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Large preseason trout on spinners C/R

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Are you going to sell this book?? I agree with you though. On some rivers there are biggest fish contest on opener. How sad!! I have seen huge trout dragged out all so a guy could win a case of Old Milwakee or something. I can't even stand to watch anymore so I never fish opener.

[This message has been edited by smellzalilfishee (edited 04-12-2004).]

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It has been only a little over three weeks since I spotted my first Robin. Since then, Spring has just exploded into life. In this short time, almost every type of bird, insect and other such signs of this season, have made their appearance. Other years this process has been somewhat gradual, but this year it seems to have happened almost overnight. It raises a little concern, that animal life is appearing so much ahead of plants that we may have a bit of natural chaos this year.
The real concern for those of us that fish the small rivers and streams of south eastern Minnesota, is the lack of moisture. With only a couple of good snow storms and almost no spring rains, The spring drought of 2004 has left these small rivers and streams about as low as I have ever seen them.
These water conditions have made for a wild “catch and release trout season” for while low water conditions in summer and fall usually dampen the action, this spring it has been just the opposite.
I have only been out three times this season, and in each outing, after only a few casts, I have found myself doing battle with a Brown over 18”.
So why the concern? It seems that these conditions have created a feeding and holding pattern that makes large brooder trout particularly vulnerable, especially to large silver spinners like my Big Bow and I suspect, Raps, streamers and other such baits. Once you know the pattern, a large trout is almost sure to pay you a call. This is fantastic news for C/R, but in less than a week a season begins where a good many trout will no longer be returned to the water. Our large brooder trout seem poised to be decimated by the many uneducated trout anglers participating in the “opening onslaught” that marks the beginning of trout season.
I personally believe that there is something that all trout anglers can do to help stem this possible tragedy.
A solution that is supportive of our regulations, and fun as well. The solution I propose is to get out there and FISH! That’s right, I believe that if as many anglers as possible take advantage of the last couple of days of this Catch And Release Season to land and release as many trout as possible, especially the larger ones, many of those trout released will be reluctant to bite for a couple of days, maybe at least long enough to survive the opening rush and hopefully into a rainy season.
My trout outings have taken place on 3/24, 4/7 and 4/10.
3/24, I fished about four hours in the early to mid afternoon. The water temp was in the high forties with air temp in the low sixties. I caught and released 9 trout several over 16” one measuring just over 18”(forth cast, second fish caught). All the Browns measured over 12” but the majority of trout caught were rainbows, none of these went over 9”. Used Super Bow spinners: Silver/gold, Silver, Copper, and Big Bow: Silver. (Super Bow Silver/gold caught the most, Big Bow caught the largest)
4/7, I fished about six hours, from early afternoon to dark. The air temp was 72 and the water temp was 58 degrees. I caught and released 24 trout many of these were small rainbows under 10”, the browns all measured over 11”, six of these measured out over 15”, the largest coming in at 18”
4/10, fished with Brad, Air temp was 46 and water temp was 50 degrees. Cloudy, cold. We started around 10:30am and fished five to six hours. Brad caught and released 16 and I caught and released 11. I primarily used the Silver Big Bow spinner. All of the fish I caught were Browns and measured well over 12”. The largest of the day and my biggest of the year so far, was a huge Brown measuring at just under 20”. This creature pounced on my Silver Big Bow, peeling off several feet of line and than going into a wild series of air born leaps that took him completely out of the water. I think that my heart stopped each time he went skyward. Such aerial combat is unusually in large trout, and hooks usually come free in such battles,(good old triple grip hooks) but after a lengthy combat and a couple of drag peeling runs, we managed to land, measure and release him. (no photos, I forgot my camera).
The pattern I was finding, was that the big Browns were holding in the swift deeper water directly at the tail end of fast moving rapids. I am going on the assumption that they are feeding heavily on forage fish, and the smaller Rainbows. For the most part the smaller Rainbows were being taken just upstream in the much faster shallower rapids. Possibly being pushed up by the large predators in the deeper water.
No matter what the structure or conditions, except in the evening, no water less than knee deep held so much as a minnow.
The method that produced for me, was to make a long cast with a Bow series spinner upstream and across river, into the fast moving rapids, retrieving with the flow of the current, slowly allowing a belly to form in the line between me and the spinner. This belly would be caught by the movement of the water and drag the spinner much like a sail. At a point where the spinner was almost straight across from me, I would slow the cranking to an almost stop, allowing the spinner to sink deep and be pulled via the belly in the line, at the same time I would begin very slowly swinging my rod tip upstream while cranking, in this manner I am able to tighten the line and control the speed and depth of the spinner. When the spinner finished its swing and took a position directly downstream from me, I would swing the rod tip back down stream slowly for a foot or two and let the spinner drop down a little, than make a couple of cranks while swinging the rod tip back upstream. I would retrieve the spinner in this manner until it was up to the rod, and than perform the cycle again. To achieve long casts I spooled up with 2/6 Fire line. For best results as well as control, hold the rod low and parallel to the water keeping the line at a right angle to the rod.
On the evening of the Seventh, just before dark, I noticed allot of violent action taking place in the very shallow water within inches of the bank of the sand bars. Taking a position downstream, I began casting and retrieving a large silver Big Bow spinner parallel to, and within inches of the shore line. Many of my casts landed on the shore itself. My first cast into such a boil, produced a very fat ten inch Small mouth Bass. My second cast into a larger area of activity was pounced on immediately by a beautiful sixteen inch Brown. But the next six shore line boils all produced Smallies, so I put away the spinner and called it a night. As much fun as this would have been, targeting Smallmouth at this time of year is illegal, the best course of action is to change location and methods, or quit, it was almost 8:00pm so I quit. On a side note this is the earliest that I have encountered Smallies in this river, at this amount, and with this much activity. They seem to be herding the smaller forage fish up almost on the bank then trapping them in the shallow water. This is a process that I usually don’t see until around June.
Well that’s about enough for now, do with it what you will. Good luck to all, and let’s keep our fingers crossed for rain.
John A. Eggers a.k.a. Spindoctor.

You can purchase the Super Bow and Big Bow spinners at bait and tackle stores like Anglers Nook in Lancaster WI., Bill’s Sport Shop in Chippewa Falls WI., Faribault Bait and Tackle in Faribault MN., Magnum Sports in Chatfield MN., Root River Outfitters in Lanesboro MN. In the White Water area go to the Elba Valley Express. You folks in Rochester can purchase all the Bow series spinners at HOOKED ON FISHING BAIT and TACKLE located at 5510 Hwy. 63 N. in Rochester MN. Also available at Curt's Bait and Tackle in Preston MN. In Iowa go to Ozzies Outdoors in Decorah, or Funcrest Sports in Iowa City.
You can also see and purchase these fine spinners online at catch-n.com. you will catch fish!

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Yep! it's being published right now.
I usualy fish the opener, but not on any stream highlighted in blue, and not this year.

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