Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
LHarris

Wisconsin Small Stream Trout 2016

2 posts in this topic

 First off you need to know the dates.  Early catch and release season opens on the first Saturday of January yearly.  It runs to the Friday before regular season opens on the first Saturday of May.  No live bait is allowed in catch and release season.  

 

 
 Regular season runs through the 15th of October.  Many of the regulations have changes.  The idea of simplifying this season was thrown out the window.  You better look at each stream you plan to harvest fish in because the regulations have changed.  For example the special regulations in Richland county were twelve prior to the changes and now there are twenty-three special regulations.  This is the case in all the counties for folks that want to harvest trout.
 
The early season is an excellent time to land the biggest trout you have ever caught.  My personal best was caught during the old early season.  It was a twenty-seven and three quarters inch female brown.  I caught it on a size nine deep diving shad rap in robin’s egg blue.  Extra large trout become very shy and live in tangled messes and seldom feed in the day time.
 
 
The spawning urge brings them out of their fortresses of solitude.  The spawning is long over in January but they typically have not returned to their deep dark homes that they share with no other trout.  They typically winter in the deepest holes between the spawning areas and their nocturnal hideouts. 
 
 
  They are much more vulnerable during this time.  This was why the original early season was halted.  Many huge trout were harvested during this transitional period.  You might stumble on a wayward monster in a relatively shallow hole.  If trout were stream born they have a homing pigeon trait.  They return back up the small streams they were born in.  
 
 
 These streams are typically cleaner and have a small rock and sand make-up.  These streams will have springs in them.  These springs actually keep the water at a warmer temperature in the frigid Wisconsin winters.  Springs run a constant of forty to forty-two degrees year round. 
 
 
Most vegetation stream side is gone and the aquatic plants are at a minimum during the January season.  Stealth is even more important during these times.  The trout can see you much farther away.  A low profile is a necessity.
 
 
Cast placement is a must.  You need to evaluate the hole before you cast and guess where the optimum feed lane is and put your presentation up stream of the hide with minimum splash.  If you hook up on a little trout, the hole will be spooked and monsters will be in lock jaw mode. 
 
 
You are looking for the deepest hole in the area with minimal bottom current near springs or seeps.  The springs or swamps keep the surrounding water warmer.   Logs and large rocks are perfect hides near a current feed lane for the monster to hide behind and dart out and get the offering and retreat to their hides.
 
 
Many anglers recommend small stuff in early season.  I am the opposite.  A trout living on appetizers for a couple months will move quite a ways for a main course. 


 A good early season fly is a Hornberg in size six or eight.  It is meant to be fished low and weighted; a varied retrieve with pauses added in is the way to go.  Good early season lures are bigger sized panther martins in nine or even fifteen.  The same slow retrieve is needed.  Stick baits are the cat’s meow in early season.  Work them in all directions with pauses and twitches.  Make that lure look alive.  
 
 
The early bird gets the worm idea is wrong in January season.  Many mornings there is shell ice on the streams until ten or eleven am.  Scout your stream prior to going out to see what time the ice goes off.  Those trout from last fall in the faster current will be gone.  Trout will not lie in fast cold water.  It requires too much energy to hold in place.
 
 
It is important to respect the trout in early season.  Don’t fight them to exhaustion.  Size up your rigs and get them in quickly.  Limit the glory shots during cold weather.  The trout are very sensitive to cold on their eyes and gills.  If a glory shot is required, leave the trout in the net until your camera is out and ready.  Take one photo and set them free.
 
 
Early season requires extra clothing and a back-up outfit for water emergencies.  Hot hands are a must in your gloves, hats and pockets.  Keep that camera in an inside pocket because cold drains batteries.  Now go out there and catch that monster! 

sueseasonss.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the poor winter we're having so far, I might be taking advantage of the extra early season trout fishing. I'm hoping santa leaves me a pair of chest waders for me under the tree this year :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • The green up is still in full swing this week, with the help of consistent rain events and temperatures between the 50s and 70s. This, combined with recent snow in the northern portions of the state continues to put a damper on recently high fire danger across and has brought us to "Low" fire danger throughout the counties. Water levels are still running above normal, and the Wisconsin River is above flood stage. Trails across the state are likely to feature more than a few hints of mud. Bring your rubber boots or waterproof hikers and enjoy the scenery as the banks, forests, marshes and prairies respond to the influx of moisture. Challenging weather made for tough angling across the board this past week. Anglers from Marinette County to Brown County reported numerous attempts at walleye and brown trout. Murkier water didn't help, but reports came in from anglers that they were seeing success for non-target species, particularly northern pike. In Oconto County, the sucker run is rolling along and disturbing the bite. In Brown County, those that did see success for walleye noted that the fish were fully spawned and on their way back to the bay. Stream anglers are reporting a difficult steelhead bite in eastern Door County, while suckers have dispersed in Kewaunee County, leaving the steelhead there more visible as temperatures climb upwards. Water temperatures range from the upper 40s to the low 50s. There were two to four foot waves and small craft advisories in effect last Thursday and Friday in Milwaukee. Anglers at the McKinley Pier are looking for coho and chinook salmon, while brown trout were being landed behind Summerfest. Anglers in Racine County reported boaters and pier anglers landing brown trout as well as a few coho. At the Root River, water visibility was around 12 inches, with an improving steelhead bite and a few remaining suckers caught. Anglers in Kenosha saw more success for browns from the harbor than the south pier. Though no catches were reported from the Pike, the mouth of the river is open and visibility is good. Temperatures for these waters ranged from 47 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit. .
    • Spotted it on the way back from getting wood and tried to sneak up on it. 
    • Hawg - please take down my post - didn't mean to offend or break any rules     
    • I looked it up on google and found it but not the sprinkler it was $12.99. I don't remember what it was.
    • Just went home for lunch and....he's back.
    • Within the last few days the bluejays have discovered my suet cakes.   Also have a hairy woodpecker that has appeared recently. 
    • hmmm, they usually go fast here. use whatever works   I started breaking them in half. 
    • Nice to see Feider with an early limit. Hopefully he can find a kicker or two!
    • How in the world did this advertisement not get zapped?
    • Look great but the page is horrible, anybody figure out the price? The one in the video looks like a buzz bait, do they come in different tails or all the tails come with?  Anybody speak Japanese?
  • Our Sponsors