"Some Tips for Catching Trout
As you read through the stocking tables, please note that many lakes are open year round, or open on March 1, and may be stocked as early as January. While it might be too late this year to take advantage of this knowledge, stocking schedules are fairly consistent from year-to-year, so you can plan to get in some good early season fishing next year.
Research has shown that trout tend to stay in the top three to five feet of water for the first weeks after stocking. This makes them easy prey for cormorants and other avian predators, which can take a significant bite out of our stocking efforts. Where avian predation is prevalent, your best chance for success may come in the first couple of weeks after trout are stocked. Angler activity tends to disrupt the feeding birds and can save the fish for a longer period of good fishing.
Because of this tendency of stocked trout to remain shallow for a while after stocking, fishing on the bottom may not be as productive early as it will be later. Troll shallow with small lures, flies, or spinner-and-bait combinations early in the season. When fishing from shore, use a float to keep your bait up in the feeding zone.
After a few weeks, the trout will cue in on natural food items and be found where the food is, and this tends to be deeper. At this time, try fishing on or just off the bottom, using floating paste type baits or other buoyant baits. Also, natural baits such as worms, fish eggs, or flies and lures that imitate natural trout food work well. This will also be the case in lakes managed primarily with fry plants where the fish have grown up on natural food."
"Troll shallow with small lures, flies, or spinner-and-bait combinations early in the season. When fishing from shore, use a float to keep your bait up in the feeding zone." Well, I've made up some rigs that should fit the bill.
The three items at the top are a sample of the mini-lake trolls I've made for shallow running. The next three are mini-lures built on wire shafts. From left to right, the first lure has a Muddler minnow attached, the second a Wooly Bugger,and the third a Doc Spratley wet fly. We usually attach these to the trolls with a mono leader anywhere from 12" to up to 36" long.
The next three are built on mono leader with hooks although they can be made with the wet flies rather than the hooks too. The last row is a sample of the baits I like to use in conjunction with a fly rig or a hook rig. They are very soft plastic and have either Berkely or Bragger scent cooked right in them. My son-in-law prefers using just a Muddler or Wooly Bugger with a piece of Night Crawler attached or even just trolling a Night Crawler by itself on a hook. I'm a bit partial to the artificial baits used in conjunction with the lures. If he's catching and I am not, you can be rest assured it will bother me not at all to change up. Although every fisherman has his/her favorite way to fish, one should be willing to try different things in order to make a catch.
At any rate, we have the itch to get going and in the next week or two I'll have some work done on our boat trailer and we will rip-roaring and ready to go!