Sunday, December 31, 2006

Make Your Own Sinkers & Jigs

Making your own sinkers is not only fun, it can end up saving your money if you have a tendency to lose a lot (like me). But most people don't know how easy it really is. This is one aspect of fishing that kids really enjoy. Not only do they have fun, but they also get a sense of satisfaction from having created their own fishing tackle.

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

Winter Trout Fishing Kicks off January 13th in Minnesota

Winter trout fishing season begins on January 13, 2007 in Minnesota. Lakes were stocked with fingerling (2-3 inch) and yearling (6-8 inch) trout throughout the Spring and Fall. These stockings should provide some good action for anglers.

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

Peak Rainbow Trout Fishing Months in Houston

January and February are historically the peak the Rainbow trout fishing months in Houston, Texas. These are the months in which the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department stock urban ponds with cold-water trout along the upper coast.

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

Winter Fishing Starts January 1st in Nova Scotia

Winter fishing kicks off on January 1st, 2007 in selected rivers and lakes across Nova Scotia. Anglers who fished during the Spring and Summer of 2006 must carry their fishing licenses with them. These licenses are good til March 31, 2007. And if you don't have a license, you can purchase one.

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
Winter trout fishing will last from January 1st through March 31st at all of the lakes mentioned above. Daily bag limit is two.

For more information, click here to visit Nova Scotia's Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New Fishing Laws Help Low Income Families

North Carolina's new fishing laws for 2007 offers aid to families with low incomes. Families who receive food stamps, Medicaid or participate in Work First Family Assistance are eligible for an exemption which allows them to fish without a license. This exemption does not cover trout fishing though.

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

How to Catch Trout in Sabine Lake

Sabine Lake is sandwiched between Texas and Louisiana borders. It's approximately 14 miles long and 7 miles wide. This salty lake drains into the Gulf of Mexico through the Sabine River. This fact is what makes Sabine Lake one of the great estuaries to catch Speckled trout.

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

Special Trout Lottery for Ohio Anglers

Ohio's Department of Natural Resources is once again holding a special lottery for trout anglers. Winners will be allowed to fish a half-mile section of Cold Creek (one of Ohio's most unique streams) located at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery in Erie County. This hatchery raises more than 470,000 Steelhead, Rainbow and native Brook trout annually at its 90-acre facility.

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)
Interested anglers must submit a non-refundable $3 application fee by January 31st in order to be eligible for the drawing.

For more information, visit the ODNR web site.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Winter Trout Fishing in Tennessee

Tennessee's Wildlife Resources Agency stocked trout in Bartlett's City Park Lakes (Stoneridge and Yale Road) last Thursday. These lakes, in addition to others, are part of Tennessee's winter trout fishing program.

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

Steelhead Trout Fishing in Chile

For many Fly Fishers, Chile is one of the ultimate fishing excursions. You can spend an entire week fishing for Steelhead trout (and other trout species) on some of the most picturesque waters - and the fishing is excellent!

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.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Trophy Size Trout at New Melones Lake

New Melones Lake is the 4th largest man-made lake in California. Built in 1983, it has more than a 100 miles of shoreline covered with trees and brush. New Melones Lake attracts visitors from all over for its beautiful scenery, boating, swimming, water skiing, camping, fishing and more. You can even rent houseboats!

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.
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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

2007 Fly Fishing Show

The 2007 Fly Fishing Show is set to kick off in January in Denver, Colorado. If you love fly fishing, you won't want to miss this! The Denver Fly Fishing Show runs January 5-7 at the Denver Merchandise Mart.

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)

Arlington, Texas (February 10-11)

Bellevue, Washington (February 9-11)

Portland, Oregon (February 17-18)

Pleasanton, California (February 23-25)

Pasadena, California (March 3-4)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Winter Trout Fishing at Bethel Lake

The winter trout are biting at Bethel Lake (sometimes called, Bethel Pond)! Like Texas and other states, Missouri is trying to provide a good trout fishing experience through the winter season. To aid this effort, the Missouri Department of Conservation has once again stocked Columbia's Bethel Lake for the 4th year. More than 2,400 trout 10-12 inches long were put in the urban pond...and they're biting!

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 is Hot Spot for Steelhead Trout

It's December, and that means that Conneaut Creek is now a prime hot spot for Steelhead trout! This is the time of year when they've reached the upper most portion of Pennsylvania's largest Lake Erie tributary.

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

Fly Fishing for Kids

Looking for Christmas gift ideas for your young anglers? Check out this book, "Kid's Guide to Fly Fishing". It was written by an eight year old kid named Tyler Befus.

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

New Utah Fishing Regs Mean More Trout for Anglers

Come January 1st, 2007 Utah will be implementing some new fishing regulations. But these changes are good news for Utah anglers.

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

Winter Trout Fishing in San Diego

There are lots of opportunities for trout fishing this winter in San Diego, California. San Diego has several urban fishing lakes which will continue to be stocked through the winter - and some of these lakes will be stocked with large size trout.

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 Fishing Tips

Speckled trout are known by many different names such as: specks, spotted seatrout, yellow mouths, and paper-mouths. Brook trout are sometimes called "speckled" trout too - which can be confusing. But most of the time when you hear somebody talking about Speckled trout, they're talking about the saltwater species (and not Brook trout).

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:

  1. Use live shrimp and small fish for bait. Lures (especially mirrorlures) work too, but Specks really love the smaller fish.
  2. Watch for baitfish activity (Specks do!).
  3. Fishing at night under bright light has been known to produce great results.
  4. 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.
  5. Watch the birds diving for fish. You'll often find Speckled trout in the area.
  6. Watch the rains. Heavy rains often muddy the water and change the salt concentration. This can result in reduced feeding activity.
  7. 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.
For more tips and information, click the links below.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Christmas Savings on Trout Fishing eBook!

There's no better time to catch trout like a pro! I just reduced the price on the "Best-Kept Trout Fishing Tips" eBook to $19.99 (a $7 savings). This is just my way of saying "Merry Christmas" and hope you'll be encouraged to get out and enjoy the winter trout fishing season.

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

Big Trout at Santa Ana River Lakes

Last weekend, the Santa Ana River Lakes (SARL) opened their gates to some great trout fishing!

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.