Fishing Trip FAQ

We understand that booking a guided fishing trip for the first time can be a bit confusing so we put together a list of our most fishing trip faq (s) to help answer any questions you may have and/or ones that you haven’t even thought of yet.

Pre Trip Questions

We now offer an online Booking Request Form for those who wish to book online.

We offer a Standard Trip which is 4 hours and an Extended Trip which is 6 hours. Our Standard trip is our most popular option and we usually only recommend the Extended trip for those looking to trophy fish.

Of course, you can. We can’t guarantee our guides will have availability on your requested trip date but we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Yes, you can. We have several different types of boats and with enough lead time, can usually accommodate your need to request a specific type of boat.

We encourage booking in advance when requesting one of our pontoon boats.

Our guides have fully equipped boats with all the fishing gear needed to have a successful day out on the water.

We are also fully stocked in life jackets to fit all ages and sizes. Kids 12 and under are required to wear a life jacket but if you are older than 12 and want to wear one we are happy to get one out for you.

When booking a trip with GSO Fishing we do not require you to pay a deposit to hold your spot.

Because the fishing conditions on Blue Mesa are always changing, and since there are multiple boat ramps, your guide will contact you 2-3 days before your trip to work out the details like start time and which boat ramp you will be meeting at.

What To Bring:

  • Lunch, Snacks, and Drinks
  • Sunscreen – An absolute must! The sun at our altitude can be very intense and burns skin easily.
  • Proper clothing for various weather conditions (coat, hat, gloves, sweater, long sleeve shirt, long pants, UV clothing if you have it. Be sure to dress in layers)
  • Cooler for transporting fish home (ice/cold packs are always helpful to keep your fish cool if you have a long drive home.)

Additional Items To Consider Bringing:

  • Sunglasses
  • Camera/GoPro
  • Blanket (if you get cold easily we recommend bringing a blanket to put over your legs for the boat ride. It can get a little chilly in the early morning.)
  • Kid Activities: Toys, Books, Coloring books, etc.

For more helpful tips on what to bring/wear read our article on Dressing In Layers.

Our ideal start time is between 6:00 and 6:30 am but we know that isn’t always an option. Our guides will call you and work with your schedule for your trip start time. We encourage the earlier the better since fishing conditions are usually best first thing in the morning.

Because the fishing conditions on Blue Mesa are always changing, and since there are multiple boat ramps, your guide will contact you 2-3 days before your trip to discuss which boat ramp you will meet at.

Visit our Boat Ramps page to see photos, and interactive google maps to each of the boat ramps.

We offer afternoon and evening trips but morning trips are much better due to wind conditions. The wind picks up in the early afternoon and can blow really hard. For the comfort of our clients, we encourage them to book early morning fishing trips when the conditions and the fishing is at their best.

These are private charters/trips so you will not share the boat with any other people.

The average gratuity on a guide trip is 20%-25%.
Our first priority is our clients having a wonderful trip. There are many factors that a guide can’t control, such as weather, other boats, and the fishing. There are also many factors that we can control. The booking process, boat cleanliness, our attitude during the trip, conversation with our clients, our work ethic, thinking outside the box when fishing is tough, etc. All of these factors take a trip from good to great no matter what the conditions are.
Some of our clients save up for years for their trip and can’t afford a big tip, some don’t realize that you should tip your guide, some just don’t tip, and some tip very well. No matter what, we appreciate every person who comes fishing with us.

Fish Limits, C&R, & Species

Of course! You are more than welcome to catch and release any of the fish caught during your trip.

Trout (Rainbow & Brown Trout): 4 Per Person

Kokanee Salmon: 5 Per Person

Lake Trout: (Blue Mesa Limit) Unlimited but only one allowed over 32″

Perch: Unlimited

GSO Trophy Policy: We ask that anything 24″ and longer be released back into Blue Mesa to maintain Blue Mesa’s trophy fish population. Photographs and measurements will be made if you want to have your catch turned into a replica mount.

Yes. On trolling trips, if you catch your limit of Salmon we can also fish for Brown Trout and Rainbow trout.

On Salmon jigging trips this isn’t usually an option because we start later in the day and we use different gear for trolling vs. jigging.

Fishing Licenses

Anyone who is 16 or older must have a Colorado fishing license that is valid the day of your trip.

Children don’t need a fishing license in Colorado until they turn 16 years old.

Yes. In Colorado, you can buy a one-day fishing license. When purchasing, you must make sure that it is valid the day of your fishing trip.

Cleaning The Fish

No, you don’t. Your guide will clean all of the fish for you. You can request to have them cleaned and fillet however you wish.

If you are looking for some great recipes, we have an entire Pinterest Board dedicated to Salmon, Trout, and Perch recipes. We have everything from Chili Lime Salmon to Lemon Pepper Parmesan Trout to Fish Tacos, Foil Dinners, Fish N Chips, and more! There is definitely something for every tastebud and/or culinary need. We hope you enjoy!

Definitely give these guide favorites a try for your next Taco Tuesday!

Guide Ryan VanLanen’s Easy Fish Tacos

Guide Cody Rowe’s Cajun Fish Tacos

Other FAQs

By law, children 12 and younger must wear a life jacket on the boat. We will provide life jackets for everyone.

If you are wanting to stay out near the lake we recommend:

Arrowhead Mountain Lodge –  They are a 13 room lodge with a restaurant and full bar. They also feature live music in the Summer and their chef will cook your day’s catch for you after your fishing trip!

Sapinero Village Campground: Kendal & Joe Rota offer several different types of lodging, a general store you can shop at, as well as host many evening activities like food trucks and live music! Be sure to stop in and say hi to the Rota’s the next time you are at the lake.

If you are staying in town, there are definitely lodging choices to fit everyone’s needs.

KOA Campground

Quality Inn

Holiday Inn Express 

The Gunnison Inn @ Dos Rios

There are even more great lodging opportunities available in and around Gunnison. Visit our local Gunnison Chamber of Commerce website for more details.

Since our guides operate out of their own boats we ask that you check with your guide before bringing a dog on your trip.

Yes, we can absolutely stop for bathroom breaks.

Yes. You can absolutely end the trip early if you don’t want to fish for the full 4 hours but you will still be responsible for paying the full price of the trip.

Have a question that you don’t see answered here. Visit our Contact Us page and give us a call, email us, or message us on Facebook.