that resonates with both seasoned enthusiasts and those seeking a memorable outdoor escape.