By: James Swearingen
I think this year’s trout opener with be on par with the last few years. We just had our mentor youth day and there was a lot of large fish caught. There’s going to be large fish in every stocked creek in Western Pennsylvania. If you want to catch big fish it’s important to focus on easily accessible areas, namely bridges, deeper holes and places they can pull their truck right up to.
Water levels are higher than normal from recent rains, but we aren’t expecting any significant rain this week to impact Saturday’s opener. By the weekend I think all our creeks will be at normal flows or low and clear. It should be perfect conditions. You should be able to sight fish. And, those golden rainbows that we all love will stick out. They’ll look like a banana in the water. Keep in mind, across Western PA the Fish & Boat Commission will be stocking browns, brooks, rainbows, golden rainbows and occasionally we’ll see a tiger trout in our systems, too.
Every approved trout system in the region will be heavily stocked. You can expect to catch trout from seven inches to 25 inches and lots of fishing pressure with the good weather predicted. There will be thousands of anglers on the water this weekend. Every with the pressure success can be had.
For anglers heading to catch trout this weekend I’d recommend four-pound test and a size 10-14 hook. With the low and clear water we’ll be facing I’ll be using four-pound Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon. With the all pressure having light line is going to be imperative. Personally, I run Raven floats, but the Trout Magnet floats work well, too. I use a float to keep the bait off the bottom and in the strike zone. A float keeps your bait moving rather than fishing on the bottom where you get hung up on rocks and debris.
When fishing rivers and streams I like to start out throwing Pautzke salmon eggs. When it’s low and clear like this I’ll start with Natural Deluxe and then move to Pink Shrimp eggs. Those are my two favorites, but we caught a ton of fish on Gold Label last year. Once the fish become conditions to the eggs I also like to run minnows under a float and butter worms. If I see a big fish I’ll start with eggs. If it doesn’t want that I’ll switch to a minnow or Fire Bait. Feed Pellet Brown is my favorite color of Fire Bait because it mimics the color at the hatchery that they are fed. After that I like the Chartreuse Garlic, which works in streams or lakes. If it’s low and clear you’ll be able to sight fish and see the fish react to the bait. I like to have a variety of baits so the fish don’t get accustomed to one thing.
From the reports people have sent in to Steel City Anglers from the past weekend’s mentor youth day it’s clear that the creeks and rivers are loaded with trout. Pine Creek (On Route 8 by Millville) has a lot of large fish. Bull Creek and Deer Creek (Route 910 near Gibsonia) are loaded with trout. We know Montour Creek in Robinson Township is loaded with trout because the state and private clubs stock it. Twin Lakes near Greensburg is packed with trout. North Park Lake and Canonsburg will also be loaded with trout amongst many others.
Editor’s Note: James Swearingen is the founder of Steel City Anglers. For more information on his page please visit https://www.facebook.com/SteelCityAngler412.