A cold day trout fishing at Newton Pond

March 22, 2014

On Sunday morning, Roy Miller called and asked if I would like to go with him to Newton Pond to try to catch a few trout. I said sure, and we planned to leave at 1 p.m.

When we arrived at the pond, there were maybe eight or 10 guys fishing along the bank and from the pier. Roy, who is a fly fisherman, headed for the pier, and I found a spot along the bank.

We had seen one trout caught by a guy fishing with what looked like Berkley Power Bait, so I began by using the yellow variety on a crappie jig. My first cast became snagged on something and while I got it back, the hook was bent beyond repair.

I then put on a hook with no weight and the same yellow Berkley Power Bait. While I didn’t get snagged, I didn’t catch any fish.

At this point, Roy and I changed locations and I used a very small split shot ahead of the hook to get a bit more casting distance and help the bait reach the bottom. Still no fish on my line, but I did see a large trout jump in the same general area where I was fishing.

Roy, who was fishing in exactly the same spot I had left, connected with a fish. I thought, ”Oh no, not outfished by a fly fisherman again.” Sure enough, Roy landed the fish and then released it.

At this point, the need to succeed was becoming extreme. I had to catch something, so I tried a Mepps spinner, figuring if the trout were dumb enough to take Roy’s fly, surely they would take a spinner. They didn’t. The only thing I succeeded in doing was getting my hands so cold they began to hurt.

Fishing with bait is warmer, because once you make the cast, the rod is put down, and you can put your hands in your pockets. Casting a spinner means your hands are out in the cold for an extended period of time and they soon become very painful.

I finally let common sense override my pride and asked Roy for the keys to his car. Once I was inside, my hands began to feel better, but before they had regained a useable level, Roy was headed back to the car. He too had gotten cold, although he did have those fingerless gloves, so at least his hands were not frozen.

At this point, he told me the fish he caught was a bass, not a trout. Since we were trout fishing, I decided the bass didn’t count, so I was not outfished by a fly fisherman. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I did see several trout caught by two guys fishing close to the boat ramp. They appeared to be using some sort of bait with their rods resting on forked sticks placed along the bank. This was more fish than I saw caught on opening day, but certainly not anything to write home about.

I suspect my next trout trip will be sometime in April when I can fish Wilson and Beaver runs in New Castle County. At least I have caught trout there and have a bit more confidence in those locations.

Turkey shoot

On Saturday, March 29, there will be a turkey shoot on the Hopkins Farm off Fisher Road for the benefit of the scholarship fund of Jefferson Lodge 15 AF&AM. Every year the lodge awards a college scholarship to two graduating high school students, a boy and a girl, with the amount depending on the success of fundraisers such as this event.

Back in the day, turkey shoots only awarded turkeys and hams to the winners. Today, turkeys and hams are just a small part of the prizes. This shoot will have a wide variety of awards including NASCAR pit passes, head boat tickets, a free weekend in a Rehoboth motel, a tackle shop VIP card, a turkey decoy and calls along with turkeys, hams and much more.

This will be a family event with no beer or liquor allowed. There will be plenty of food for sale including hot dogs, hamburgers, and soft drinks.

This is a 12-gauge only event with a maximum barrel length of 32 inches. Shells will be provided.

  • Eric Burnley is a Delaware native who has fished and hunted the state from an early age.  Since 1978 he has written countless articles about hunting and fishing in Delaware and elsewhere along the Atlantic Coast.  He has been the regional editor for Salt Water Sportsman, Field and Stream, Outdoor Life and the Fisherman Magazine.  He was the founding editor of the Mid-Atlantic Fisherman magazine.  Eric is the author of three books; Surf Fishing the Atlantic Coast, The Ultimate Guide to Striped Bass Fishing and Fishing Saltwater Baits.  He and his wife Barbara live near Milton, Delaware. Eric can be reached at

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