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Stocked Trout Fishing Tips For Success
Ok - so you live around Chicago or any place trout are stocked and it's the annual trout stocking - your fishing panic is building as trout fishing opening day approaches. Anglers around you are loading up their tackle boxes and getting their annual trout stamps purchased so that they can hit the waters for opening day morning - ready. If you have never been trout fishing during the inland trout stocking and you are making the 2012 trout fishing your first, there are a few things you should know. Opening Day Trout Fishing Crowds
The crowds can be thick. Don't expect a pristine setting, but instead think Black Friday (Saturday) with trout. Anglers will be crowded in very tightly in many places along the shore of your favorite pond. Be patient as the skills are not great of your neighboring trout fishermen. Expect to have your line cast over and a tangle is not out of the question in these tight, trout fishing ponds.
Hit or Miss Trout Fishing
Stocked Trout can be biting everything that moves through the water and they can also be swimming past every single piece of fishing tackle and bait that you throw. Don't expect that your perfect method will work every single time. The rainbow trout they stock in lakes around cities have been shipped across state lines and have had to adjust from their new environment. Expect maybe to get a few hits but adding time to your fishing might just help you to catch a few.
Live Trout Baits
Using live bait to catch the stocked trout is usually the way to go. There are some times when the artificial baits will work because these trout can be daft - and can hit anything during some times. If you wish to be the most consistent at catching the rainbow trout - you need to mind the eyes. Small baits appeal to the trout because of their superior eyesight they rarely miss a bait. The more natural your offering, the faster they will swim at and take your bait. They can see insects the size of a pencil dot so trout can tell the difference between fake and real. Think spikes, waxworms and small minnows to score. You will find that spikes offer you far superior hook-up rates than the power baits or artificial jarred baits and can be less expensive (when you buy in bulk).
Small Trout Hook
The smaller your hook is and the finer the wire, the more likely your bait will hang up in the water column and the slower it will drop on the fall - both extremely appealing actions to stocked rainbow trout. Size 14, 16 & 18 are excellent choices to increase your trout takes with the stocked trout we have in the Spring trout season. Go with actual trout dry fly hooks to get the right size and try calling your bait shop to make sure these small trout hooks are in stock.
Thin Leaders Catch
Back to the eyesight - these fish can see tiny things so stealthy line will help prevent the trout from swimming past your bait. 2lb. and even 1 lb. leader line might be the difference between you scoring your first stocked trout and getting skunked. When the fishing gets tough- a thin line will score. The exception to fishing these skinny lines as your leader would be if you are dealing with a thick weed line on your lake. If this is the case- you might need a rake or rake head to clear a path through the weed. If you can create this channel - you can reel your trout in after playing them on the light line. The secret to playing fish on the light line is allowing the trout to run a bit and keeping them in the water. Backreeling is hitting the switch and physically reeling backwards toward the running fish - letting line out from your reel manually. Open face reels have a switch at the back bottom of the spool. Flip this one way and the reel only cranks in. Flip this the other direction and you can reel either forward or back. Keep tension on your fish with the rod tip and reel back and forward until you feel you have control. With control you should be able to slide the fish - when quiet over your waiting net in the water. With light lines you will need a landing net.
Big Float - Little Float - More Trout
Limiting out many times I have been trout fishing during Illinois' trout stocking seasons, I have learned a lot. On some days, the trout can be taken using the largest float but seldom are numbers caught on a round bobber. The thinner your bite indictor is, the more you will se the trout hit. Trout might hit baits accurately - but they also are quite adept at ejecting the bait when they feel resistance. If your bobber is wide, the fish can easily get rid of your hook before you can get a hook set on these very fast stocked rainbows. I have caught them using long-casting waggler floats but recently have had more luck using much smaller pole floats to hook up. There are some days where the stocked trout "hit short". On these days you will notice (with a property balanced waggler) that the rainbows are hitting the float, it goes under and then pops back up with no fish. With the smaller pole floats, casting is limited, but the fish rarely let go of this setup. A.5 or.8 gram float is a killer bite indicator for the stocked trout in DuPage and Cook Counties. The rig I used is sold here:
http://chicagofishingschool.com/?page_id=143 . This float caught more fish and limits of stocked trout than anything I saw on the water. Scratch off those times where they will bite anything and everything - this float produces in calm, wind and cold as well as everyday conditions. Look for a post from my fishing with trout pictures this weekend!
While you might be high and dry up on shore, a pair of boots can be worth their weight in gold. Keeping your feet dry while landing fish, stepping at the waters' edge and just setting up is really important to your comfort. All water is cold once it seeps into your shoes, and without a pair of even short fishing boots, your cold feet can mean a very tiring, even dangerous trout fishing outing. Waterproof boots where you can step right into the cold water, will keep your comfortable and warm for the whole fishing trip. Once wet, your entire body temperature can lower and you can run the danger of hypothermia and strain which can lead to a dangerous day. Especially in the colder water and weather, keeping your feet dry will mean a lot. The nice thing about having your fishing boots- you can take them off, place them on paper and save your car from all the mud. Slip into some warm, dry shoes at your car and you are all set for a comfortable ride home - instead of a shaky, shivery trip of dread.
Follow these tips on your next "Trouting" and you will be rewarded. Some of these items will contrast with how you do it now- keep an open mind and try one or two, I hope they work for you, but you can't tell if your fishing will be better until you try.
Use these tips to catch more stocked rainbow trout will help you out when you head out to ponds, lakes and river - everywhere that trout are stocked for special fishing seasons. Catch you again soon - see I practice catch-and-release with you, and you should do the same with the fish you catch.