Monday, January 29, 2007

Brown Trout Action on Lake Michigan Looks Good

When the weather gets cold, Lake Michigan brown trout fishing gets hot!

Lake Michigan brown trout tend to stay in the near shore harbor waters all winter long. The best spots to find them are places where warm water flows into cold water. Fishing near power plants which discharge warm water into Lake Michigan has been a successful winter trout fishing tactic for years.

Many anglers love to fish near the Oak Creek Power Plant and "The Boils," a series of underwater flows about a quarter mile offshore from the Milwaukee water treatment plant. There are also good spots near the mouth of the Milwaukee River where warm water flows into the lake from the Jones Island Treatment Plant.

In winter, warm water attracts gizzard shad and other baitfish which lure brown trout.

To catch these brown trout, try using a large jigging spoon on medium action spinning rod with 8-lb test line. There are several different jigging techniques (as described in the Trout Fishing Tips eBook), one of which involves flicking the wrist. This technique doesn't involve lifting the tip of the rod very much.

The trick to jigging is to make your lure look like a dying or injured baitfish. All trout like an easy meal and they are apt to strike a lure that looks like it will give them that. And they are most likely to strike when the lure is on the way down in the water.

You also want to find the depth where trout are most active. This can be tricky without a fish finder. But the best thing to do is start out fishing deep using this jigging technique. Then if nothing happens, reel some line in about 5 cranks and try again. Just keep repeating that process until you figure out where the fish are feeding at.

If you're having trouble, make sure you're not lifting the tip of the rod too much or letting the flutter down time take too long. Remember, you want your lure to look like an injured or dying fish. Be sure to keep trying this jigging technique at different depths too.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Winter Speckled Trout Tips

Speckled trout fishing in Florida continues to be good this winter. Deeper holes next to grass flats in the mouths of residential canals continues to offer good winter trout action.

The key to catching specks in the winter, according to Captain Dave Walker, is to slow things down. Shrimp-style artificial baits or live shrimp from bait shops have a proven record of success. Fishing on the bottom around docs or other structures can be rewarding.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Catch the Rainbow Ice-Fishing Tournament in Nova Scotia

This Saturday (January 27, 2007), the Windsor West Hants Wildlife Association will host the 4th annual "Catch the Rainbow Ice Fishing Tournament".

The derby is held on Meadow Pond in Hants County, which is visible from Highway 101 east of Windsor. It begins at 8:30 a.m. and runs to 3 p.m. Parking is not allowed along Highway 101. There is a parking lot on Highway 14 at Exit 5.

According to an Association board member, the ice on the lake is 15 centimeters thick, so everything should be fine by Saturday.

You can register any time before Saturday at Home-Hardware in Windsor. You can also register if at the lake on Saturday any time after daybreak. Fees are $15 per person or $25 for families. Prizes will be handed out for the three highest two-trout weight totals in both youth and adult categories.

For more information call: (902) 757-3631.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

South Dakota Angler Lands Record Brook Trout

No sooner did I tell you about the 18 New Trout Fishing Records set in 2006 when another trout record was broken, making a liar out of me!

On December 30th, 2006 a new state record was set for Brook trout in South Dakota. This 11 lb 3 oz trout measured 30 inches long with a 16.75 inch girth.

Ryan Rempfer of Rapid City landed the record trout while fishing on Deerfield Lake. He caught the Brookie using a jig with a small rubber minnow body.

What's really interesting about this story, is that brook trout aren't stocked in Deerfield Lake. But wild populations of brook trout do exist in most headwater streams, and sometimes migrate into reservoirs and grow to large sizes as proven by this new state record.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Colorado Adopts Temperature Standards to Protect Trout!

Advanced trout anglers know that their success rate changes with water temperature. That's because trout are very sensitive to water temperatures. And these temperatures affect trout metabolism and survivability.

Trout are most active when water temperature is between 50-68 degrees Fahrenheit. When temps drop below this level, most trout species (except Lake trout) become sluggish due to slower metabolism. When water temperature rise above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, trout start to suffocate and die. Spawning season is also triggered by water temperature.

Water temperature can be affected by many different things, including outdoor temperature and weather conditions. But many streams also have industry to contend with, and this too can affect water temperature.

Reservoir discharges of warm water, hydropower plant operations, and domestic wastewater treatment plant discharges are some of the activities that can contribute to the warming of streams.
The situation can be aggravated even more by large diversions that reduce the amount of stream flows because the left over flow will heat up faster and reach higher temperatures, sometimes intolerable to fish.

In January 2007, the Colorado
Water Quality Control Commission approved the new temperature standards in an effort to help protect fish in streams and lakes around the state. Greenback Cutthroat trout will greatly benefit from this new regulation.

The new temperature standards will be used to
control discharges from facilities such as hydropower plants, wastewater treatment plants and other point sources regulated by the State.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Winter Trout Fishing Derby Tomorrow

On Saturday, January 20, 2007, the Kiwanis will host the annual Winter Trout Fishing Derby at Tierra Verde Lake Park (formerly Litchfield Park Lake).

Registration opens at 6:30 a.m. and derby begins at 8:00 a.m. and runs til 3:00 p.m. Entry fee is $6 for adults (age 16 and over) and $4 for youth age 15 and under. No fishing license is required for the derby.

Bring your own pole and bait (barbed hooks are not recommended). They'll be awards, trophies and prices. You'll also be able to buy food and drinks!

For more information, call 623-935-9040.

Speckled Trout Fishing Continues to Be Excellent in Gulf Coast

Mild winters have continued help trout fishing anglers. While ice fishers have been disappointed in different parts of the country, Speckled trout anglers enjoying great winter fishing. And trout fishing is expected to remain strong until the annual closure in February in North Florida.

Several folks fishing in Steinhatchee River reported catching small Speckled trout last weekend. But the folks fishing shallow waters near Rocky Creek were enjoying the larger Speckled trout, with the largest catch measuring 25-inches and weighing 6 pounds. The best fishing action occur ed after noon when water temps topped 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Lake Pardee Opens for Fishing on February 2nd

After three months of closure, Lake Pardee will reopen on February 2nd, 2007 to begin the new fishing season.

Over 90% of anglers at Lake Pardee fish for trout. So in preparation for the new fishing season, more than 10,000 Rainbow trout will be planted in the lake.

Pardee Lake is known for it's quality trout fishing. Each year the lake is stocked with some 1.5 to 5 pound Rainbow trout to give anglers the opportunity to catch some trophy size trout.

Water levels have been decreasing, fishing from a boat might your best bet at the moment. However, you may still have luck fishing from shore if you can cast your line out into deeper water.

According to the weekly fishing report, anglers have the best chance of catching fish between 6 a.m and noon. After this rising temperatures make fishing more challenging. Try fishing at various depths, starting at 30 feet and adjusting from there.

Bait tips for Pardee Lake include: nightcrawlers, salmon eggs, beaded spinners topped with white shoepeg corn, small lures, and pink/white hoochies.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Fly Fishing Film Tour

Love to watch great fishing action? The Fly Fishing Film Tour offers exciting and unique fishing action you won't see anywhere else!

The Fly Fishing Tour is a year round organization that seeks to bring you new and cutting edge fly fishing entertainment. The Fly Fishing Film Tour will hit 25 cities across the country this year.

Watch footage shot in Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Mongolia, Iceland, and New Zealand, and the good ol' USA. This is one show you won't want to miss!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fly Fishing Festival in Atlanta

Check out Atlanta's Fly Fishing Festival, Jan. 20-21 at the Gwinnett Center. The 11th Annual Fly Fishing Festival will include presenters such as Lefty Kreh, Rick Ruoff and Charity and Ian Rutter.

You'll also have the opportunity to visit over 100 exhibitions covering everything from fly fishing gear, boats, apparel and more!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Indiana Trout Rules Will Turn Off More Anglers

This week Phil Bloom (columnist in The Journal Gazette) wrote an interesting article voicing opinions about Indiana's new trout rules.

It seems that Indiana has proposed a rule that would only allow catch-and-release, fly fishing for trout on three stretches totaling 2.8 miles in Elkhart County. The Natural Resources Commission will vote on this ruling Tuesday. You can read more about the proposed fishing regulations by clicking here.

Naturally, some folks support this proposed ruling, while others don't. Folks in favor of catch-and-release believe fishing quality would improve if everybody followed this practice. While others like to feed their families with their trout catches.

Rulings like this tend to affect us. Once they "win" a case, conservation groups often move into other areas to propose the same ruling somewhere else.

What do you think?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Trophy-Size Trout in Phoenix Urban Lakes

Most Arizona trout anglers dream about catching trophy size trout, but few do.

Once a year, the Arizona Fish and Game Department stocks each of it's 20 Urban Fishing lakes with trophy size trout - and that stocking happened this week!
Some of these "incentive" trout are as much as 2 feet long and weigh up to 4 pounds.

Last year an angler caught a 4-1/2 pound trout out of Surprise Lake during the first hour after stocking. And an 8-pounder trout was caught out of Payson's Green Valley Lakes.

The department's Urban Fishing Program includes lakes in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Surprise, Peoria, Tucson, Sahuarita and the Payson area. Many of these lakes are located in popular community parks. For more information on the Urban Lakes, click here.

Don't forget to buy an urban fishing license ($18.50). If you do a lot of fishing, you might want to check out the new super-conservation fishing license. This is the first year this new license has been offered and it includes the regular Arizona fishing license, trout stamp and Urban license into one package for $53 ($63 for non-residents).

Good luck! And remember, if you do catch one of these trophy size trout, I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Warm Winter Waters in Florida Mean Great Trout Fishing

With warm weather predicted in Nassau County this weekend, trout fishing is expected to be excellent.

Captain Jim Johnson (a.k.a. Tight Lines) recommends live shrimp or mud minnows will be the live bait to use whether fished from a float rig or from a jig with the minnow hooked behind the lips. The live shrimp should be hooked through the tail. The north and south jetties, Tiger Basin and the Bell River are just a few of the local trout fishing favorites.

Do not forget speckled trout fishing closes in February and reopens March 1.

For more Florida fishing tips, click here.

Friday, January 12, 2007

January 2007 Fishing Events in Texas

Texas Parks & Wildlife has scheduled several fishing events for youth and families in the month of January. Yesterday, I told you about the 6th Annual Youth Fishing Derby at Jasper Park Pond which will take place this Saturday.

In addition to that fishing derby, TPWD is also holding a youth angler clinic at Buescher State Park. This even will also take place on Saturday, January 13th, between 9 a.m and noon. This clinic is open to kids age 6-13 and will cover the basics of freshwater fishing. After completing all of the fishing stations, kids will be Certified Junior Anglers and will have the opportunity to put their newly learned skills in action! Rods, reels, and bait will be supplied. Kids should bring water, sunblock, hat, and insect repellent. For more information, call (512) 237-2241.

On January 20th, the TPWD will host a family trout fishing day at Fort Richardson's Quarry Lake. The event will begin at 9 a.m. and run til noon. The lake has already been stocked with rainbow trout in preparation.

Also on January 20th, TPWD will also host a family fishing day at Palmetto State Park. Kids will be have the opportunity to fish first between 9 a.m and noon, after which everybody can fish until 3 p.m. In addition to fishing fun, there will be games and prize too. For more information, call (830) 672-3266.

Want to learn more about fly fishing? On January 27th, there will be an opportunity to learn from the experts. This event will be held at Eisenhower State Park from 9 a.m. til 4 p.m. inside the rec hall. This is the perfect event for anybody who has ever wanted to tie and fish their own flies. And it's an event the whole family will enjoy. Fly tying equipment will be available or you can bring your own. For more information, call (903) 465-1956.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Youth Trout Derby This Weekend

The 6th annual Jasper Youth Trout Derby will be held this Saturday (January 13th) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Jasper City Pond. The derby is open to youth anglers 16 years of age and under.

This is a FREE derby and no registration or fishing license (for kids 16 and under) is required. Just show up at the pond with your fishing rod and be ready to catch some trout! If you don't own your own fishing rod and reel - come anyway! There will be a limited number of rods and reels available for kids who don't have their own. Bait (nightcrawlers and kernel corn), hooks, sinkers, and bobbers will be provided.

Free hotdogs and drinks will also be served and the first 100 kids to show up will get a goodie bag!

Prizes will be awarded for different age categories for the largest and smallest trout caught. There will also be a prize for the largest non-trout fish caught. The daily bag limit is 5 trout.

For more information regarding the trout derby, contact the TPW Inland Fisheries Management Office at (409) 384-9572.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Beginning Fly Tying Classes in Manassas

If you've ever wanted to learn how to tie your own flies, there's a wonderful opportunity available for Virginia residents.

Starting this Spring, the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College will offer a non-credit class in beginning fly tying. Students will learn how to tie flies to catch trout, bass, panfish among others.

An instructional booklet, hooks, and other materials will be provided by the school. But students must supply their own tools. A list of fly tying tools you'll need will be handed out after registration.

The Registration fee for this class is $245. This fee will cover the cost of tying 6 flies of each pattern taught. The seven-week class will meet on Saturdays between 9 - 11 am beginning January 20th, 2007.

The instructor of the class is a member of Trout Unlimited and have already decided there won't be any class on February 24th so that students can attend the annual Angling Show sponsored by Trout Unlimited.

For more information, call (703) 257-6630.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fly Fishing Show in Illinois this Weekend

The Annual Fly Fishing show has begun making it rounds around to various cities. Last weekend it was in Denver, Colorado. This weekend (January 13-14), the Fly Fishing Show will be in Shaumburg, Illinois.

Entry fees are very reasonable at $14/day for adults (or $24/weekend pass) and $2/day for kids under 12 years of age.

There will be lots of seminars, workshops and exhibitions for you to enjoy. You'll also have the opportunity to meet several fly fishing celebrities.

If you are fortunate enough to live near Shaumburg, you might like to take advantage of this opportunity to see the fly fishing show.

And if you don't live in Illinois, be sure to check out the dates and locations where you can see the 2007 Fly Fishing Show.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Fly Fishing Classes Start January 10th - Bring Your Ladder

If you've been wanting to learn how to fly fish, now's your chance. Beginning on January 10th, the Churchill County Parks & Recreation will be offering fly fishing classes on Wednesday evenings between 6:30 - 8:30 pm. These classes will be held every Wednesday night through February 10th, 2007. The class also includes a fishing trip to either Walker or Pyramid lake after the 5th week.

The cost is $60/person and classes will be held in the multipurpose building at 225 Sheckler Road at Fallon. For more information, call Parks & Rec at 775-423-7733.

No experience is necessary. The class will cover everything from basic tackle requirements and casting techniques to more advanced topics. The class will also include some information on fly fishing for Lahonton Cutthroat trout - which Pyramid Lake is famous for!

To learn more about the fly fishing class and instructor, click here.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Make Your Own Sinkers, Jigs & Shots

Have Fun and Save Money By Making Your Own Tackle! Making your own sinkers is not only fun,it can end up saving you money in the long run. All you need is a lead melting pot, lead and some sinker molds. There's not much to it. And these days, you can make just about any size sinker and jig head lure you desire.

Before buying lead, you might want to check your state's fish and game regulations first. Some states have banned the use of lead fishing sinkers. This ban is an attempt to stop lead poisoning of wildlife from inadvertent consumption. The fear is that some birds and wildlife inadvertently eat lost and abandoned sinkers when eating their natural food - and are thereby suffering from lead poisoning.

Some states now require all fishing sinkers and jigs to be made from other non-poisonous materials such as tin,bismuth, steel, and tungsten-nickel alloy. Other states require only prohibit lead in certain size sinkers.

New Hampshire
is one of the states with a lead ban in effect. Lead sinkers weighing 1 ounce or less are prohibited Jig heads made of lead which are 1-inch or less in size are also prohibited.

Maine, New York, and Vermont prohibit the use of lead in sinkers weighing 1/2 ounce or less. Jig heads are not included in the ban. Vermont also intends to implement a program beginning January 1, 2007 where angler can exchange their lead sinkers for non-lead ones.

Massachusetts prohibits the use of lead sinkers in Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs. Lead sinkers can be used in other waters.

Lead sinkers have also been banned in Yellowstone National Park, Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, and Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

Even if you plan on making lead sinkers, you might want to experiment with some of the other metals mentioned above as well.

Getting Started ...

Before making your own sinkers, you need to have a few items. Most of these items are one-time purchases (and they make great gifts too!).

  • Melting Pot

  • Lead (or other metal)

  • Sinker, Jig & Shot Molds

  • Knife, file or lead cutting tool

  • A ladle for tranferring hot lead from the melting pot to the mold

  • Thick gloves

The BassPro shop sells all of these items at very resonable prices. Since you will need a different mold for each size of sinker or jig you wish to make, you might want to suggest these as gift ideas to loved ones! If you do any saltwater fishing, you might also like to start collecting the saltwater sinker molds too!

Lead is classified either 'hard' or 'soft'. When making fishing sinkers, you want to use 'soft' lead. The BassProshop also sells sticks (called Ingots) of lead for this purpose.

Step 1 for Making Sinkers, Jigs, and Shots ...

Once you have all of the components, you're ready to go. BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL when working with lead. Not only do you want to avoid getting burned, but you don't want to let any water touch the hot lead!

When making sinkers, I prefer to do it outside on the cement driveway. That way, I have plenty of room to work and I can't damage too much else.

Put the lead in the melting pot and then heat it up til it melts. Be very careful not to get any hot lead on you.

Once the lead is melted, use the ladle to fill the mold and close the lid. Let the mold stand a few minutes so the lead can cool and set.

After the lead has sufficently cooled, open the mold and remove the sinkers. Be careful, as the lead may still be a bit hot.

There is always excess lead left over on the sinker which needs to be cleaned up. Depending on your comfort level, you can use a pocket knife, file or lead cutting tool. The idea is to shape the sinker or jig head back into it's natural shape. Any lead you cut off, can be placed back in the melting pot and reused. Just be careful putting it back into the melting pot so you don't splash any hot lead on you.

The last thing you will need to do is make a small hole (if there isn't one already) for the fishing line or swivel. You can use a small drill bit for this.

Now Repeat the Process ...

That's pretty much all there is to it. You can repeat this process for each sinker mold you have in order to get a variety of sinker and jig head sizes. You can use various paints to add color to your jig heads.

For more trout fishing tips, click here.

Digg This!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Lead Sinkers Weighing 1/2 or Less Banned in Vermont

As of January 1, 2007 Vermont anglers can no longer use lead weights (sinkers and shots) weighing 1/2 ounce or less. This ban is an effort to help mitigate the problem of some wildlife (especially loons) inadvertently ingesting them and suffering lead poisoning.

Other states (including New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York and Maine) have similar bans. To read more about the lead weights and how they affect the environment, click here.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Problems with Blogger

Please forgive me for the not being able to post the last few days. I have been having problems with the blogger interface all week. There seems to be a bug in the software itself which is affecting many of us bloggers. This bug is preventing me from using the standard functions when posting. Several of us have reported the bug and hope it will be resolved soon. So please check back later.

Monday, January 01, 2007

18 New Trout Fishing Records in 2006!

It's no secret that 2006 was a great year for trout fishing. And we have some new records to prove it!

Thirteen states posted new trout records in 2006, one of which is still pending for a new Junior Angler World Record. British Columbia has two pending records for Rainbow trout caught with fly rods.

The first state to record a new record is Alabama. A Rainbow trout weighing 9lbs-1oz was caught by Otha G. Hamm in Mudd Creek in Tannehill State Park on April 22, 2006. This broke the old record of 7lbs-4oz, set in 2004.

Arizona also recorded two new Rainbow trout records as well a new Apache trout record. Arizona is one of those states that separates its trout records into different categories. The new Inland Water (Hook & Line) record for Rainbow trout was set in September 2006 by Harold Wright. Harold reeled in a 32.5 inch Rainbow trout weighing 15lbs-9.12oz) out of Willow Springs Lake.

Arizona also recorded a new Rainbow trout record in the 'catch and release' category. This record was set in March 2006 by Jeff Senn when he reeled in a 22.5 inch Rainbow trout out of Silver Creek.

A 20 inch Apache trout was pulled out of Christmas Tree Lake by Cameron Frieh in July 2006, thereby also setting a new record. This fish was also released back into the water.

In January 2006, James Harold Cohasset reeled in a 28.33lbs hatchery Rainbow trout measuring 33.5 inches in California. This set a new state record for hatchery rainbow trout.

Connecticut's new state record for Rainbow trout is still pending. The fish was caught by Billy Lutgen in July 2006 and weighed 7lbs-8oz. It was reeled out of Norwalk River.

Colorado has two new Rainbow trout records pending. Both records were caught by David Pesi in August 2006 and were pulled out of Big Thompson River in the Rocky Mountains. The first trout weighed 1lbs-3oz and the second weighed 1lbs-5oz. The second trout was also caught using a fly rod.

Idaho has a new Splake trout record, recorded in May 2006. It weighed 10lbs-12.48 oz, measuring 28.5 inches in length. Brian Allison caught it in Ririe Reservoir using a Frenzy Deep River Lure.

New York has a new Brook trout record thanks to Jesse Yousey. In May 2006, Jesse used a Lake Clear Wobler lure to reel in his 4lb-15oz Brook trout out of Five Ponds Wilderness area.

North Carolina recorded a new Rainbow trout record of 20lbs-3oz caught in Horsepasture River by Leah Johnson. Leah used a Rapala lure.

Vermont's new Rainbow trout record was set by Harry Hunt in March 2006 when he reeled in 13lbs-12oz trout out of Lake Dunmore.

Wisconsin's new inland water record for Rainbow trout was set in June 2006 by Will Lusthoff when he reeled in a 12lbs-3oz trout out of Elbow Lake. Wills' trout measured 29.5 inches in length.

And last but not least, Wyoming also has a new state record for Tiger trout, set in July 2006 by Greg Salisbury. His Tiger trout weighed 1lb-10oz and measured 16.5 inches in length.

The International Game & Fish Association (IGFA) also has 3 NEW WORLD TROUT RECORDS PENDING!

The first pending world record is for a Brown trout caught by junior angler Christopher Miller in October 2006. His trout weighed 14lbs-9oz and was reeled out of Dry Run Creek in Arkansas.

The next two pending world records in the Fly Rod category and are for Bull trout. Both were caught in August 2006 out of Wigwam River in British Columbia, Canada. The first Bull trout was 10lbs-8oz (caught by Josh Splinter) and the second was 18lbs 8oz (caught by A. Matthew Eggert). Tippet sizes were different.

Record were made to be broken! Here's wishing you all a good luck in 2007!

And if you do happen to catch that new record trout, let us know!

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