Friday, March 15 marked the close of the statewide season for walleye, pike, and pickerel.
It reopens again across the state on the first Saturday in May. The closure of these species now limits what you can keep when fishing through the ice or open water for that matter.
However, with no closed season, perch, sunfish, and crappie are still fair game. With spring fast approaching and temperatures finally warming, there’s not much time left to safely get on the ice to fish. Safety must remain paramount especially at this time of the year when conditions can vary greatly and deteriorate quickly.
Check actual ice quality as well as thickness before venturing onto any frozen body of water. Different types of ice have varying strength and hardness. Walking on low quality ice increases the danger. “Honeycomb” and other ice types can be extremely hazardous despite their thickness. Caution here remains the better part of valor.
In just two weeks on April 1, trout season opens in New York. Honing effective techniques for trout fishing in rivers and streams was the topic of an aptly named class, “Fishing for Trout in Streams” held this past Tuesday at Field & Stream in Latham.
The free course focused on “reading” streams and adjusting techniques to stream features. It emphasized tips such as casting to cover high percentage locations located around structure, the head and tails of pools, river bends, undercut banks, eddies, plus much more. It covered selecting the right equipment including terminal tackle to best approach the size of the stream you’ll fish. It discussed the pros and cons of using live bait and/or artificials based on variables such as water temperature and rates of flow. Sound like something you would have liked to have attended? Well, you’re in luck as the free class is being offered again on April 9th from 6:30 to 8:30 in the fishing section of the Latham store.
While local streams are in good condition currently given the relative lack of extreme deep snowpack, heavy rains and a quick thaw could change things in a hurry. With two weeks to go before the opener, anything can happen. However, assuming stream flow conditions remain favorable, slowly bouncing a worm directly past a waiting trout is a proven method of landing a hungry, albeit sluggish trout from the cold waters on opening day.
Using other baits or artificials can be effective as well if you can present them at the proper speed and location.
With all the cold weather we have been experiencing, it’s hard to believe trout season is around the corner but as they say, time and tide (and the flow of area streams) wait for no man!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and Happy Hunting, Fishing and Trapping until next time.
News and Notes
Field & Stream Outdoor Education Series: Fishing Trout in Streams — April 9 from 6:30-8:30. Perfect your skills at “reading” streams and discuss proven techniques to catch trout in streams and rivers.
Striped Bass Fishing Seminar with Capt. Leach — Saturday April 6 10a.m.-2 p.m.: Capt. Chris Leach of Harvest Sun Charters will examine techniques used to catch striped bass in the Hudson River. Topics to include all aspects of targeting and catching trophy river striped bass.
Both classes will be held at the store at 579 Troy Schenectady Road in Latham.
Registration is recommended by calling 518-785-3270, but you are welcome to show up on the scheduled date and time. There is no cost to attend these classes.
Last Chance to Sell Fur at Shooters Sports Will be in April: The last opportunity to sell fur at Shooters Sports, located at 3067 Main Street in Valatie, will be on April 13th from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Remember to report poaching violations by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS. You can share any comments with our sports desk at email@example.com
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