Catcha Fish 101: Get outside, have fun and catch dinner, here’s how
As temperatures warm, songbirds return and the ice recedes, a shift in fish behavior also occurs, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Dept. Many fish species found in lakes and ponds throughout Vermont become more active, feed more regularly and provide a great fishing opportunity.
“While some anglers focus on the challenge of catching trout during early spring, there are other ways to enjoy fishing without having to wade through ice cold water,” said state fisheries biologist Bret Ladago. “Species such as bluegill, pumpkinseed, crappie, rock bass, and yellow perch are common in many of our waters and become more active at this time of year as they prepare for spawning. These fish can be easily accessed from shore, making them ideal for a variety of anglers looking to enjoy spring fishing in Vermont. Using only a hook, worm and bobber, you can catch fish, have fun and relax.”
Rig your bobber at least 1 to 2 feet above the hook. Most fish will not be right at the surface, so the deeper you can get your bait the better. However, if the bobber is too far from the hook, it will be difficult to cast and may become tangled. Bait the hook with a worm, or any other tasty fish treats.
If you do not want to venture to a store, bait like worms and grubs can be found in gardens, compost piles and under logs and rocks. Cast your bait out at least 10 feet and wait. Sit back and enjoy being surrounded by nature but keep an eye on your bobber. Once you see the bobber move, wait a few more seconds, set the hook and then reel in your catch!
Try to match the size of your hook to the fish you are catching. If the hook is too small, it will be easier for a larger fish to swallow. If it’s too large, they may not be able to get it in their mouth. Consider pinching the barb on the hook if you do not intend to keep your catch.
“For folks who want to eat their catch, there’s nothing better than a fresh meal of perch, crappie or bluegill caught in our local waters,” added Ladago. “They make for an excellent, healthy, locally-sourced meal for your family.”
For more information, see the fishing regulations and Fishing Basics on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website: vtfishandwildlife/fish.