Spin fishing for trout (Part 2)
The next thing you need is your "bait." It could be in a dough, nightcrawler, your own mixture, or in the form of salmon eggs. While I find baits mainly work on hatchery trout, you can also sometimes catch a trout trout or two on some of these. Yes, dough are a type of fishing bait. They have a special scent to them and texture to them, and float in the water. There are many rigs on how to rig them up, but the basic rig has you tie on a weight on your line, heavy enough so that it sinks in the water and firmly stays on the bottom. 12"-18" up the line you then tie on a hook, small enough that it can hook on to your bait and fully be embedded,.
Dough bait needs to be rolled into a small ball, which is then places on your hook. Do not expose the hook point! By far, Berkley Powerbait Trout Bait is the most popular dough bait for trout. Other Berkley trout dough baits are commonly sold are big retail outlets around the country, such as Walmart. Dough type baits are the most common ad most popular trout baits currently.
Next up are the salmon eggs. Berkley, and some other companies make artificial versions of this. There is an old tradition are using "cured" salmon eggs in the US, with scent and color added to attract fish. Trout and salmon natural will try to eat eggs they see when they are out foraging, not only for a high nutritional content, but to ensure that their young have less competition. Salmon eggs are commonly, although less popular to dough, and can be bought at Walmart, Dick's and other large stores.
Lastly, we have the humble nightcrawler. In an age of powerful laboratory scents, flashy neon colors, and even flashier advertising, the nightcrawler still is one of the most common trout baits. Available at bait shops, or at local markets, you can also dig them up. They are very effective on trout, and have natural scent and texture built inside of them. Rig them up on a hook, add a split shot 12" up the line, add a bobber, and you're all set.
Bait fishing is not for everyone, and in certain special conservation areas, you are not allowed to use them. Also, baits have a much higher chance of killing trout than artificial lures or flies, so we ask that you only use baits in put and take management areas, and to not release any fish hooked on bait, since they will probably die. It's a good way to fish for stocked trout, and a great way to spend time with friends and family. Trout fishing also supports the Maryland Departments of Natural Resources (DNR) because people over 16 years of age have to buy a trout stamp and a fishing license, generating revenue to support the many streams and forests that we love.
When most people think of trout fishing, they think of fly fishing. But that's not the only way to catch trout. Trout will just as easily take an inline spinner as they would to a wooly bugger, a type of fly. Sometimes, one works better than the other. But both seem to be very good and productive fish catchers.
Trout are fun to catch, and it is a great way to enjoy the outdoors.
To start off, fist you need an ultralight spinning rod and reel. Rods up to medium action are fine, but you are missing out on the fight, and it's troublesome and heavy., and your lure would not be presented as well as with lighter gear.
Next, you need some line. Light line (less than 6 pound test) is the way to go. If you line is too heavy, you will have trouble presenting your lures. Not only that, trout are sharp eyed, and a thick line is a red flag to them. Also, be sure not to use braided line, which would show up as a rope under the water, which may spook your trout. If you want to, you can have a fluorocarbon leader (12"-18") to hide you line even more under water. Fluorocarbon is nearly invisible under water.
You also need your lures. Trout fishing lures can be very different from a bass fisherman's arsenal. Trout lures have to be very small. Even the trophy sized trout don't eat big things commonly, but rather many small things. Trout like flash, which look like a fleeing baitfish. Inline spinners are very effective for this purpose.
Above: Fallfish (left) and small mouth bass are common catches when you are trout fishing. Both put up an excellent fight!
Inline spinners have a rotating blade that has thump and flash to attract trout. They are, however, quite expensive, so don't use them in water with many snags. The fact that they have treble hooks does not help. Spinners should not be retrieved smoothly and in rhythm. Jerk it, slow the retrieve, speed up the retrieve, ect. That attracts more trout.
The next lure to consider are spoons. They are yes, the bowl of a spoon, with the handle cut off and a treble hook attached. They are effective, and when retrieved through the water, have an erratic motion, which, along with their flash attracts trout. Some spoons sold in stores are for larger fish. 1/32 and1/8 are good sizes for spoons. The lighter the spoon, the smaller it is.
The last lure, which is very effective, especially when the trout are sluggish, are micro jigs and soft plastics. When you are burning the water with you inline spinner, and are getting no bites, consider these. Jigs and soft plastics are also much cheaper than spoons and spinners. Jerk around, dead drift them, swim them, or jig them on the bottom. There are many presentations for jigs.
The CFS is proud to be be collaborating with Trout Unlimited, a cold water fisheries conservation organization, to have Clarksville Middle School participate in Trout in Classroom, a program by Trout Unlimited where students are able to class trout at school, learn about their biology, and eventually release them into a local waterway.
Above: CFS mentor and Howard County GT Resources teacher Philip Herdman receives the equipment needed for Trout in the Classroom.
The CFS will be raising the fish and will eventually release them. Students will learn about the life cycle of trout, their habitat requirements, natural diet, and the man made threats facing them. Students will undertake action projects to learn about trout and help them in their natural habitat. The trout will be raised in the media center at Clarksville Middle School (CMS), and will be going to join a small population of native Creek Chub that are currently being raised and observed by students.
Students will also be learning about the economic importance of trout fisheries, such as the businesses that thrive from a healthy population in a river. Rainbow trout eggs will arrive on Dec. 19, and will be hatched and taken care of by CMS students .
"I think this is going to be great," says teacher Philip Herdman. "We are going to have an absolute blast and a great time learning and taking care of these fish."
Special thanks goes to Alan Burrows and Bob O'Donnell as well as others at Trout Unlimited for helping make this happen!
YFS Students Visit Piney Run
On Wednesday, November 10th, 40 students from the CMS Chapter of the YFS visited Piney Run Park in Carroll County, Maryland. They came to Piney Run to study the ecology of large lakes, as well as the ecosystem that surrounds them.
Above: Three students pose for a picture while dip netting.
After a 30 minute drive, the students went into Piney Run Nature Center, where the staff there helped them dip net for small organisms in the water. The students would then learn about organisms after taking them to a high powered microscope for observation.
Top: Students dip net for small fish.
Bottom: Students examine their catch.
Stduents also wade through the water with dip nets. All the organisms caught are recorded.
"This was the favorite part of the trip," says student Azariah Seblu, age 13. "I like catching fish and examining them. I find new things about them almost all the time."
Students also catch small aquatic insects, crayfish, snails, and find some shells. They also gather aquatic plants and rocks to examine later under a microscope.
Below: Seblu (white jacket) wades through the water to dip net.
After dip netting for some time, students go inside the nature center at Piney Run, where, after a short discussion, the staff put the organisms caught by the students on a high powered microscope. The staff then begin to teach the students about the life cycle of the organisms, and their respective roles in the ecosystems of a lake.
Above: Students study about the aquatic insects of Piney Run.
After that, students went into another section of the Piney Run nature center and studied about land animals and reptiles native to Maryland, and the important roles the animals play into the ecosystem at Piney Run. Animals observed include Red Tailed Hawks, Painted Turtles, Corn Snakes, and Eastern Box Turtles.
"It was really interesting looking at the animals at Piney Run," remarks one student I had no idea that land animals could play such important roles in an aquatic ecosystem. I sure learned a lot of facts today!"
Above: Students learn about Red Tailed Hawks.
After that, the students went fishing for Piney Run's native fish species. They have caught and recorded several fish species, including bluegill, yellow perch, green sunfish, and brown bullhead catfish, despite the cold temperature and rainy weather.
Above: Students fishing for native Maryland fish.
Lastl, after an exhausting day of learning and fun, the students pile into the bus and leave Piney Run Park.
"I liked the trip," states student Holden Kim, age 14. "I learned many things, despite the weather. I would definitely go on this trip again!"
Catch and Release
Fishing for cold water game fish species can be very stressful to the fish. It can possibly kill them. Since the fish are adapted for cold, clean water, many things, such as chemicals on your hand, being out in the sun, of even overheating from your hand, can easily kill them. That is why it is vital to follow these tips when fishing for cold water species.
1. Cutting the line sometimes is needed when it is not possible to remove the hook without harming the fish, Only a small piece of line should be left on the hook to ease passage through the digestive system. Research has documented that cutting the line can greatly increase the survival of deeply hooked fish. Also, research has found that the majority of hooked fish will throw off their hook after release. When you are trying to get the hook out, you may rupture vital organs, damage the slime coat, or just plainly overstress the fish. If the hook can't be removed, don't do it!
2. Do not handle fish by placing your fingers in the gill slits! Fish gill filaments are very sensitive and can easily be injured. Trout in particular are very sensitive to this. Fish should be handled by cradling the fish near the head and tail if possible, or by gently holding the fish near the mid-section. If the fish is not to be harvested, don't do this.
3. Try to land your fish as quickly as possible and don’t play the fish too much. This is particularly important when fishing for trout in periods of warmer water temperatures), but it is also true for other cold water species when water temperatures are relatively high (greater than 80 degrees F). Also, lactic acid may build up inside the fish, causing more stress and harm. If it takes you a long time to land fish, your drag may be set too loosely or your gear may be too light for the fish you are catching. Also, the fish has more time to throw off the hook.
Above: Handling a fish.
4. Using a fine-mesh landing net may aid in reducing the amount of time required to land a fish and keep it from thrashing about, possibly causing damage to itself. Also, during this time, your fish may throw off the hook, and you would have lost a prized fish.
5. Wet your hands, your net, and other materials that may come in contact with the fish before your land it. Wet hands make the damage to the vital mucus of the fish less severe. Also, if the fish is not for the table, do not se a towel!
6. Keep the fish in the water. It is best to remove the hook from a fish you intend to release without taking it out of the water. Either that, or you minimize the time the fish is out of the water. Try not to envelope the fish with your hands, either. You may have chemicals on your hands that irritate the fish, or you are damaging the mucus coat. You can even overheat smaller trout and other fish with your hands,
7. If you can, try not to use barbed hooks. Barbless hooks can help with the quick removal of the hook from a fish and also reduce the risk of hooking injuries to the angler. Pinching down the barb with needle-nose pliers works to do that. However, the fish can throw off the hook easier.
Hi. I am Ian, an extremely avid bass fisherman living in Howard County, MD. I like to bank fish and fish at local ponds and small creeks. I will explore budget friendly options for people to use in this blog. I hope I can teach you something.