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Quarry Man

Powerbait for trout

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I am getting ready for opening day in PA for trout. Yes, it is April 13, like 3 months from now, but I am probably the most analytical and prepared person you will ever meet. The lake is stocked well with brown, brook and rainbow trout all 14-16" with a few trophies in there. Lake is small and has one deep side where all the trout are. This is where everyone fishes from also. I am one of the few people that takes their boat out (14' v hull) My plan is to go slightly more than two casting distances off shore, so that I don't cross lines with bank anglers. There it is like 6-10'. I will use powerboat off the bottom. Hopefully there isn't milfoil like there usually is.

 

I am mostly a bass kid, but spending opening day with my grampa. I therefore don't have any trout rods. I do have like 6 higher end drop shot and finesse rods that have worked fine for me. Last year I didn't catch any because the conditions were terrible (everyone skunked), but I also ran into problems with my gear. I was trying to fish a modified Carolina rig with smaller stuff for trout, but it was getting all tangled and wasn't floating. This year I am going to get a trout rod or two and use the tiny treble hooks and split shots with that, and modified Carolina rig with the bass rods.

 

I also got a fish finder and am excited to mark the fish where nobody else can!

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For the stocked trout I’ve caught in the past, what you are wanting to do is way more complicated than I’ve ever had to do. The trout released in our lakes stayed schooled up and swam in a big group going around the lake. With fisherman positioned around the lake, you could easily see where the school was by watching who was catching.  I used a slip float, adding just enough lead split shot to balance the float. A single hook, about 4 feet down with a ball of Powerbait on the hook I’d get a trout every time the school passed by my position. 

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Are your stocked fish given time to adjust to their environment or are they simply dumped in with the expectation that they’ll be fished out quickly and/or not survive?  For example, stocked in the fall, and come opening day they’re up for grabs?

 

I see a lot of reply’s on here regarding stocked trout that simply do not apply in all cases.  

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I really think you're making this more complicated than it needs to be. Stocked trout are one of the easiest fish there is to catch. The hardest part is locating them, and since you're in a small body of water, that part is done. I personally don't like powerbait, but if you're set on it, a small slip-sinker rig with either enough paste or eggs (I prefer the eggs by a large margin), to float the hook off the bottom will do the trick. 

 

If there's weeds, try a bobber with a micro jig floating just above the weeds. Don't give the bait any action, it's a tiny bait and tiny creatures don't do much other than drift around on whatever current is present. Add a waxworm to really spice it up if you like. You can use this even if there isn't any weeds, it's one of my most productive trout presentations. 

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22 hours ago, Scott F said:

For the stocked trout I’ve caught in the past, what you are wanting to do is way more complicated than I’ve ever had to do. The trout released in our lakes stayed schooled up and swam in a big group going around the lake. With fisherman positioned around the lake, you could easily see where the school was by watching who was catching.  

thanks, I had a feeling I was making it too complicated. What you are saying about the trout in lakes makes sense. I will plan on being observant and using my electronics as well!

 

20 hours ago, Arcs&sparks said:

Are your stocked fish given time to adjust to their environment or are they simply dumped in with the expectation that they’ll be fished out quickly and/or not survive?  For example, stocked in the fall, and come opening day they’re up for grabs?

 

I see a lot of reply’s on here regarding stocked trout that simply do not apply in all cases.  

Great point. Lake closes march first for all fishing, and opens April 13. Trout are stocked sometime in between. Lake is shallow and expectation is that most trout will die/be caught by summer. The trophies and some of the trout do adapt and survive though. I caught a massive brown (not one of the trophies) on my first cast of 2019, and it did have a perch in its gullet/stomach.

 

16 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I really think you're making this more complicated than it needs to be. Stocked trout are one of the easiest fish there is to catch. The hardest part is locating them, and since you're in a small body of water, that part is done. I personally don't like powerbait, but if you're set on it, a small slip-sinker rig with either enough paste or eggs (I prefer the eggs by a large margin), to float the hook off the bottom will do the trick. 

 

If there's weeds, try a bobber with a micro jig floating just above the weeds. Don't give the bait any action, it's a tiny bait and tiny creatures don't do much other than drift around on whatever current is present. Add a waxworm to really spice it up if you like. You can use this even if there isn't any weeds, it's one of my most productive trout presentations. 

Like I said, I agree that I am making it more complicated, and I appreciate more experienced anglers like yourself taking the time to help me out. I really appreciate it and it means a lot to me. I am allowed three rods at one time in pa, my plan is usually to set two powerboat and one active reeling technique. I am always open to new ideas. I have used the waxworks when I was 4-5 years old and had great luck, so ill give it another try. If i'm not mistaken, the new rig you are talking about is similar to a float n fly? seems effective in my weedy lake.

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I don’t have any experience with powerbait, So I can’t answer your original question,  but was going to ask if you could use more than one rod-which you stated you can and will.

 

My 2 cents;

 

If I know where they are, I pretty much exclusively use Berkeley Gulp minnows 2 1/2” & 3” on a jig head and fish them like a fluke (or just pop and jig em) in rivers and lakes alike for all trout species and salmon, native, wild or stocked (all species love em really.. my biggest smallie, and sucker lol, came on one as a bycatch) 

 

As a searchbait in lakes I throw the small Johnson Bladebait, IIRC 2 1/2” 1/4oz  (perch color works good on my local lake).  

 

Perhaps powerbait is the way to go with the freshly stocked ones,  but in my experience using lures matching the local forage has produced a lot of great fish and numbers for me, and has outfished the worm and powerbait fisherman by a long shot-at least the times I’ve been around other guys.  

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12 minutes ago, Arcs&sparks said:

I don’t have any experience with powerbait, So I can’t answer your original question,  but was going to ask if you could use more than one rod-which you stated you can and will.

 

My 2 cents;

 

If I know where they are, I pretty much exclusively use Berkeley Gulp minnows 2 1/2” & 3” on a jig head and fish them like a fluke (or just pop and jig em) in rivers and lakes alike for all trout species and salmon, native, wild or stocked (all species love em really.. my biggest smallie, and sucker lol, came on one as a bycatch) 

 

As a searchbait in lakes I throw the small Johnson Bladebait, IIRC 2 1/2” 1/4oz  (perch color works good on my local lake).  

 

Perhaps powerbait is the way to go with the freshly stocked ones,  but in my experience using lures matching the local forage has produced a lot of great fish and numbers for me, and has outfished the worm and powerbait fisherman by a long shot-at least the times I’ve been around other guys.  

Great ideas here! Opening day starts at 8 and sunrise will be 6:26, so the bite will be slowing down by then. I am planning on using lures in the beginning because a reaction bite is so much fun!

 

PS I like th jighead and gulp rig a lot, I know the perfect spot to try it in a stream near me! ilyk how I do!

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6 hours ago, Quarry Man said:

Like I said, I agree that I am making it more complicated, and I appreciate more experienced anglers like yourself taking the time to help me out. I really appreciate it and it means a lot to me. I am allowed three rods at one time in pa, my plan is usually to set two powerboat and one active reeling technique. I am always open to new ideas. I have used the waxworks when I was 4-5 years old and had great luck, so ill give it another try. If i'm not mistaken, the new rig you are talking about is similar to a float n fly? seems effective in my weedy lake.

I always buy the 3 pole permit for KS and if it's calm enough, I'll float a micro jig while casting a spoon. Since it requires no action on my part, it's a great way to cover water faster with 2 different presentations. It's like a tiny version of a float-n-fly, the jigs I use most are 1/80 (that's 80th, not 8th) ounce. 

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20 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

the jigs I use most are 1/80 (that's 80th, not 8th) ounce. 

wow, that must be on tiny jig! 

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@Quarry Man, I think it's great that you're getting with your grand father, I would have loved to do that when if he was alive.

 

Like many said, stocked trout should be an easy catch. I've seen a 2 pole method kinda like what bluebasser described except that 1 pole would be soaking a hook with powerbait and while the other is for a horizontal presentation like an inline or a spoon.

 

I started out as a fly fisherman and sometimes I would remove the rear hook on a popper and tie on a 2' or so section of line with a nymph or a dry fly, depending on what I'm seeing and would use bass fishing gear.

 

Anyway, good luck and enjoy your day with you granddad.

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