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summer trout

Tactics and Tips for Catching Summer Trout

Summer Trout Fishing Tips, Tactics, and Gear 

Once June comes to an end, many trout fishermen put away the rods until next spring unfortunately. Warmer temperatures start to set in and can make fishing a little tougher. For fisherman that want to keep after it, great days of fishing can still be had. Use some of these tips and tactics this summer to catch more trout.

Find the feeder streams 

When water starts to warm up a little bit, trout are going to look for the coldest water they can get. Feeder steams will be dumping cold water in and trout will congregate at them. Finding a big feeder stream will usually put you in front of a lot of trout in July and August. Fisherman should keep in mind that trout will become more stressed in warmer water. Always handle fish gently and be sure to get trout that are caught back into the water as soon as possible if practicing catch and release.  

Cover the water thoroughly 

This is sometimes a concept that might be overlooked by many. When water temperatures start to rise, trout are not going to use any unnecessary energy to chase after food that is far away. They will wait where they are for food to come to them. This is why it is crucial to cover the water you are fishing very thoroughly. Whether fly fishing, spin fishing with some bait, or throwing a lure, be sure to cover that water. When attacking a stretch of water, run, or pool, start at the bottom and the side closest to you. Make casts at this same level as you just out the creek farther. When your casts reach the other side of the creek, make your next set of casts up a little farther and just repeat across the creek again. Keep going until you have reached the top of the pool you are trying to cover and then move to your next stretch. Using this tacticyou will try to ensure that you are putting your bait, fly, or lure directly in front of fish. Many fly fishermen have the mentality that they want to drift their fly right into a trout’s mouth without them even moving. Having that mentality will force you to cover the water as thoroughly as possible.  

Fish Deep 

This one is simple, fish the deepest water you can find. Deep water is going to be much colder in temperature at the bottom. Trout are going to find this deep water and stay towards the bottom. This is where previous knowledge and time spent fishing comes in handy. If you were out during the spring a lot, return to places where you noticed big deep pools. Chances are that trout will be congregating in those areas.  

Focus on fishing early and late 

It’s no secret that the best times of the day to catch trout during the summer will be early in the morning and at the end of the evening. These will be the coolest parts of the day with the least amount of sun, and when trout will be most likely to feed. As a bonus, it’s much more pleasant for us to be out there during those times of the day anyways. Fly fisherman can still find good surface feeding action during the summer months in the evenings and lure fisherman can find more aggressive fish during these hours.  

Avoid fishing pressure 

Trout have now been fished for several months by fishermen. They will become more educated, wary, and overall can be tough to catch. This is especially true in easy access areas that get fished the heaviest. Think outside the box and try to hit some spots that are tougher to access, or creeks that weren’t so popular among fisherman in the spring. Finding trout that are quite as educated will increase your odds of success drastically.  

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Allen Gunnison Switch Olive Fishing Pack

Best Weather Conditions for Trout Fishing

Weather Conditions and Trout Fishing 101

Before your next trout fishing outing, be sure to take a look at the weather conditions and see what’s expected. Many fishermen will get excited when they see what looks like pleasant weather for being outside. Fairly warm temperatures, a little bit of sunshine, no rain, and the list could go on. If you want to catch more trout let’s learn a little bit more about how the weather conditions will affect trout, how they feed, and how that translates to your success.

Let’s get right to it. Those bright sunny days are not the good ones for trout fishing, at least most of the time. Cloudy with light rain is the absolute best weather conditions you can ask for when heading to the stream. When the weather looks as if you might get wet, that’s not a bad thing. The best days I have trout fishing every spring are on days just like this. I can remember back to a handful of days in recent years where myself and group have just absolutely slammed trout with rain coming down and had the creek to ourselves. Too much heavy rain could end up in creeks being blown out in the preceding days, but if the water is in good shape the day you want to fish and you have cloud cover with some light rain, you could be in for a treat.  

You might be thinking to yourself cloudy and rainy days are very common in the spring. The answer might be yes, but the amount of days that are fishable in these conditions might be few and far between depending on the year. Yes, we have had tons of rain this spring, but that has given us blown out creeks all too often. That high and muddy water has taken away so many of our days to fish just to begin with. Of the days where the water has been in good shape, if we have clouds and rain it has usually meanthunderstorms along with them. Obviously, out fishing on the stream is no place to be in a thunderstorm. f you think about how many days the water has been in good shape, with cloudy and rainy weather but with no thunderstorms, it might not be quite as many days as you had anticipated.  

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Let’s take a look at why these different weather conditions can affect the trout fishing so drastically. The reasons that a bright and sunny day are tough are fairly obvious. In sunny conditions trout can see us much easier as well as our fishing line, tippet, leader, or fly line. The sun also exposes them to predators from above. All those things considered, trout are usually much more spooky and less likely to feed as heavily on days like this. On the other hand, cloudy days make fish feel safer. They aren’t as worried about other predators and they are much more likely to feed well. They won’t be able to see your line, tippet, or leader nearly as easily either, making them much easier to fool. Another interesting thing to think about is that many fishermen believe fish can detect a drop in barometric pressure which is usually associated with bad weather on the way. This makes trout want to feed heavily now before the creek gets blown out after a few days of raining in a row. All these things combined can make for spectacular days of trout fishing in these weather conditions.  

When fishing on the sunny days, the best times to catch trout are going to be the first hours of the morning and the last hours of the evening. During ideal cloudy and rainy days, I have many times experienced all day feeding from trout. There have been days I can remember, when fly fishing, that trout have fed literally all day long on the surface eating mayflies. These concepts are usually true, but not there can always be outliers. It doesn’t mean you can’t have great days catching fish all day long in the sun, and it doesn’t mean you’ll always have a great day when its cloudy and raining. I have experienced both scenarios. But in general, this is the way it seems to go for the majority of the time. If creeks are in good shape, keep an eye on the weather forecast to look for these conditions. When the opportunity comes, grab a raincoat, your fishing rod, and get out there for some fun! 

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trout-fishing-local-PA-small-Creeks

Spring Trout Fishing Series Episode 5 | Trout Fishing Hammer and Little Cocalico Creeks

Trout Fishing Mid-season Stockings in Southeastern Pennsylvania

Trout fishing is still good many weeks after opening day in Pennsylvania. Many streams and lakes throughout the Commonwealth received several more trout stockings well into May. These extra spring trout fishing opportunities can prove to be some of the best of the year. 

In this episode, Grant explores Hammer and the Little Cocalico Creeks in southeastern Pennsylvania. He utilizes the trout stocking schedule to fish these creeks on days after they have recently been stocked. One of the best trout fishing tips when fishing mid-season after recent stocking is to fish areas away from obvious stocking spots like parking lots and bridges. Simply getting a few hundred yards away from these areas will greatly improve your trout fishing success on stocked streams. Key trout fishing gear included live bait, Berkley® Gulp trout bait and Rooster Tail® spinners fished on an Ugly Stik GX2 spinning combo. Explore creeks like Hammer and the Little Cocalico in southeastern Pennsylvania and take advantage of additional trout fishing opportunities after opening day.  

Pennsylvania Trout Stocking Opportunities and Tactics

Capitalizing on Pennsylvania Trout Stocking

Millions of trout are on their way to streams and lakes all across Pennsylvania. Throughout the month of March, spring trout stocking will be in full force in preparation for the opening days of trout season!

Spring Pennsylvania Trout Stocking Fishing Opportunities

Trout fishing season in Pennsylvania is a tradition. Anglers wait all winter long for those early spring days when trout season opens. Streams and lakes across the state will be packed with stocked trout and ready for anglers. With multiple opening days for trout, anglers have plenty of opportunities. There are both regional and statewide opening days as well as special opening days for youth anglers.

PennLive.com, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission waterways conservation officer Mark Sweppenhiser explains how the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocks brown and brook trout in Stony Creek near Dauphin Borough.

In addition, many Pennsylvania trout streams and lakes receive additional spring trout stockings well after the opening days of trout season. Most waterways typically receive several stockings in the spring, which adds additional opportunities to trout fish. The opening days receive a lot of pressure so fishing can be challenging. However, if you stick with it there are opportunities to catch trout beyond opening day.

Review the Trout Stocking Report

By stocking report, we’re referring to the trout stocking report that has all the details of what was stocked and where. The trout stocking schedule from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has all these details, and they can help you when trout fishing this spring.

Two important facts can be obtained from the stocking report. First, it tells you what type of trout are going to be stocked. Brook trout are more tolerant of cold water than brown and rainbow trout. What this means is that you will have better success fishing streams and lakes that have had brook trout stocked if waters are cold than if browns or rainbows were stocked. The other fact you should review in this report is the time and location of the trout stocking. You want to know exactly which segment of the stream is being stocked, not every section of water is stocked on a particular day, and at what time they plan to stock. This will help you plan your spring trout fishing accordingly.

4 Ways to Catch More Trout in Stocked Streams

Fishing for trout in streams throughout the spring can present multiple challenges. The potential to catch fish will fluctuate with the changing weather and stream conditions. However, because of spring trout stocking in these approved waters, there are certainly plenty of fish to go after on opening day and beyond. This allows plenty of fishing until the conditions are more favorable.

To capitalize, here are four ways to catch more trout in stocked streams.

  1. Go off the grid. Rarely is trout stocking done by float stocking them via a watercraft throughout the stream. Instead, trout are stocked at strategic areas, which are accessible by both anglers and stocking crews. These are typically the areas where fishing pressure is applied most. Stocked trout will relocate.  To find them locate ideal water upstream or downstream of stocking locations where fewer people tend to fish. 
  2. Use ultralight tackle. Stocked trout quickly adapt to their new home. To catch them, you have to go ultralight. Start with a 5- to 6-foot ultralight trout fishing rod matched with a small reel and 4-lb test fishing line. Also use micro-size hooks, such as size 18 treble hooks, for bait fishing or small trout spinners in baitfish colors. 
  3. Fish fast water. The big holes are always full of anglers. However, spring trout fishing can be very productive in areas many anglers bypass. Fish riffles above and below large holes instead. Fish baitfish imitations using the drift fishing technique that is also popular with spring steelhead anglers. 
  4. Wait before fishing. Instead of following the stocking truck and then trying to catch freshly stocked trout, wait until later in the day to fish. Trout fishing later in the day is more productive because trout will have had time to adjust to the stream and water temps will also be a few degrees higher. Both factors activate trout into feeding mode and lead to more bites.

    4 Trout Fishing Season Tactics for Lakes

    Lakes offer a different type of spring trout fishing. These waters also receive plenty of spring trout stocking but escape the changing water conditions streams are susceptible too. In lakes, you can catch plenty of stocked trout if you know how.

    1. Try soft-plastics. Small soft plastics designed for panfish are great lures for catching trout in lakes. While most anglers are casting paste baits and live bait, a different presentation can trick a stocked trout. Use small soft plastic worm imitations and tiny swimbaits in natural colors. Don’t be afraid to fish larger soft plastics for catching bigger trout as well.

    2. Locate changes. Many trout stocked lakes in Pennsylvania are smaller bodies of water with limited structural diversity. However, if you can find springs, channels, drop-offs and other structural changes in the lake, you will find trout.

    3. Mix it up. To have a productive trout season on lakes in the spring you need to mix it up. Change trout fishing lures frequently and fish at different depths. Trout, unlike bass, are not always focused on one type of lure at a particular time. Changing lures can increase the numbers you catch. Also, trout will move throughout the lake and positioning your bait at different depths will increase the number of bites you get.

    4. Communicate with the trout. Don’t try and talk to the trout but you should listen to them! For instance, if you repeatedly see trout following your lures but not biting them, there is a reason why. The trout are telling you that they are hungry but what you fishing with is just not fooling them. Either change the size of the lure youre using or change the color to get them to commit on the next cast.

    Most every angler in Pennsylvania can’t wait until spring trout stocking gets underway. only weeks away from the opening days. Capitalize on spring trout stocking opportunities with these tactics for trout fishing streams and lakes.

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