It’s Trout (personally pronounced Tr-oat) season here in Southern Campbell County. With the nice weather the past few days I’ve ventured forth to the Alexandria City Park lake and have had success catching trout. The Alexandria City Park (Alexandria Reservoir) lake is a FINS designated lake, which stands for Fishing In Neighborhoods. The lake is stocked in both the fall and the spring with 1,500 trout, the size shown at left on both occasions. They come from the state operated hatcheries and are relatively easy to catch. Wednesday evening I caught four of them, had another get off, and had several other hits, that didn’t hook up in the period of 90 minutes in late afternoon/early evening. These trout have a somewhat rubbery mouth, which makes them challenging to hook at times.
The lure at right is my bait of choice. It is a Panther Martin 1/8th ounce in-line spinner bait. I fish it on 4 or 6 pound test mono (no heavier!!!) with an ultra-lite spincast reel, and a standard 5’5″ Medium Action rod. It is pretty simple, you throw it out, let it sink for a second or two and retrieve it, the fish will do the rest. If this sounds too complicated, a wax worm or two fished under a bobber three or four feet down will probably get the job done.
I am probably the only person who fishes an ultra-lite reel on a standard medium rod, but it works for me. The rods that come in combination with ultra-light reels are too short and too flimsy. . Using a medium action rod allows for longer casts and better hook sets. I also use a Panther Martin 1/8oz lure rather than a Rooster Tail, because it is a heavier, yet a smaller presentation. Panther Martins can be ordered on-line from Bass Pro or Cabela’s, or if you are lucky you can find them here locally at Wal-Mart or Meijer. Color probably doesn’t matter, but I tend to lean towards the black with yellow spots and a gold blade. Later in the summer when the trout are gone, I move to a 1/4oz Panther Martin and throw it with a Carbonlite bait-caster reel, loaded with 10lb monofilament, on a 6 foot rod and catch crappie, bass, and catfish, which the state also stocks. I have always matched my reels with rods that I purchase separately, and rarely spend over $39 for them.
Both the Alexandra City Park Lake and the Cold Spring Park Lake (behind Cracker Barrel) are both FINS lakes, are open to the public, and can be fished with a standard residents fishing license. IF you plan to keep the trout you catch you will need a Trout Permit, which is an extra $10. I fish catch-and-release and throw back everything I ever catch except walleye that we catch in Canada – those go in the frying pan.
Right now the Cold Spring Park lake is probably your best option for catching trout, as it receives MUCH less fishing pressure than does the Alexandria City Park lake, but as evidenced by my outing this past Wednesday, there are plenty to be caught in Alexandria. The trout will eventually die off when the water warms about early June.
This is also the best time of the year to catch a trophy largemouth out of your local farm ponds. When the grass begins to turn green and the dogwoods bloom, the big largemouth will be in the shallows, and can be taken on 3/8oz white spinnerbaits, or an artificial nightcrawler.
I’m looking forward to a trip to Pickwick Lake, Tennessee in late April and we hope to get back into Canada this spring for the first time since 2019. Meanwhile, the trout are biting and the bass, crappie,and catfish won’t be far behind them, especially if we get some warm nights and spring rains.