Sunday, December 31, 2006
You can buy everything you need to make your own sinkers and jigs at the BassPro shop - which by the way is having an After Christmas Blowout Sale on selected fishing gear!
Click here to read more about making your own sinkers, jigs and shots.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Unlike most states that only stock Rainbow trout, Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources stocks their lakes with different species of trout. Each lake is stocked with the trout species that works best for that lake.
Lucky, Kremer, Larson, and Bee Cee lakes are a few of the lakes where trout fishers can catch brown trout.
Many of Minnesota's cold waters also have Lake trout. These are trout are more challenging to catch, and are therefore highly sought after by many anglers. Catching 2-4 pound Lake trout is not that unusual. Bluewater, Trout, Canisteo Pit, and Caribou Lakes are stocked regularly with Lake trout.
In addition to Rainbow, Brown, Brook and Lake trout, some Minnesota waters also have Splake trout - which are a hybrid between Brook and Lake trout. Splake are regularly stocked at Kremmer, Larson, and Erskine Lakes.
For more information on winter trout fishing in Minnesota, click here.
For a list of trout species found in each Minnesota lake, click here.
Friday, December 29, 2006
At least 16 urban areas in the greater Houston area are scheduled to be stocked with Rainbow trout during the winter. Be sure to check the stocking schedule as fishing is always most productive during the first two weeks after a stocking. After this, catching trout becomes more challenging due to decreases in numbers.
Most of the trout planted will be 8-10 inches in size. Using a spinning rod with 4-6lb test line is recommended. Fly rods should be 4-6 weight with 2-4 lb leader tippets. In the past, a No. 12 sparsely dressed bead-head nymph has out fished all other artificial flies.
Natural baits work well also on No. 10 or 12 size single hooks. Whole kernel corn has long been a favorite bait for trout anglers. Soaking the corn in vanilla extract or a manufactured trout scent can make it more attractive to trout.
Marshmallows, worms and PowerBait also work well in catching Rainbow trout.
For more fishing spots in Houston, click here.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
While many of these lakes will be frozen, some may not be. So you may be able to enjoy both ice fishing and more traditional angling during this winter fishing season.
In Cape Breton, Bras d'Or Lake opens for Rainbow trout fishing on January 1st and will remain open through March 31st, 2007. The daily catch limit is two. However, five areas of the lake are closed to converse Brook trout and Atlantic Salmon.
Meadow Pond in Hant's County and Silver and Sunken Lakes in Kings County will be open January 1st through February 28th for Rainbow trout fishing.
Several other lakes will remain open throughout the winter for Rainbow trout fishing including:
- Cameron and Gillis Lakes in Antigonish County
- Goose Harbour Lake in Guysborough County
- Angevine Lake in Cumberland County
- Sucker Lake in Lunenburg County
- Albro Lake in Dartmouth
- Gairloch Lake in Pictou County
- Hidden Hills Lake in Queens County
- Levers Lake and No. 20 Dam in Cape Breton County
- Everitts Lake in Diggs County
For more information, click here to visit Nova Scotia's Fisheries and Aquaculture.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Many low income families help supplement their diets with fishing, so North Carolina is trying to help these families through this waiver. Any family member who benefits from the resident recieving these benefits, may also receive a waiver. The waiver is only good for one year. After which, low incomes families must reapply if they still qualify.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Sabine lake is known for its trophy size trout. Large trout tend spook easy, which is why a lot of local anglers suggest drift boat fishing Sabine Lake. Once you've found the area large trout are in, you don't want to spook them with a trolling motor.
Mullets, Croakers and Shad are some favorite food sources for Speckled trout. Expert trout anglers will seek out those areas with shell reefs and lots of bait fish. Long casts with immitation mullet plugs while drift fising are a favorite tactic among local anglers.
The She Dog and Top Dog are two of the most popular topwater immitation mullet plugs with proven success on Sabine Lake. Others include the Heddon Super Spook and the Super Spook Jr.
Right now, reports are claiming fair to good trout fishing on the Louisiana shoreline using She Dogs and glow plastics. Trout Fishing is also good on the Reef using topwaters and glow Bass Assassins, Trout Killers, and Sand Eels. Night fishers are also reporting good trout fishing under the lights at the causeway on DOA shrimp and little fishies.
For more information on catching Speckled trout in Texas check out the book, "Texas Trout Tactics" by Chester Moore Jr.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
There will be two limited fishing seasons on Cold Creek:
- One for adults (April 2 through June 6 and August 20 through October 26)
- One for youth age 16 and under (June 7 through August 17)
For more information, visit the ODNR web site.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Like other states, Tennessee is trying to provide fishing activity for anglers all year long by stocking various lakes through the winter. These stockings provide a great opportunity for new anglers and kids as these trout are fairly easy to catch.
Local angers suggest using PowerBait, corn, and salmon eggs for bait. Worms may also work. Although lures and artificial flies may work, regular baits usually produce better results. Light fishing line is also suggested.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
November through April is the best time to fish for Steelhead trout in Chile. You can make your own travel plans and make the journey yourself..... or you can hire a guide and just concentrate on fishing!
The second option is definitely the way to go for most people. You don't have to worry about the language, or make your own air travel and lodging arrangements. Everything is taken care of for you (air travel, lodging, meals, etc.) and you get a fishing guide on top of that! It will cost around $3,500 for a full week of fishing in Chile with a guide. But it will be money well spent.
There are several reputable guides to choose from when planning your fishing trip to Chile. Below are links to web pages for more information.
Fly Fishing in Chile with Rios Azules
Patagonia Trout Fishing
Evening Hatch Fishing Guide Service
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
But what really sets New Melones Lake apart from others is its trophy size fish! Dream of catching a double-digit size Brown or Rainbow trout? Then New Melones Lake is the place for you!
The lake is set in the foothills of the Sierra Mother Lode along Hwy 49 between Angel's Camp and Sonora. New Melones has the size, depth and food sources capable of producing trophy size trout.
On December 2nd, 2006 non-profit organization, Kokanee Power, started the first pen-culture in California for Brown trout. Kokanee Power has already been successful in raising trophy-size Rainbow trout in New Melones Lake. Spokesman Gary Coe stated the goal was "quality, not quantity". Each pen is raising 300 Brown trout. He also stated that they hoped to release them next Spring when they've reached about 5 pounds.
Making the trophy trout program work involves the cooperation of the Department of Fish and Game, which provides the fish; New Melones Lake Marina, which provides the boat slip for the fish-rearing pens and employees to feed the trout each day; and Kokanee Power, which provided the materials and built the pens.
New Melones Lake is also the only lake in the Mother Lode that doesn't charge entry or boat launching fees. There are picnic, horseback and riding trails and shoreline camping.
Winter fishing is excellent at New Melones Lake. Folks are catching 3-5 pound Rainbow trout in Angels Cove using PowerBait and anything else that floats.
Digg This Story
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
This is one of ten shows that will be put on around the U.S. and will include famous fly fishing celebrities like A.K. Best, Simon Gawesworth, Bob Jacklin and Barry Reynolds. Tyler Befus will also be there to help educate kids about fly fishing.
You might also want to make time to see Denver Trout Unlimited's Second Fly Fishing Film Festival and fundraiser on January 4th at Mile High Station. This event will help benefit youth fishing programs.
If you can't make the show in Denver, you can still catch it in one of these other locations.
Schaumburg, Illinois (January 13-14)
Marlborough, Massachusetts (January 19-21)
Somerset, New Jersey (January 26-28)
Monday, December 11, 2006
Unlike other fish species, trout continue to feed actively during the winter. But a lot of anglers stop fishing in the winter and stay inside where it's warm! Although you may have to endure some cold weather yourself, this is the perfect opportunity to catch some trout - especially if you're new to trout fishing or are trying to teach the kids.
These hungry trout are easy to catch and provide good trout fishing action. The only catch (no pun intended) is that you can only use artificial lures, and you have to release the trout back into the pond during the winter season. This ensures that folks can enjoy catching trout all winter long.
After January 31st, folks with a valid Missouri fishing license can keep their limit of trout caught in Bethel Lake. You don't need a license to 'catch and release'.
To learn more about Missouri's trout and 'catch and release guidelines', click here.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Conneaut Creek runs through both Ohio and Pennsylvania. Many folks fish both sides of it depending on conditions.
"You're not going to walk to a hole and find 100 fish at your feet," said Steelhead guide and author John Nagy. "Conneaut's big water and the farther fish run, the more they tend to scatter. But if you're willing to sacrifice numbers, you can have a quality fishing experience.
"The Pennsylvania stockings, intended to relieve pressure on creeks such as Walnut and Elk, are now producing bona fide fall runs of fish", said Nagy, who wrote "Steelhead Guide: Fly Fishing Techniques and Strategies for Lake Erie Steelhead." But they also have brought more anglers to the lower reaches of Conneaut, in Ohio, where steelhead tend to concentrate more."
Steelhead trout can move as much as 25 miles a day. So while finding them may be a bit challenging, you'd do better to use some Spring trout fishing tactics. Fish the undercut banks and the heads or tails of pools. Like any stream or river, read the water to figure out the best place to fish.
An old Erie-Bessemer Railroad dam on Temple Run - an East Branch tributary - is a steelheading hotspot.
If you're a fly fisher, Nagy suggests using a heavier tippet (which isn't a problem in Conneaut Creek's stained water). Also try using heavier flies including ones with bright colored egg patterns and bead head nymphs.
Trolling Lake Erie near the mouth of Conneaut Creek is also quite popular.
"If the lake shore melts and the tributaries thaw, the spring run could start in early March," Nagy said. "A mild winter brings fish in sooner and dilutes the spring run. The best scenario is a cold winter."
Click here for a map of Conneaut Creek's Steelhead fishing areas in Ohio. For information in Pennsylvannia, click here.
For more Conneaut Creek Fly Fishing Tips, click here.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
The book contains information about fish (what they eat, where they live, etc.) and how to catch them. There's even casting tips for kids. Tyler also included his own illustrations.
Tyler is the son of famous fly fisherman, Brad Befus. So Tyler (now 9 years old), started fly fishing when he was three years old (remember that the next time you tell yourself you couldn't possibly fly fish)! Living in Colorado, he's had plenty of great fly fishing experience. Tyler even hols the junior IGFA world records for sheefish and kokanee salmon.
In an effort to educate other kids and stir up interest in fly fishing, Tyler speaks at several youth fishing events throughout the year.
Tyler is very passionate about fly fishing and wants to get other kids interested in it. He's also co-written another book with his dad called, "Basic Techniques for Successful Fly Tying" and is now working on a kid's instructional DVD.
What better way to help a kid learn fly fishing than by another kid?! These books would make great Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers!
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Due to the decrease anglers at Scofield Reservoir over the years, anglers will now be able to catch and keep 8 trout a day. Folks fishing Panguitch Lake and its tributaries will now be able to keep 4 trout of any species caught as long as their less than 15 or larger than 22 inches. Anglers must release trout 15 - 22 inches long.
Folks may use artificial flies or lures at Calder Reservoir, but they can only keep one fish - and it must be over 22 inches long.
In the previous years, you could only fish with two poles in select areas. Come January 1st, that will change also. Anglers will now be able to fish with two poles at any fishing spot as long as they have a two-pole stamp added to their fishing license.
To download the 2007 Utah Fishing Regulations, click here.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Lake Cuyamaca offers free fishing classes every Saturday at 10 a.m. Trout Fishing tips and techniques are discussed as well as a variety of other topics. They'll even teach the true beginners how to cast.
Other trout fishing lakes in the San Diego area include: Murray, Dixon, el Capitan, Henshaw, Jennings, Loveland, Miramar, Morena, Poway, Sweetwater, Wohlford, San Vicente, and Santee Lakes.
Trout Fishing Opportunities For the Kids
Chollas Lake is open daily to kids age 15 and under. There's plenty of other things do there for adults - but only the kids can fish. The lake was recently stocked, kids should have an easier time catching trout.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Speckled trout are found throughout the entire gulf region and are easily identified. They are silver in color with olive green tints on the back and numerous small black dots on the dorsal fin and into the tail. They also have two canine-like teeth in the upper jaw - a very distinguishing characteristic. Speckled trout tend to have an elongated body and large mouth.
The average Speckled trout is 12 - 14 inches and weighs 1 - 3 pounds, although they can weigh as much as 16 pounds. They're a favorite game fish for folks living Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida.
Speckled trout move in and out of estuaries (the part of the river or bay that joins the sea). They tend to spend the summer months in the lower estuaries where the water is saltier and the winter months in the upper estuaries where the water is less salty. They also tend to live in or near the same bay system their entire lives.
During the spawning season (May to September), Specks move into the lower estuaries. Spawning activity is dependent on currents, temperature and water salinity. But spawning season provides the best opportunities to catch Speckled trout - especially trophy size ones!
In October, Specks tend to move inland to lower salinity estuaries as cool fronts move in. They pretty much stay there into February. Between February and April, Speckled trout can be found scattered throughout the bay.
Speckled trout are predators. When they're smaller (under 12 - 14 inches), they mostly feed on shrimp and other crustaceans. As they grow larger, they prefer smaller fish (such as silversides and anchovies). Larger Specks commonly feed on mullets (also called jumping jacks), croakers and menhaden (also called pogies and shad).
Below are some tips for fishing for Speckled trout:
- Use live shrimp and small fish for bait. Lures (especially mirrorlures) work too, but Specks really love the smaller fish.
- Watch for baitfish activity (Specks do!).
- Fishing at night under bright light has been known to produce great results.
- May is a great time to catch Speckled trout as they move into the coastal regions to spawn. Any time during spawning season is a great time to catch Specks.
- Watch the birds diving for fish. You'll often find Speckled trout in the area.
- Watch the rains. Heavy rains often muddy the water and change the salt concentration. This can result in reduced feeding activity.
- In Louisiana, Calcaieu, East Timberliar Island and Breton Sound are some of the best areas that consistently produce large Speckled trout. Cocodrie is know for its numbers of Specks but not size.
Florida Speckled Trout Tips
Louisiana Speckled Trout Tips
Mississippi Speckled Trout Tips
Texas Speckled Trout Tips
Saturday, December 02, 2006
This has been one of the best trout fishing seasons all over the country. In many states, the winter trout fishing season is just beginning. Enjoy it while you can!
This offer is only valid through December 25th. After that, the price will go back to $27!
Friday, December 01, 2006
One guy reeled in a 22.5 lb and an 18.8 lb trout! Both were caught using a White Glow Jig. Others used plain old nightcrawlers to reel in their 20 lb and 19 lb trout!
Over the next two weekends in December, folks will have an opportunity to catch some really large trout (20+ lbs)! Twenty-plus Rainbow trout will be stocked for the next two weekends! This is your chance to catch the trophy of a lifetime!
No fishing license is required - but there are entrance fees. For more information, click here.
Like night fishing? You can and your family can enjoy the 24-hour fishing special during the winter trout fishing season. This special event is held once a month near each full moon. Begin at 5 p.m. and fish until 4 p.m. the next day. Camping is free. And with the family special, dad pays the $45 fee, and mom and three kids can fish for free. Kids must be 13 years or younger.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
This year, El Dorado Park will also feature the Pathways Tour Exhibit and outdoor faire displays where booths. Kids can learn more about camping gear, camp food, fishing tackle, backpacking, outdoor photography, and electronics. There will even be some fishing seminars. The REI stores are responsible for all displays, so there should be some good ones.
Lakes Cuyamaca, Santee, Dixon, Jennings and Poway are stocking regularly now and some are even stocking fish in the 4 - 8 lb range. Limits on bait and lures are common at most lakes. So be sure to check the regs before fishing.
These lakes offer a great opportunity for youngsters who are new to trout fishing. Trout will be more active in these cooler conditions and are easier to catch.
Lake Cuyamaca even offers free fishing lessons every Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Catching trout in cooler weather is much easier than in warmer weather. So this is the perfect opportunity for beginner trout fishers to get out there and catch some trout. It's also a great opportunity for the kids to catch some!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I've been making my own saltwater fishing sinkers for years. All you need are some molds, lead (or other substance), and a melting pot. You can even make your own molds using wood - although they're trickier to work than the manufactured ones.
A couple of weeks ago, I helped my nephew make some heavy weight sinkers for saltwater fishing. He had a blast and so I decided it was time to look around for some freshwater sinker molds (for a Christmas gift) and discovered that the Bass Pro shop has a variety of freshwater and saltwater Sinker, Jig & Shot Molds.
You can make your own egg sinkers, shots, jigs, and much more.
When you buy sinker molds, you'll usually end up buying a couple of different ones. This way you can make sinker of different sizes and weights.
Making your own sinkers are fun for adults as well as kids. And if you lose as much tackle as some of us do - it can even save you some money in the long run. They make great gifts for the avid fisher in your life too!
Monday, November 27, 2006
I recently emailed Florida's Fish and Wildlife department to ask what the current records were and here is what they told me. As of 27 November 2006, the current Trout Fishing Records for Florida are:
- Spotted Seatrout - 17 lbs 7 oz., caught on 11 May 1995
- Spotted Seatrout (Fly Rod) - 12 lbs 7 oz. caught on 5 March 1984
Sunday, November 26, 2006
TPWD has been stocking rainbow trout each winter since the 1970s, providing Texans a simple and economical opportunity to go fishing.
Catching these hungry fish can be easy, making the experience ideal for both novice anglers and kids. The fish will bite almost immediately after stocking and typically will take a variety of baits, from whole kernel canned corn or commercial soft bait to artificial flies and even small spinner baits.
A list of stocking sites with detailed driving directions is available on the TPWD Web site. The posted stocking dates are the days the trout are available to the general public. Many sites offer special events for youth prior to allowing the public to fish and those are usually the day before. Folks should check with local parks and recreation departments or water authorities for additional information.
While most sites get an annual dose of between 1,000-2,000 trout, popular fishing holes like the Guadalupe River below the Canyon Reservoir Dam, which includes the tailrace, receive multiple stockings from December through March.
As the only fishable place in Texas where rainbow trout can survive during the summer months, the Guadalupe River will get about 17,000 fish, which includes about 5,000 trout donated to TPWD by the Comal County Water Oriented Recreation District.
“The water is low and clear right now, so the wade fishing opportunities should be good as long as we don’t get torrential rains,” said Stephan Magnelia, TPWD fisheries biologist in San Marcos. “If we got any over-summer trout survival, it was in the area close to Canyon Dam, so we’re starting with a clean slate in the lower end. The fish ought to be congregated and once you find them you should be able to catch them fairly easily.”
There are several public access points along the Guadalupe River that have been leased by TPWD specifically for trout fishing. Maps and directions to these sites are available on the TPWD Web site.
Trout anglers (age 17 and up) will need a $5 fishing stamp in addition to the regular fishing license to fish these areas.
For more information about the stockings, visit:
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Arkansas is known for it's outstanding trout fishing (especially on the White River) and they even hold the World Trout Record for Brown Trout (40 lbs - 4 oz. which was set in 1992). Arkansas waters are known for large trout (with 5 to 10 pounders being common in some areas).
On the trout fishing page, you'll find links to weekly fishing reports, stocking schedules, and more.
The state is even implementing five trophy trout areas covering 6 miles of Arkansas tailwaters.
There's a lot of interesting information on the this web page. If you enjoy trout fishing, you'll like this web page (even if you don't live in Arkansas).
Friday, November 24, 2006
But a lot of fish scales require hanging the fish by the gills - which is counter-productive to 'catch and release'. One way around this, is to guesstimate the weight using a formula.
The accepted formula for calculating the weight of a fish is this:
The actual weight of the fish can only be measured by a scale. And if you're looking to get that world or state record in the books, then you will have to officially weigh your fish.
But this formula will give you an idea of whether or not a fish may qualify for the record book - which can help you make the decision on whether or not to release it.
Don't like math? Check out our fish weight calculator.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
The cost is $25 and you can register until 12 p.m. on Sunday at the Lake Pyramid Store. You'll receive the official rules when you register.
Final derby weigh-ins will be held Sunday at 5 p.m.
There will be cash prizes for the heaviest fish (first place will get 50% of the entry fees; 2nd place will get 30% and 3rd place will receive 20%).
For more information call George or Carla Molino at the (775) 476-0555.
Pyramid Lake Store is located at 29555 Pyramid Hwy. in Suttcliffe, Nevada.
To learn more about Pyramid Lake, click here.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
At present count there have been 177 Speckled trout weighing more than 5 pounds registered for an award in the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament.
There have been 39 requests for 'catch and release' awards for trout longer than 24 inches.
There also been an extraordinary number of Speckled trout weighing at least 2 pounds being caught!
There is still a month and half to go in the season. If you haven't done so yet, now is the time to get out join the action! From all reports, you won't be sorry!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I called the lake marina yesterday in an effort to get as many details as possible and was able to narrow down the fish stocking to take place sometime between 3 and 3:30 pm. If you have kids, you won't want to miss this as the fish will be brought in on a see-through fishmobile!
The free fishing clinic will take place between 3 - 5 pm and you won't need a fishing license for the day.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
This problem was first reported in 2002 and has only gotten worse. In September 2006, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife took their cameras underwater in Hood Canal to help expose the problem.
While the Puget Sound problem is not affecting trout, it does show what can happen if trout habitats are not watched carefully. There are three trout species (Apache, Gila and Bull) that are currently listed as "threatened" on the Federal Endangered list due to similar problems.
Sediment running into nearby streams, rivers and lakes, can reduce oxygen levels in the water (a problem currently threatening Bull trout).
In my eBook, "Trout Fishing Tips", I explain in detail how oxygen levels affect trout metabolism and their ability to survive - and how this in turn affects trout fishing. But in short, trout suffocate without oxygen (very much like the Puget Sound fish).
Many different factors can affect oxygen levels in the water, including:
- Water temperature
- Sediment and other pollutants
- Aquatic Plants
- Seasonal changes
For those of us living in warmer climates, trout fishing in the summertime can be challenging. Warmer water temperatures remove oxygen from the water. This poses a problem for trout. Survivability becomes more important than feeding, and trout begin searching for more oxygenated water.
The WDFW video offers a unique glimpse into this underwater problem. While it is difficult to watch, it shows you exactly what happens when oxygen levels are low in the water. For more information, visit the Puget Sound Action Team web.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
This stocking is part of an effort to restore previous populations of Rainbow trout in the reservoir. Although fire and drought have contributed to the decline in Rainbow trout, Pike are believed to be one of the biggest causes. It's generally believed that Pike have been feeding on the Rainbow trout (especially the 10-inchers).
The Division of Wildlife hope that by stocking the reservoir late this year, it will give the Rainbow trout time to grow. Like a lot of freshwater fish, Pike stop feeding as actively when water temperatures cool. This will help give the trout time to grow during the winter. It's also hoped that the larger size trout will deter Pike from feeding on them.
Come spring, those 13-inch trout should be a few inches bigger! Anglers will have the chance to catch some really nice Rainbow trout!
Read the full story on the Colorado Division of Wildlife site.
Friday, November 17, 2006
The $50 fee includes entrance to the TFFC and the fly fishing clinic, lunch, and a season pass to TFFC so students can return for more fishing as often as they like.
Instruction will focus on equipment selection, knot tying, casting, and fly fishing for large mouth bass and sunfish. Even though fly fishing for trout is not covered, many of the lessons learned will apply to trout fishing too. And if you're like most anglers, you probably enjoy catching other species of fish as well as trout.
Reservations are required and the class is limited to 15 people. So book now if you're interested! For more information, or to register, call Barry St. Clair at (903) 670-2222.
To see more events offered at the TFFC, click here.
Fishing lines get stretched, stained and brittle over time. In short, they wear out. Different water conditions can play a factor too. Fishing in saltwater can really corrode your fishing gear if not properly cared for.
When I was growing up in California, we had this ritual of spreading our rods and reels out on the front lawn to hose them off after each fishing trip. This helped lessen the chances of corrosion from salt.
But since moving to Arizona and fishing primarily in freshwater lakes, rivers and streams, I rarely hose down my fishing gear.
A good rule of thumb is to change your fishing line once a season (or once a year). This will ensure that your fishing line is strong enough to handle a good size fish without breaking. You'll also lose less tackle on normal snags.
But while this is a good practice to follow, there may be other times you'll want to change your line too. For example, fishing in different lakes sometimes requires different tackle.
You can get away with using heavier lines (like 8-lb test) in murky water because the line is less visible. But in clear water, you'll need to use lighter line (2-6 lb test).
A lot of trout anglers use 6-lb test because it can usually handle most freshwater fishing situations. This way, they only have to change the line once a season.
But the really good anglers will carry multiple reels or spools filled with different weights of line. This way they can easily swap out the line for different fishing situations.
When you purchase the better reels, they will often come with an extra spool that you can fill with line. You can also just buy an extra reel or two for your rod.
The more you fish, the more you'll discover the benefits of using fresh and different weights of line. Don't underestimate this simple and often overlooked tackle tip.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Trolling near Half Moon Bay with broken Rapela lures has also been very productive.
And folks using PowerBait on an 18-inch leader have been doing great near Coots Landing.
If you're new to trout fishing, Fall is one of the best times to be out trout fishing. No matter where you live, trout fishing will mostly likely be pretty good right now.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
The Arizona Fish and Game department will plant 3,500 Rainbow Trout into the lake that day. They'll use a see-through fishmobile so folks can see the fish before they're released into the lake. Hundreds of kids line up to help!
This also a great opportunity to get free trout fishing lessons. The Arizona Fish and Game department will host a free fishing clinic from 3 - 5 p.m. Rods, reels, bait, and fishing advice will be offered.
This a great day for kids and adults alike! If you've never caught trout before or wasn't sure how to get started trout fishing, this is the perfect opportunity for you and the whole family!
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
These sites are a great resources because while the basics remain the same, each state and body of water tends to have its own nuances.
I have three different trout fishing lakes in my local area and the fishing is different in all of them. One lake is deep and semi-clear, another is very muddy, and another has very clear water and has great fishing in the shallow end (at least in Fall). I have to use different techniques and rigs to successfully catch trout in each of the lakes.
Also, trout fishing varies with each season (Fall, Winter, Spring, & Summer). Understanding, these differences and how they apply to your state, will help increase your success rate!
Be sure to check your state's site often. Read the fishing reports to find out where and how folks have been catching trout. See if they offer special fishing tips. Minnesota has an excellent one! In fact, the Minnesota trout fishing tips page is one of the best I've seen! Not only does it offer seasonal tips, it also offers trout species tips. Even if you don't live in Minnesota, it's worth a look. You may find that some of the trout fishing tips will work in your state!
Sunday, November 12, 2006
At this time of year, trout are feeding off the surface of the lake all day. So to catch them, you want to keep your bait on or near the surface of the lake (no deeper than 14-16 inches). Most of the people at the lake are using bobbers (no kidding) instead of sinkers with their PowerBait. This gives them casting distance as well as help keep their bait on the surface of the lake. In all of my years of fishing, using PowerBait with bobbers seemed dumb to most anglers since it went against common sense logic. But it works!
While others at my lake are using bobbers with PowerBait, still others are using slip shots. Once again, this is one of those things that defies logic.
Shots are most often associated with river, stream, and creek fishing - not lake fishing. But when trout are feeding on the surface of the water - you don't want those heavy sinkers taking your bait to the bottom of the lake. But if you've ever tried to cast a weightless line, you know it just doesn't work well. Using a slip shot on the line (just above the swivel) is a way to add a bit of casting weight, while ensuring your PowerBait stays on the surface of the water.
Sometimes you just have to think outside the box (or fishing net) to catch trout.
Friday, November 10, 2006
But few of us studied insects in this much detail. The library and internet are the best options for getting this information if you don't want to be an entomologist (one who studies insects).
Troutnut.com is great website to help you get a grasp on those bugs. There's tons of pictures, video, and information about the different insects and their hatches. They even have forum you join for free. Check it out. You'll love it!
Thursday, November 09, 2006
He and his buddy were out fishing in Barbe Lake in Manitoba during a fishing tournament when Tim landed a 29-inch Brook trout! The girth measured 21-inches!
Unfortunately, according the IGFA rules the fish would have to die in order to qualify for entry into the record books. Like most avid anglers, this was not an option for Tim. A fish this size should be released back into the lake and that's exactly what Tim did. Even though it will never be seen in the IGFA record book, the record will live on forever in the minds of Tim and other trout anglers!
What's Tim's secret? Earlier in the day, Tim and his buddy had been trolling the lake as slow as they could in 14-16 foot water. They had successfully caught several big fish, including a couple of 27 - 29 inch Rainbow trout using a standard down-rig with floating crankbait.
Then Tim decided to remove the down-rig and replace it with a #13 jointed Rapala in chartreuse and then continued trolling. That's when it happened! The Brookie took his lure and gave Tim the excitement of his life!
Update (Feb. 2007) - the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame has officially awarded Tim the 'catch and release' record for Brook trout.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
To mitigate the problem, Montana is preparing to move these trout out of the contaminated streams and into new streams before winter sets in. Moving fish always presents some risk - but if all goes well, these fish have a chance of surviving.
Although decreased populations exist, Yellowstone Cutthroat can still be found in Utah, Nevada, Montana, and Wyoming. Like Bull trout, these fish also require very clean and cold (39-59 degrees Fahrenheit) water to survive. They're very sensitive to sediments in their habitat. Preserving these fish has become a prime concern in many states.
Historically, Yellowstone Cutthroat trout were thought to inhabit much of the Yellowstone River basins. But over the years, there has been a decline in the number of these trout. Hybridization and other environmental factors are to blame.
Cutthroat trout are distinguished from other trout by the red slash marks under the lower jaw. Yellowstone Cutthroat trout are distinguished by other Cutthroat trout by the medium-large black spots on the hind end and the drab brownish, yellowish, or silvery coloration with bright colors usually absent in mature fish.
Yellow Cutthroat trout generally spawn in the Spring and early Summer.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
But as much as we both enjoy fishing - neither one of us likes to eat fish! Personally, I think a lot of my problems have to do with the bones. I remember eating a lot of fish as a kid on camping trips and how the bones would get stuck in my throat! The bones always bothered me - even if only psychologically.
Luckily for me, I have a lot of family members who are always happy to eat all the trout I can catch. But even so, I've heard others complain about the bones when eating trout.
My solution has always been to cut off the tail (and head) before cooking. I've discovered that having the tail gone make it much easier to peel the bones away in tact after the trout is cooked. There might still be the odd bone or two, but not near as many.
But today, I was surfing the web, and came across a site that gave instructions for removing the bones BEFORE the trout was cooked! This intrigued me (and sadly, I had just finished cleaning tonight's catch when I found the site). But I wanted share the information in case others wanted to try it. I'd be really interested in hearing how it worked out. I will of course, have to remember to try it on my next catch.
I've copied and pasted the instructions below for removing the bones from a raw trout. I personally prefer method "A".
Place the trout on a board with the belly facing you. Using a sharp fish-filleting knife, very carefully cut between the top layer of bones and the flesh. Continue working towards the spine. When you reach this point, turn the fish over and repeat the process. Once the bone is loose, using a pair of scissors, cut the spine loose both at the tail and head end. You now have a bone-free trout, that may be cooked. This same method may be used for making gravlax, simply cut off the head and tail.
To de-bone this way, lay the fish with its back towards you. Using a sharp fish-filleting knife, make a clean cut just above the bone all the way along the back. Using firm short stokes, loosen the bone. Now turn the fish over and remove the bone from the other side. Now stand the fish on its belly and use a pair of scissors, cut the bone loose, head and tail. The fish can now be stuffed with a mousse type filling. If you find this method easier, it may also be used for filleting.
They also post updated tips for catching trout at Irvine Lake. One of the challenges of trout fishing is that what works one day doesn't necessarily work the next. The tips on this web site is an excellent way of keeping up on what works and what doesn't!
If you're new to trout fishing, this is an opportunity you won't want to miss!
Monday, November 06, 2006
But in a taxonomic report published in 1978, it was determined that Bull trout and Dolly Varden are really two distinct species. The American Fisheries Society accepted this report in 1980.
But a lot of anglers still haven't accepted this fact or still don't know about the report. Here's your chance to show off your knowledge of Bull trout and Dolly Varden.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Bull trout (also known as Dolly Varden) are a threatened species which have been on the Endangered list since 1998. Today, they survive in only five states (Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, and in Montana west of the Continental Divide). They also survive in two Canadian provinces (Alberta and British Columbia). Bull trout were also found in Northern California at one time, but are now extinct there.
Bull trout spawn in September and early October. Adfluvial Bull trout are thought to spawn about every other year, perhaps because they need a year of rest after such a long migration journey. Most Bull trout spawners are 5 - 9 years old. The eggs hatch in the winter, and in spring the young fry emerge. Young Bull trout live among the streambed rocks for 1 - 3 years where they eat small aquatic insects, before migrating downstream to larger streams and lakes. Bull trout are predators and primarily eat other fish when adults.
These trout require very cold (usually less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit) and clean water to survive. Over the years, damaged habitat, over-fishing and the introduction of non-native fish have threatened the survival of Bull trout.
Industry is primarily blamed for damaging Bull trout habitats. Logging causes runoff into streams and rivers, sharply raising sediment levels and thus water temperature, leaving waters both too warm and too "dirty" for the fish. Sediment clogs pores in the gravel, reducing the flow of oxygen to eggs, preventing fry from emerging from the gravel.
Dams and improper culvert placement have also contributed to reducing Bull trout populations by cutting them off from reaching their natural spawning grounds.
Another threat to Bull trout are other species of fish, which compete for food and space. Young Brook and Lake trout can push out young Bull trout. Lake trout, a voracious predator, can prey on Bull trout. Brown trout, Pike, and Bass can also compete with or prey on Bull trout.
Brook trout can interbreed with Bull trout, creating mostly sterile hybrids. This interbreeding saps reproductive energy from the Bull trout population. Hybridization is also threatening the Apache and Gila trout (also on the Endangered list).
And if these weren't enough challenges for Bull trout, anglers are also a threat.
Bull trout are part of the "char" family which includes Brook and Lake trout. Bull trout look very similar to Brook trout and the two species are often confused. Anglers are responsible for being able to identify different trout species and for knowing the rules.
In Montana, it's illegal to even fish for Bull trout, let alone catch and keep one. The exception to this rule is Swan Lake. In Nevada and Idaho, you can catch Bull trout, but not keep them. They must be released back into the water immediately.
The rules are pretty similar in other states as well. Since Bull trout are often confused with other species of trout, it's important to be able to identify them. Here are some tips to help:
- Bull trout do not have black spots on their dorsal fins
- Bull trout do not have black lines following the white line on their pelvic, pectoral, or anal fins
- Remember, "No black, put it back"
Just in case you were wondering, the recognized world record for Bull trout is 32 pounds. It was caught in Idaho's Lake Pend Oreille.
Test your knowledge of Bull trout by taking this online quiz!
Friday, November 03, 2006
But first, let me say that just because most people don't use PowerBait with bobbers, doesn't mean you can't. The most successful anglers are those willing to try something different when nothing else seems to work.
The purpose of a bobber is to keep your bait near the surface the water. If you place a bobber just above the swivel and put a nightcrawler (or some other bait) on your hook, your bait will dangle below the bobber the length of your leader. Most trout fishers use a 12 - 18 inch leader, so their bait would be in the first 12 -18 inches of water below the surface. This works great if trout are feeding near the surface of water.
PowerBait floats by design. The main idea behind PowerBait is to keep your bait off the bottom of the lake. This makes it more visible for trout swimming by. If you're using an 18 inch leader, then your bait would normally float 18 inches above the bottom of the lake (assuming your sinker was sitting on the bottom of the lake).
Since both bobbers and PowerBait float, adding a bobber above your bait means that both are floating on the surface of the water. Trout must be feeding on the surface to see and take your bait.
Fall and Spring are the best times of year to fish for trout because water temperatures are cooler and trout are actively feeding near the surface of the water. As mentioned in my earlier post, we were fishing in a shallow part of the lake and trout were jumping all around us grabbing food off the surface of the lake.
If you wanted to catch trout, you had to keep your bait on the surface of the lake. And since PowerBait was the preferred bait of the day, adding a bobber to your line added casting weight and helped keep the bait on the surface of the water.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
The really challenging thing about trout fishing is that you don’t always know what to expect from day to day. Monday I fished Goldwater Lake and caught trout after trout using my blue fox strobe spinner. Everybody around me was catching trout using spinners – all while shore fishing.
Yesterday, it was a different story. Trout wouldn’t touch spinners. They did seem to like one guy’s minnow lure – but that was it for lures. What did they want? PowerBait – and preferably Rainbow PowerBait.
While fishing yesterday, I also made quite a few observations and had the opportunity to talk to some real old-time fishermen who fish this particular lake every day.
I spend most of my time fishing a different lake (Lynx Lake) due to it’s location. But this week Lynx Lake has been closed, so I’ve been fishing Goldwater Lake instead.
Lynx Lake is quite large and is a standard man-made lake. The lakebed is shaped pretty much like a bowl, with the deepest part of the lake being in the middle. There are a lot of weeds and rocks on the bottom of the lake. The water is a bit murky, but not too bad.
Goldwater Lake is a bit smaller and is also man-made. The water at this lake is much clearer compared to Lynx Lake. But the really interesting thing about this lake is the water shelf. There is a really shallow end, which drops off into a deep end. In the past, I’ve fished the deep end, but not the shallow end. But the last two days, I’ve been fishing the shallow end – and it’s been an eye opener!
Just knowing I’m about to catch that trophy trout any day, I like to use 6 – 8 lb test on my spinning reel. If I’m bottom fishing, I use a ¼ to ½ ounce slip sinker above the swivel and an 18-inch leader. When spinner fishing, I don’t use any weight and just attach the spinner to the swivel. At Lynx Lake, I have much success with this setup.
But at Goldwater Lake (where the water is really clear), the 8 lb test line is too heavy. Trout have an easier time seeing it (especially when fishing in the shallow end of the lake). Local anglers tell me they have better success with 4 lb test than they do with 6 lb test.
Another thing that worked really well for folks yesterday was PowerBait and bobbers together. At the shallow end the lake, trout are near the surface of the water. The weather and water temps are cool and so trout are very happy and actively feeding on the surface. Going any deeper than 16 inches below the surface right now, destroys your chances of catching trout.
Removing all weight from the line, and placing a bobber above the swivel and adding PowerBait to a treble hook on a 12 – 18 inch leader proved very successful for anglers yesterday. Trout just couldn’t resist this setup! People were barely getting their lines into the water before having to reel in another trout.
Here are some fishing tips from this excursion to remember:
- Pay attention to the water. The clearer and shallower it is, the lighter test line you need (stick with 2 – 4 lb test).
- Don’t be afraid to talk to locals. Even though we have several good trout lakes in our area, people tend to frequent one or two over the others. Fishing can be quite a bit different at each of them. The water shelf and clearer water at Goldwater Lake requires different tackle and fishing tactics than at Lynx and other nearby lakes.
- Most people associate bobbers with nightcrawlers and not PowerBait. Don’t be afraid to try something different – especially if you see folks around you catching fish using a different setup.