The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission’s fleet of white trout stocking trucks are on the roll again. The trucks are planting trout for the regional opening day of trout season on April 2 and for the Mentored Youth Trout Days set for March 26 and April 9.
According to the PF&BC, the Mentored Youth Trout Days signed up 28,000 kids for the program and they did so by purchasing a $1 voluntary youth fishing license or by acquiring a free mentored youth fishing permit. PF&BC Executive Director John Arway says his agency expects to have even more mentors and kids come out this year to participate in the program.
“Without a doubt the mentored youth program has been a huge success. This year we are refining it again by allowing only kids to keep two trout. Mentors can fish but cannot keep any trout,” said Arway. This should pacify the meat anglers who fear their streams will be fished-out before they get a chance to fish.
Arway goes on to say, “This is a very popular program designed to encourage kids to take adults fishing. Mentors can show kids that fishing is fun and adults are encouraged to fish with the children and provide encouragement and tips, but we’re asking adults to release them to the water unharmed.”
The rules for these two days? Youths may keep two trout, which must measure at least seven inches in length. Mentors, 16 years or older, must have a fishing license and trout stamp and be accompanied by a youth.
The youth permits and voluntary youth fishing license can be obtained online by going to www.GoneFishingPA.com or at any of the 900 licensing agents across the state. Last year more than 9,200 voluntary youth fishing licenses were sold and another 18,858 mentored youth permits were issued.
For every voluntary youth license sold, the PF&BC will receive approximately $5 in federal revenue from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Sport Fish Restoration Act. The program provides funds to states based on a formula that includes the number of licenses a state sells. All revenues earned from a voluntary youth fishing license will be dedicated to youth fishing programs in the state, says the PF&BC.
And if you haven’t perused the online in-season stocking schedule, here are the following Lehigh and Northampton County streams and lakes that will be re-stocked:
Cedar Creek: 4-20, 5-9
Coplay Creek: 4-1, 4-6, 5-3
Jordan Creek: (not all sections) 3-23, 3-29, 4-5, 4-6, 4-7, 4-26, 5-2
Leaser Lake: 4-1, 4-5
Little Lehigh: 4-19, 4-20, 5-9, 10-5
Ontelaunee Creek: 4-25
Switzer Creek: 4-26
Trout Creek: 4-20
Lehigh Canal: week of 4-4, 4-28
Monocacy Creek (both in Lehigh & Northampton counties): 5-10
Bushkill Creek: 4-18, 4-27, 5-11
Hokendauqua Creek: 4-13, 4-26, 5-3
Indian Creek: 4-13
Jacoby Creek: 4-6
Lehigh Canal: 3-26, week of 4-18
Little Bushkill Creek: 4-27, 5-11
Martins Creek: week of 4-4, 4-6
Minsi Lake: week of 5-2, 10-5
Monocacy Creek: 4-20, 5-10
Saucon Creek: 3-29, 4-20, 5-10
The April 2 regional trout opener will bring out a myriad of anglers with a myriad of baits. The choices run the gamut from non-typical baits such as mini marshmallows, pieces of hot dog, whole (not crushed) corn, stale bread formed into a small ball, homemade trout pellets made from cooked hatchery trout food, to typical offerings of garden worms, minnows, waxworms, mealworms, nightcrawlers and salmon eggs.
Then there’s the artificial lures comprised mostly of spinners like the Panther Martins, Rooster Tails, Trout Magnets and Mepps. Since all of these are traditional and have been fooling trout for years, Mepps has come out with a twist on one of their favorite spinners.
Mepps has the largest variety of spinners including their famed squirrel tail hair dressed ones plus models with pulsating marabou tails. But their newest addition is their Aglia-e spinner. While it’s rated for trout, steelhead and salmon, it appears to be able to do a number on our stocked trout as well.
According to Josh Schwartz, media relations for Mepps, “The Aglia-e has the look and feel of a single egg, and the combination of spinner and egg is the exact combination to tempt trout in your stream.” Aglia-e, he says, is offered in six sizes, six colors, in gold or silver blades and single and treble hooks. Since they’re new, local tackle shops may not as yet have them. But they should be available at Cabela’s, if not, through Mepps by calling 800-237-9877 or go to www.mepps.com/order-form.
While everyone else is throwing traditional baits, give the trout something else to look at and bite. The Aglia-e appears to be a compelling new and enticing spinner.