May 5th, 2013

Fishing is definitely on the upswing around Southwest, Montana. Good hatches of midges are often bringing trout to the surface on the right days. The spring baetis hatches are just getting started and will become much more important in the weeks to come. The streamer fishing has also been very good – not always a lot of action but for those willing to stay with the big bunny patterns some big browns are coming to the net. Small streams are still closed until May 18th but most larger and medium sized rivers are open (with the exception of some parts of the Madison) along with the Livingston spring creeks of DePuy, Armstrong and Nelson. Rainbows are in spawning mode and are filling up some tributaries and the spring creeks so be careful to stay away from fish on their redds in the spawning gravel.

Trout metabolism is tied to water temperature and as rivers and streams slowly warm they are becoming more and more active but still plan on using some winter tactics. Trout are still in their winter runs and will be there for most of the early spring. This time of year you need to be have laser focus on where you fish and target the deeper runs with slow to medium currents. Trout will not move into the fast riffles or bustling pocket water until much later in the spring and early summer. The good news is that once you find some of these cold water honey holes they will be packed with trout. Fish densities in the best winter runs can be staggering with dozens upon dozens of trout packed together. Time of day is also very important. Morning water temperatures are cold and the fish don’t start moving in earnest until the late morning. Slow stripping streamers in deeper runs can produce a connection some mornings but usually activity doesn’t pick up until midges start hatching around 10am or so. The best fishing is often after lunch when water temperatures peak.

Nymphing is hands down the most effective technique in the early spring months if there are not rising trout (although streamers and even dries can still be an option). The fly selection doesn’t have to be fancy but will very from fishery to fishery. On the bigger freestone rivers such as the Yellowstone, Gallatin and Madison it is nice to still fish something larger as the top fly such as a stonefly nymph, crayfish pattern or sculpin trailed by a smaller nymph. For small nymphs think small with hooks in the 18-20 range. Patterns that produce include small baetis emergers, pheasant tails and midge larva. San Juan worms and eggs are also good patterns to try and if you are fishing a tail water or spring creek a sow bug can produce (especially pink). On spring creeks the big/small rule for nymphing can still apply but the “big fly” might be a size 14 sow bug trailed by a size 22 midge larva. Takes in the cold weather months are always very “soft”. The fact that trout are not moving much for flies along with the slow water that they are found in produces a very light reaction on a strike indicator. It is important to experiment with weighting to ensure flies are right on the bottom. Many of our guides also prefer a yarn indicator in the winter which makes it easier to see subtle ticks and changes of speed. If your indicator tilts, slows down, speeds up, or looks “funny” set the hook and ask questions later.

The streamer bite has also been pretty good lately. Streamers are never going to produce a lot of trout but if you pull them all day you can expect a few nice browns and sometimes a real monster. This is a good time of year to hit really large fish on bunny fur. A slower retrieve is often better than fast stripping off of the banks. A lead core line can also be nice in deeper runs.

On a mild day you might be lucky enough to run into some rising trout feeding on midges or baetis mayflies. The midge hatches often peak in March and extend into April. Scott Bohr recently reported some epic dry fly fishing on the Upper Madison with hundreds of trout greedily feeding on a strong midge hatch in the late morning hours. Even freestone streams like the Gallatin will produce some sporadic midge hatches. If the hatch isn’t too strong dries that imitate single midges are more productive such as a palomino pattern. On tail waters like the Bighorn the midge hatches in the winter can be thick in the late morning and the insects will cluster together so many of the patterns such as the Griffith’s gnat that imitate these “rafts” of insects can out produce single insect patterns. We are also seeing some baetis mayflies which will soon become the most important hatching for late April and early May.

Time of day is also important this time of year. Early mornings can be very tough fishing. The midge hatches are a late morning event often beginning around 10-11am and that will sometimes kick the trout into the feeding mode. Baetis begin after lunch and persist to around 4pm.

Rainbow trout are spring spawners and often prefer smaller tributaries over the larger rivers. The Livingston spring creeks (DePuy, Armstrong and Nelson) are all open in the spring. Trout from the Yellowstone river are moving into the spring creeks prior to the spawn and this is one of the few times of the year where you can expect higher catch rates on the “creeks” do the large influx of “river” fish. As we move farther into the spring please try to avoid the shallow gravel riffles where the trout will be spawning. The large “clean” circles in the gravel are the nests or redds. Wading across the redds can crush delicate eggs buried just a few inches below the surface. Trout expend a lot of energy when spawning so please avoid casting to trout that are actively on redds in the spring months.

Montana Angler

PENNSYLVANIA: Crawford County – Northern Pike & Muskellunge are being Caught with Regularity

May 5th, 2013

Geneva Marsh
The area WCO is getting reports of walleye being caught at the Custards Bridge. This could be due to the new bridge that went in last year. It seems the water is deeper and these are the first reported catches of walleye here since I have started in the district over three years ago.

French Creek
Northern pike and muskellunge are being caught with regularity.

Conneaut Lake
Lots of crappie fisherman are out on the lake. Be sure to check the registration on your boat, if it is a blue sticker with a “13” on it, it is expired.

Fish & Boat


NEW YORK: On Lake Alice the Bluegill Bite has been Fairly Consistent

May 5th, 2013

Well it looks like we are finally getting to some better weather for an extended period of time.

With the Erie Canal almost full and the temperatures coming up in our smaller lakes, Glenwood Lake and Lake Alice, our fishable waters increase dramatically.

Presently the water in the Erie Canal is still on the cold side, so don’t look for much action in the canal for a week or so.
On Lake Alice the Bluegill bite has been fairly consistent, mainly around the Kenyonville Bridge area but it’s picking up around the Waterport Bridge area.

On the tributaries within Orleans County Steelhead/Rainbow trout are still being taken occasionally but not with any consistency.

Suckers on the other hand are still on the increase.

There has been a die off of Gizzard Shad on both Lake Erie and Ontario that seems to be due to winter conditions.
Bullhead fishing on all of our tributaries is very strong as is Perch fishing mainly on the “Oak” from the bridges to the Point.
May 3rd is the opening of the Spring LOC Derby.

On Lake Ontario, fishing the waters off Orleans County is proving to be very productive.

It seems to be common for people to catch at least 5 of the 6 cold water species on an outing.

Please don’t forget that Bass season doesn’t open until the 3rd Saturday in June so this time of year it’s catch and immediately release. Let’s make everyday a great fishing day, right here in Orleans County.

Mike Waterhouse
Olreans County Tourism
p: 585-589-3103

FLORIDA: Fishing was Decent this Week

May 5th, 2013

Fishing was decent this week, though it did slow down a bit later in the week in terms of numbers. Speckled trout to 20″, silver trout to 16″, jack crevelle, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish, sailcats, and sea bass hit Gulp! Shrimp on the deep grass flats near Big Pass. Bream are fairly actice in Upper Myakka Lake.

I had a day off on Monday so I headed out to Myakka River State Park with my 14′ Alumacraft to fish Upper Myakka Lake for panfish. It was quite breezy and it took a while to locate the fish, but once I did I filled the cooler in short order. Nothing huge, but most of the ‘gills were between 6″ and 8″, along with a bass and a big gar. I only used a 1/16 once black Beetlespin. I fished the tidal portion of the Myakka near Venice on Thursday afternoon and it was slow, that section is better in the cooler months.

On Tuesday Jim Sandusky from Canton, MI, his son Scott, and son in law Steve Seese had a good trip with very steady action. Despite weak tides, the fishing on the deep grass flats near Big Pass was very productive. They had promised the ladies a fish dinner, and they came through! Casting Gulp! Shrimp on a 1/4 ounce jig head, the boys caught speckled trout to 19″, silver trout to 15″, jack crevelle, sea bass, bluefish, and sailcats. Two slot speckled trout and eight nice silver trout went in the box with everything else released. A fun morning with great guys!

Andrew Coren from NYC and his brother Michael Coren from Dallas, TX experienced decent action on Wednesday, catching speckled trout to 20″ silver trout to 15″, bluefish, jacks, sea bass, and ladyfish using Gulp! Shrimp near Big Pass.

7 year old Odin Medrick outfished his dad John Medrick and grandfather Gary McClellan on Friday. Casting Gulp! Shrimp, he caught speckled trout, silver trout, bluefish, jacks, 2 species of catfish, sea bass, and ladyfish. John pitched in for dinner by putting a decent Spanish mackerel and a couple of bluefish in the box to go along with the half dozen silvers that Odin caught. Marker #5 and Marina Jacks were the best spots.

Saturday’s charter with Dan Hoffman, Gordon Nedwed, and Bill Matta was similar on a breezy morning. They did not catch a ton of fish and we spent a fair amount of time on the silver trout, putting a dozen in the box for dinner., along with releasing ladyfish, speckled trout, a sailcats.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
Adventure Charters
P: 941-371-1390

MARYLAND: Fishing Will Improve in the Next Week or So

April 29th, 2013

This past Saturday was of course the opening day of the trophy Striped Bass season and many veteran Striped Bass fishermen see it just as that; the “start”; the fishing will improve in the next week or so.

The morning started out nice enough with flat conditions but by mid-morning that soon changed to whitecaps and very rough conditions that had many fishermen hanging on for dear life and some folks were chumming overboard.
Most fishermen described the trolling action as a “slow pick” on Saturday and Sunday and there were also reports of better action in the evenings.

Surface water temperatures in the bay are around 56-degrees and about 10-degrees cooler down deep so most of the fish are swimming close to the surface in the shipping channel. Traditional locations along the steepest edges of the shipping channel tended to produce the best catches such as Bloody Point and the western edge from Chesapeake Beach south to Cove Point as well as Buoys 83 and 72. The channel edges in the lower Potomac River produced fish and fishermen are reporting very good success in Tangier Sound in the past three days.

Dept of Natural Resources

ILLINIOS: Clinton Lake – Bass Caught with white & Shad Colored Spinnerbaits

April 29th, 2013

Lake levels are 2.75 feet above normal pool with lower water temperatures due to the rainfall and weather conditions. The upper arm is clowdy, but the water is clearer near the marina. Water levels are 1.5 feet above the lower handicap ramp near the spillway. The water level is dropping.

Slow to Poor this week: clowdy water conditions and the weather changes have slowed fishing activity.

Good: Smaller sized fish are being caught on the main lake with white and shad colored spinnerbaits.

Good: Look for fish at the spillway with a jig, minnow, or liver.

Good: Anglers finding fish at the spillway with a jig tipped with a minnow.

Good: Fish off the banks with stink bait under a bobber 5 feet deep.


CONNECTICUT: TROUT (Opening Day) Some Large Trout Over 6 Pounds

April 29th, 2013

TROUT – Opening Day

Early rains and cool weather contributed to a slow start for Opening Day. Catches of some large trout over 6 pounds jumped started the season for a number of anglers. Eight of the eleven Trout Parks were stocked on Opening Day and the many kids present enjoyed helping us stock. Over 380,000 trout were stocked throughout the state before Opening Day and DEEP’s in-season stocking is now underway with over 245,000 additional trout scheduled to be stocked between Opening Day and the end of May.

Rivers & streams
Conditions should be good for trout fishing this weekend. Flows are very fishable, although generally lower than typical spring levels, comfortable weather is forecast, and there are plenty of recently stocked trout waiting for anglers.

CT Fish & Wildlife

CANADA: Lake Ontario & Tributaries – Action is Starting to Turn On

April 29th, 2013

In Lake Ontario, action is slowly starting to turn on as the waters continue to warm. With 42 degree water coming into Lake Ontario from the Niagara River and the shoreline temperatures even warmer – especially off creek mouths – trollers have been picking up a mixed bag inside of 40 foot depths that have included brown trout, Coho salmon, lake trout and the occasional king salmon according to Capt.

Bob Cinelli of Newfane. Stickbaits and spoons are both catching fish. Remember that the Lake Ontario Counties spring trout and salmon derby is just around the corner, set for May 3 to 12.

Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker reports that pier action is still available for trout and coho salmon off the piers at Wilson and Olcott.

Harbor action in Wilson has been for bullhead, perch and the occasional northern pike. Perch and pike can be caught in Olcott. Some trout are still hanging out at Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek.

The rain on Wednesday will probably bring water levels up and create turbid conditions for a few days.

The pen project will be receiving their steelhead this week and their salmon on April 30.

Bill Hilts Jr

ARKANSAS: Crown Lake – Bass Are Excellent on Soft-plastic Worms

April 29th, 2013

Crown Lake:
Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and the surface temperature is in the 60s.

Crappie are biting well on minnows in 5 feet of water.

Bass are excellent on soft-plastic worms.

Arkansas F & G

TENNESSEE: Bass Caught on Jigs, Crankbaits, Carolina rigs, Swimbaits & Lizards

April 5th, 2013

Water temperatures are finally starting to rise! With the warmer temperatures and wind in the past week, water temps are in the low 50s. Water levels are around normal.

Look for things to continue to improve as we are forecasted nice warm weather this coming weekend. How about mid to upper 70s!

The prespawn bite is turning on.

Bass are being caught on jigs, crankbaits, carolina rigs, swimbaits, and lizards.

Mike Davis Outdoors