Trout season begins this Saturday

March 3, 2012

To the best of my knowledge, no one fished out of Lewes or Indian River last weekend. Something about gale warnings discourages even the most ardent angler.

I did make a trip to the Bethel Hole last Thursday, where I used the better part of two dozen minnows to catch two small bass. The giant crappie I had heard about were not in attendance that day.

Not easily deterred, I plan to try some perch fishing this week, but with gas approaching $4 a gallon I will restrict my activities to the eastern side of the county. I like fishing in Milton because I can access the pond and the river from several locations.

Trout fishing
Saturday will see the opening of the Delaware trout season with fish stocked in two ponds. The closest one to our area is Newton Pond off of Route 16 between Ellendale and Greenwood. This is a fine place to fish with lots of room along the banks, plenty of parking and a pier for those of us who are not quite as spry as we once were.

Opening day of trout season is a great time to take a young person fishing. While the action at Newton Pond is not as frantic as it will be next month at White Clay Creek, there should be plenty of trout to catch. All you need is a small hook, a clump of Berkley’s Power Trout Bait (I like the Chroma-Glow) and a bobber. The season opens at 7 a.m. and an early arrival is recommended.

For the more experienced angler, small jigs tipped with Power Bait will work well. Spinners have their champions, while fly fishermen do well with whatever they think will appeal to hatchery fish that have never seen any food other than Purina trout pellets.

Please remember to buy your Delaware trout stamp online or from your neighborhood tackle shop. The funds collected from the sale of this year’s trout stamps pay for next year’s trout.

Gas prices and fishing
We have been here before and it wasn’t pretty. As gas prices rise, it becomes much more expensive to travel to the fishing grounds, causing charter and head boats to raise their prices. Add to this the cost of traveling from your home to the beach, bay, ocean or pond.

Some of us will continue to fish, perhaps less often, but at my late stage of life I just can’t see me taking up golf.

As with everything else, fishing tackle and bait will cost more because it will cost more to ship them to the shops. It is a vicious circle, and just as the economy is beginning to improve we get hit with increasing fuel prices dragging the fishing industry back down.

Those of us who live in the Cape Region are lucky because we can go fishing or hunting with a minimum investment in fuel. There are numerous access points for shore-based fishing along the creeks, rivers, bays and ocean. Boaters will find ramps at various places with access to the bays, ocean, rivers and ponds. Once in the water, the captain can decide how far he wants to go, but there is good fishing reasonably close to the ramps. The area right alongside the ramp on the Broadkill River in Lewes is an excellent spot for flounder in the spring.

Indian River has good fishing within a mile of the ramp. Those who decide to travel farther will find a wide variety of fish at Sites 9 and 10 within five miles of the inlet. If your heart is set on billfish and tuna you will have no choice; pay up or stay home.

I have been working in the recreational fishing industry since 1973 and have seen bad times and good times. We lose a lot of small business operations during the bad times and add a few more when the economy improves. And so it goes.