Archive for the ‘Rainbow Trout’ Tag

TANEYCOMO’S WINTER TROUT FISHING ACTION   Leave a comment

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The overcast skies begin to clear. There is little wind as we put the boat in the water but that changes an hour or so later.  Temperatures are around freezing but they seem colder once the wind picks up.

Our quest today is for rainbow and brown trout in Lake Taneycomo near Branson, MO. The winter spawn for browns is just over last month.  But the rainbows are just entering theirs.  We actually catch fish full of eggs and sperm in the pre-spawn.

Trout have a lateral line like all fish. They respond to movement, vibration and sound.  The lateral line allows them to pinpoint a direction from which those things emanate.  They move toward that sound and then use their sight to zero in on it.

Trout have tiny scales because they live often times in a moving water environment. This coupled with their slime coat allows them to go nose into the current with less energy.  They are also very slippery to handle while landing.

Lake Taneycomo contains both rainbow trout and brown trout.  Rainbow is the prominent stocking fish.  That is because they are the easiest trout to grow.  They take to the food, they take to the overcrowding and they take the polluted water a little bit better than a brown trout.  The water here is quite clear.

Just because anglers prefer to use dry flys because it is more fun it is not the only way. We are using artificial lures cast from spinning gear.  The jigs suspend about 4 feet below a small float.  Their eyes are mid-range.  That means they are comfortable looking up for food as well as down.  They are multi-directional feeders.

Trout in the wild like cold moving water with a rocky bottom. This describes much of the lake bottom here.  Out best success comes in water flowing over gravel.  Trout prefer water in the 40- to 55-degree range.  This can vary by sub-species.

On rivers where water levels change during the day, they will survive through adaptation. When the current is fast, they will be near the edges of the river system.  As water levels lower and current decreases they will go more toward the middle or anywhere in the river system.

They relate to structure only to conserve energy and preserve calories.

Today we hook into several brown trout but only land one. The rainbows are numerous and we catch a number of them.

Toward the end of our 4 hour trip fingers get numb but it is a trip well worth the effort. To paraphrase a famous World War II general, I shall return.

 

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TROUT FISHING IN KANSAS   Leave a comment

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When you think about trout fishing, Kansas does not pop into your consciousness right away.  This program of stocking trout into deep former strip mining pits has produced some quality angling.  In 2014 one Kansas angler caught a 15.72-pound, 28.5-inch rainbow trout to establish a new state record for the species.

By releasing 935 trout every two weeks beginning in mid-October until the end of May, Kansans enjoy great trout fishing.  Most of the fish are about 10-inches in length and weigh about 1/2 pound each.  Five percent of each release includes 14-inch or larger fish.  These trout can live year around in these deep cool lakes.  As a result it is possible a trout in the 3 to 5-pound range will take your bait.

Trout season runs from November 1st to June 15th.

Land reclamation of mined land is a success story of monumental proportions.  Such land provides recreational opportunities for photographers and wildlife observation as well as the more common consumptive uses of hunting and fishing.

Near Parsons, KS is the Mined Land Wildlife Area.   The land was once the victim of “Big Brutus” a 12 million pound electric coal shovel.  Brutus striped away the land in search of coal deposits.  In his wake came deep pits reclaimed as lakes and ponds stocked with bass, trout and other species of game fish.

There are several hundred pits in the area providing some 1,500-acres of public fishing.  Each lake is specifically managed for particular species.  The trout lake is 28-acres containing particular water elements that allow rainbow and brown trout to live all year around.

Sheltered from the wind, the lake is too small for larger boats.  Float tubes, canoes and Kayaks are best suited for this situation.

For information regarding this fishing opportunity contact Mined Land Wildlife Area, 507 E. 560th Avenue, Pittsburg, KS 66762.  The office phone number is 620-231-3173.  Information is also available online at kdwp.state.ks.us, the website for Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.   Local information is available at http://www.visitlabette.com, the local tourism bureau website.

FINDING PUT-N-TAKE TROUT   Leave a comment

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Classic trout fishermen typically throw very small flys.  The reason they can do it is that trout are sight feeders and their vision is very acute.  Conditions dictate that fisherman to use certain flys.

Just because anglers prefer to use dry flys because it is more fun it is not the only option.  Their eyes are mid-range.  That means they are comfortable looking up for food as well as down making them multi-directional feeders.

Trout in the wild prefer cold moving water over a rocky bottom.  They can survive in the still water of a pond but on a more limited basis.  The ideal water temperature for trout is in the 40 to 55-degree range.  This can vary by sub-species.

On rivers where water levels change during the day, they survive through adaptation.  When the current is fast, they will be near the edges of the river system.  As water levels lower and current decreases they will go more toward the middle or they will range the river system.

Their relating to structure is to conserve energy and preserve calories.

A trout has a lateral line like all fish.  He responds to movement, vibration and sound.  The lateral line allows him to pinpoint a direction from which those things emanate.  He then moves toward that sound and then uses sight to zero in on it.

Trout have tiny scales allowing them to love in a moving water environment.  This coupled with their slime coat allows them to go nose into the current with less energy.  It also makes them very slippery to handle while landing.

Most popular are rainbow trout and brown trout.  Rainbow is the prominent stocking fish.  That is because they are the easiest trout to grow.  They take to the food, they take to the overcrowding and they take the polluted water a little bit better than a brown trout.

When you remove a trout from a hatchery and place it in any body of water there are two things to remember.  Where did that truck back up to? And what do you have a lot of in your tackle box?  For about 3 days trout will be stupid.  They spend some time where they are released trying to get acclimated.  They will bite anything until accustomed to the habitat.  They do not have the instincts and intuition of a wild trout because they have never had to do anything for their meals.

In most instances most manmade lakes have an area where there may be a little bit of a spring.  When the builders dug down perhaps they found a little spring trickle.  If the fish find that area they hang out there and feed to survive through the summer.  It might only be 2% or less of the total water available.

Stocked lakes do not usually have a trout kill.  Anglers remove most of the trout.  Every once in a while someone catches a whopper in a lake where they have been stocking them for a number of years.

Brown trout are more likely to be in cooler water and in moving water.  They will be in habitat that has more structure.  They are thinking ambush.  They think prey.  They are thinking what to do for the next meal.  Rainbows are just happy to be there and will just swim around.

 

DUNKIN WORMS FOR CATCHABLE TROUT   Leave a comment

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Illinois spring catchable trout program opens in April. It opens in other areas at different dates but the scene is still the same. During the season Illinois anglers have a chance to catch this great tasting cold water species.

Under a program funded by the Inland Trout Stamp required of participants in the program, The IDNR stocks hatchery raised trout in the 10 or 11-inch class.

Rainbow trout prefer water that remains below 72-degrees. Most of our Illinois waters do not stay that cool all year. Trout like to stay within 4 feet of the surface when stocked. Later they move to the bottom except to feed. This cold-water denizen survives in spring-fed lakes and ponds. Baring these conditions, they are stocked in colder waters surviving until late spring.

This hardy fish and aggressive eater eats commercial fish pellets at the hatchery prior to transfer to other waters. On opening day, the rush to catch some trout results in many locations having crowds of anglers elbow to elbow along the shore.   After the first day fishing tends to return more to normal levels of anglers.

Once in the water at a site location, trout take a variety of bait, artificial or natural.

In the first few days of survival in stocked ponds, trout attack in-line spinners, casting spoons, chunks of cheese and marshmallows. Even Velveeta cheese spread placed on a very small hook catches fish. Other grocery store baits include corn and shrimp. Place the baits on a hook suspended beneath a bobber about 18 inches.

After the first day it is advisable to switch to live bait. It is then that worm dunking comes into play. Rainbow trout have about 2,500 taste buds. That compares with about 9,000 in us. Trout are one of the least selective feeders. But, they soon turn to only baits that contain tastes commonly found in living tissue. The top of that list contains members of the worm family.

The more acclimated fish prefer live baits such as mealworms, red worms, maggots, minnows and nightcrawlers. A one-inch piece of nightcrawler threaded on a number 10 hook makes a good presentation. This bait is suspended beneath a slip bobber about 18-inches deep to start. The slip bobber is adjustable to place the nightcrawler piece at a specific depth. Ultimately the right depth is where one finds the fish are cruising in search of forage.

Fresh from the hatchery, trout feed in the top 1 to 2 feet of water. They are accustomed to eating pellets thrown to them. Due to the competition from other fish in the raceways, the pellets do not get a chance to sink much deeper. As the trout become use to their new home after stocking they become hold on the bottom in groups except to rise up while feeding. They also take live bait suspended just off the bottom.

Fishing on the lower depths requires a live bait rig. It consists of a hook with live bait at the end of the line. About two feet up the line attach a small split shot. Above that is an egg sinker that slides up and down the line. The split shot keeps it from going all the way to the hook. The egg sinker sits on the bottom. The two feet between it and the hook allows the live bait to float just off the bottom or in the case of minnows to swim around.

Most of the ponds with these 10 to 11-inch fish have relatively featureless bottoms. If there is any structure or vegetation available they soon find it and make it their home. Otherwise it is a good idea to fish facing into the wind.   The wind forces indigenous forage toward you.

TROUT RISING IN NORTHEAST IOWA   Leave a comment

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A warm spring day promises peaceful trout fishing.  Anglers with fly rods and those using ultra-light spinning tackle, ply the cold-water streams of rural “Little Switzerland” in search of rainbow, brook and brown trout.  And we find them.

Water quality is a problem with trout stocking programs.  Particularly in streams where a disturbance in the watershed adds sediment and flooding reduces the steam bank over story.  Flooding also affects the food supply.

Some areas are “walk-in” types because they are accessible only by foot.  Others are near campgrounds that are open to the public with both “primitive” and pack-in camping.  Each area is marked with a large yellow and brown sign that acts as a guide.  The sign marks areas where the Iowa DNR has negotiated public fishing access with local landowners.

All catchable trout steams are on a “put-and-take” basis.  The fish are catchable size of 10 to 13 inches and a weight of about a half pound before placing into the streams.  They added on a quota basis.  Most of the fish are rainbow trout but some are brown trout.

Between three times per week and monthly the fish go into the streams.  Frequency is dependent upon water levels and temperatures.  Hot summers are hard on trout due to low water conditions and warm water temperature.  Trout do best in water that is below 70 degrees.

Tackle for trout comes in a variety of sizes and shapes.  Of course there is the ever present fly rod and a limitless variety of flies.  In recent years longer rods and thinner lines have become the preference for trout angling.

Ultra light spinning outfits are popular.  The light line coupled with small ice fishing spoons and little in-line spinners or casting spoons work well.

Natural baits like trout eggs, salmon eggs, cheese, worms, night crawlers and spikes of course are the choice of some anglers.  Velveeta cheese is a favorite because it molds well to the hook and trout love it.  The presented below a small float and allowed to drift into fishy areas, almost anything catches these hungry trout.

Areas such as lay downs, brush piles, weeds, rocks and boulders will hold fish.  Trout can be an opportunity feeder, holding in slack water awaiting some tasty morsel that might drift past.

As we catch and release a number of “bows” the other sub-species evade us.  There will be another day.  For today we are done and have to get back on the road.

For the angler seeking more information about trout, the Hatchery at Manchester, Iowa is a good place to visit.  Located three miles east of Manchester and just a little south of Route 20, the hatchery produces most of the trout used in the trout program.  Other information about trout fishing in Iowa is available on Iowa Department of Natural Resources website.

DUNKIN WORMS FOR TROUT   Leave a comment

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Spring catchable trout programs allow anglers catch these denizens of the cold water often not normally available the rest of the year.

Rainbow trout live in water that remains below 72-degrees and within 4 feet of the surface.  They can survive in spring-fed lakes and ponds.  Baring these conditions, they stocked in colder waters surviving until late spring.

This aggressive eater is fed supplementally with the use of commercial fish food at the hatchery prior to being introduced our waters.  Once at the site location they are known to take a variety of bait, artificial and natural.

In the first few days of survival in the stocked ponds, trout can be caught using just about anything as bait.  In-line spinners, marshmallows and even Velveeta cheese spread placed on a very small hook will do the job.  The hook is suspended beneath a bobber about 18 inches deep.

After a few days it is advisable to switch to live bait.  Rainbow trout have about 2,500 taste buds.  That compares with about 9,000 in you and me.  Trout are known to be one of the least selective feeders.  But, they soon turn to only baits that contain tastes commonly found in living tissue.

They seek out live baits such as mealworms, red worms, maggots, minnows and nightcrawlers.  One bait popular with anglers is a one-inch piece of nightcrawler threaded on a number 10 hook.  This bait is suspended beneath a slip bobber about 18-inches down.  Fresh from the hatchery, a trout feeds in the top 1-2 feet of water.  Later they become bottom dwellers but will come up to eat.

Live bait suspended just off the bottom is also a good prospect.  The bait is still placed on the hook but instead of a bobber one places a slip sinker just above it.  The bait is allowed to move on the bottom and the sinker helps it stay down.

Most of the ponds into which these fish are stocked have relatively featureless bottoms.  If there is any structure of vegetation available they usually soon find it and stay there.  Otherwise it is a good idea to fish facing into the wind when the indigenous forage is blown toward you.

PUT-N-TAKE TROUT   Leave a comment

Midwest trout

Put-and-take trout fishing requires more thought than most anglers believe.  Sure it is possible to catch them with little effort.  Consistently getting results after the first few days is a little more difficult.  Finding fish requires knowledge of their habits.

Rainbow trout are the prominent stocking fish.  That is because they are the easiest trout to grow.  They take to the food, the overcrowding and the polluted water a little bit better than other trout.

Trout fishermen in the classic sense typically throw very small flys to these sight feeders.  The reason they can do that is that the fish’s vision is very acute.  Conditions cause the fisherman to use certain flys.

Just because anglers prefer to use dry flys because it is more fun it is not the only way.  The trout’s eyes are mid-range.  They are comfortable looking up for food as well as down making them multi-directional feeders.

In the first few days away from the hatchery, trout seek their food on or near the surface like the food pellets they eat in the hatchery.  Gradually they revert to normal food sources in the water such as small minnows, crustaceans and insects.

Trout in the wild like cold moving water with a rocky bottom.  They can survive in pond water but on a more limited basis.  They prefer water in the 40 to 55-degree range.

On rivers where water levels change during the day, they survive through adaptation.  When the current is fast, they will be near the edges of the river system.  As water levels lower and current decreases they go more toward the middle.

Trout relate to structure only to conserve energy and preserve calories.

Trout have a lateral line like all fish and respond to movement, vibration and sound.  The lateral line will allow them to pinpoint the direction from which those things emanate.  They move toward the sound and then use their sight to zero in on it.

Trout have tiny scales because they live often times in a moving water environment.  This coupled with their slime coat allows them to go nose into the current with less energy.  They are also very slippery to handle while landing.

When removed the hatchery and placed in any body of water there are two things to remember about trout.  Where did that truck back up to? And what do you have a lot of in your tackle box?  For about 3 days they are stupid.  They spend some time where they are released trying to get acclimated.  They will bite anything until accustomed to the habitat.  They do not have the instincts and intuition of a wild trout because they have never had to do anything for their meals.

In most instances most manmade lakes have an area where maybe there is a little bit of a spring.  When builders dug down perhaps they found a little spring trickle.  If the fish find that area they hang out there and feed to survive.

Stocked lakes do not usually have a trout kill.  Anglers and local predators remove most of the trout.  In warmer climates, the remaining fish tend to die in hot weather.  Every once in a while someone catches a whopper in a lake where they have been stocking them for a number of years.

 

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