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Outdoors with Larry DiDonato - Time to Go Trout Fishing

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 4/12/24 | 4/12/24

Trout season in New York opened on April 1st. Early that day, one skilled local angler, 17-year-old Anthony Panicola of Cairo, took a beautiful 21-inch “holdover” brown trout. If you’re not familiar with the term, a “holdover” is a trout caught in a stream that had been raised in a hatchery, stocked in a stream, and survived to be caught at least one year from the date it was put into that body of water.

DEC is smack in the middle of stocking hatchery raised trout across the state. Greene County is no exception. Holdover trout like the one caught by Anthony are not that common due to challenges to stocked trout surviving a full year in a stream environ. Predation, warm summer water temperatures, and other factors lead to less than desirable survival rates for stocked trout. Stocked trout also lack the instinctive wariness of wild trout and thus are more apt to be caught than their wild counterparts.

Being comparatively easy to catch, now that we’re in trout stocking “season,” it’s definitely time to get out onto a stream and go trout fishing. Especially as we enjoy increasingly warm spring days and good stream conditions. A light spinning rod and reel loaded with 4 to 6-pound test monofilament or fluorocarbon line is ideal. For terminal tackle, try spinners from brands like Blue Fox, Panther Martin, or Rooster Tails. Don’t forget spoons like the deadly, Phoebe, and the reliable Cleo, and Kastmaster. Cast with as least disturbance as possible and deploy a steady, constant retrieve just fast enough to keep the blades on spinners spinning, or the action of your spoon wabbling above hazards like cobbles and aquatic vegetation. Trout worms and night crawlers are always an option, when drifted along the bottom along hiding spots by logs or boulders. 

If you really want to have fun with stocked trout, think about trying fly fishing. Even small  “stockies” are a lot of fun to catch on a fly rod. The relative ease of catching stocked trout is the perfect way to introduce novices and first timers to fly fishing for the normally elusive stream trout.     

Locations currently stocked in Greene County include just one site on the Basic Creek at the north side of the bridge in Freehold, and multiple access points on the Catskill, Schoharie, and Batavia Creeks, in addition to Greens Lake.

If you are 16 years of age or older you need to purchase a NYS freshwater fishing license and abide by rules concerning daily possession and size limits. I suggest buying your license in -person at a local bait and tackle shop to get the lowdown on local hotspots and which lure is the local favorite. Walmart is the next best option, but make sure you get a free printed copy of DECs Fishing Regulations Guide so you can look up the rules on the body of water you intend to fish. You can also buy your license online and download the fishing regulations guide onto your smart phone if you are so inclined. Carry something to measure trout with and it’s always handy to have a nail clipper for snipping tag ends of fishing line. 

So, no matter how you do it, get licensed and get out on a trout stream. Catch a few for fun or for the table while the getting is good!    

Happy Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping until next time.

News and Notes…

Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend is April 20th and 21st 

The 2024 youth turkey hunting season begins one half hour before sunrise on Saturday, April 20th and ends Sunday, April 21st. You can only hunt till 12 noon during the youth and regular spring turkey seasons. 

The Norton Hill Wildlife Club is holding a “Youth Turkey Hunting Orientation Day” at their club on Saturday, April 13th beginning at 10:00 am. 

All youth hunters and their parents/guardians/mentors are welcome. The event will include a chance to “talk turkey” with local Conservation Officers and other turkey hunting experts, and includes an opportunity for the youth hunters and their mentors to pattern shotguns at the club’s range. Youths will receive instruction on turkey tactics to increase their chances to bag a gobbler safely. (Youths must be accompanied by an adult at the orientation on April 13th)

Norton Hill is also holding an “After the Hunt BBQ” for all youth hunters, parents, mentors etc. at the conclusion of the first day’s hunt on Saturday April 20th beginning at 12 noon.

Save-the-date for New York Bowhunters Banquet in Greenville – May 18th 

New York Bowhunters will hold their 33rd Annual Banquet and Rendezvous on Saturday, May 18th 2023 at the Sunny Hill Resort and golf course at 352 Sunny Hill Road in Greenville, NY. For early birds arriving the day before, there will be a BBQ on Friday night at 6:00 pm with a 50/50 raffle. Discounted rooms that include breakfast at Sunny Hill are available. Go to www.sunnyhill.com or call them at 518-634-7642 to make your discounted room reservation. Registration for the day’s activities start at 9:00 am with their General Meeting scheduled for 1:00 pm, cocktail hour at 5:00 pm, and dinner and silent auction at 6:00 pm. The keynote speaker this year is Colorado big game hunter and guide, John Gardner. The event includes 3D archery and novelty shoots, antler scoring, contests, prizes, and free golf for NY Bowhunter members. Genesis bows will be provided for participants. There will be vendor tables, raffles and plenty of fun things to do. Tickets are $55.00 for individuals with kids under 12 are free. To purchase tickets and for more information, contact Annie Jacobs via email at nyboffice@newyorkbowhunters.com , or by regular mail: 5937 County Road 33 Canandaigua, NY 14424. You can also give Annie a call at 585-229-7468 for more information.  Local NY Bowhunters representative Ed Gorch reminds all attending to bring a gift box for their “Camo to Camo” program supporting our veterans.  

Remember to report poaching violations by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS.



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