The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has more than one million reasons fishermen and women should be on the bank or standing in the water of a favorite trout stream, river, lake or pond on April 1.
In order to enhance recreational fishing and the restoration of native species, DEC will be releasing brook, rainbow, and lake trout, as well as steelhead, Chinook, Coho and landlocked salmon, walleye, muskellunge and tiger muskellunge. These fish are stocked in cooperation with County Federated Sportsmen.
Here are a few popular trout waters in our area that will be generously stocked primarily with 8-9 inch browns (some getting 12-15 inchers) or rainbows.
In Albany County, Six Mile Waterworks and Thompson Lake will get 2,000 rainbows; in Columbia County, Kinderhook Creek, 7,630 browns; Rensselaer County, Glass Lake, 1,800 rainbows, Kinderhook Creek, 6,927 browns, and Poestenkill Creek, 6,530 browns; Saratoga County, Kayadeross Creek, 7,190; Warren County, Brant Lake, 4,150, Glen Lake, 2,600, Hudson River, 5,240, and Schroon River, 9,980; Washington County, Batten Kill, 21,845.
For a complete listing of this year’s trout stocking go to, http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30465.html.
I’ve been receiving a number of emails saying the good weather has attracted lots of anglers who are wetting a line from the banks or it boats of our rivers and lakes. I’ve also heard there have been some problems with walleye catches after March 15.
The walleye, northern pike, pickerel and tiger muskellunge seasons are closed until the first Saturday in May. There have been some very good catches of other species — primarily crappie, perch and other panfish. I know of several anglers who’ve been catching limits of crappie and perch at Saratoga Lake. They also have caught some nice bass But remember, right now, you can use only artificial lures for bass, and it’s catch-and-release only until the third Saturday in June. Just remember to bring your camera.
Speaking of bass, I attended the B.A.S.S. Elite Series this past weekend on the St. John’s River in Palatka, Fla. The spawn is on here, and I saw several 10-pounders, as well as a few nines and eights. The highlight of this event for me was watching 69-year-old pro Rick Clunn weigh in a third-day catch of 31-plus pounds and follow it up the next and final day of the tournament with a winning 19-pound bag of bass. His winning four-day total weight of 81 pounds, 15 ounces was worth $100,000.
It was Clunn’s 416th B.A.S.S. tournament, and he’s now the oldest angler to win a B.A.S.S. event. He’s also fished 32 Bassmaster Classics, winning four of them.
Thirty-plus years ago, I was one of 40 outdoor writers chosen to attend the Classic and ride with the anglers that qualified for the B.A.S.S. Master Classic on the Arkansas River. I had the pleasure of riding with Clunn on the second day of the competition. It was quite an experience.
Every day, I fish the first two hours of daylight and last two hours of sunlight in the Intercoastal Waterway behind our rented condo in Flagler Beach, Fla. All my fishing is done off the 80-plus docks with a 7-foot flipping rod and reel with 50-pound-test braided line. This outfit is a “must” when fishing around the sharp barnacle-covered pylons.
Last Friday morning, I had an enormous aquatic creature under the dock I was fishing on — an 8-foot, 1,000-pound manatee. It was attracted by a leaking fresh-water pipe and just rolled over on its back, opened its mouth and drank. It attracted a quite a crowd and many photos were taken. Needless to say, the fishing was not good that morning.