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Late Season Stocked Rainbow Trout

Q: For the past couple of weeks I've been trout fishing in our local stocked lakes here in the Lower Mainland, unfortunately I've had no success. I've been float fishing with powerbait and using spinners. Is it too late in the season or am i just doing something wrong? I suspect the latter.


Julius, the hopeless trout fisher

A:Hi Julius, the hopeless trout fisher

Stocked rainbow trout can be caught year round (as long as the lakes are not frozen) in Lower Mainland lakes, but the fishing definitely slows down a bit in the winter months because the water is colder. Fish are generally not as active between November and February, so bites are fewer than spring and summer. That being said, catching them is still very possible. The fish are definitely there, because the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery has been stocking these lakes on a weekly basis since October.

Beside manufactured baits, try dew worm and deli shrimp. I have always had plenty of success when using these two. Your float should be small so it can detect the bites more easily. The hook size should be #6 or smaller. If float fishing fails, try bottom fishing for them instead. Sometimes these fish prefer to feed on items resting on the bottom or just suspending above it, instead of bait that is floating near the surface. (more on bait fishing for stocked rainbow trout...)

For spinner fishing, try retrieving the spinner more slowly so it travels in deeper water. That is where you will find most of the fish in colder months. Try finding spots where you have better access to deeper water directly in front of you (eg. floating docks/bridges, steep drop-offs). Other than that, my only advice is to keep trying and adjusting the techniques until it works. (more on lure fishing for stocked rainbow trout...)

Here is a blog entry from early October for reference. The weather was slightly warmer, but the scenario is pretty similar.

Good luck!

Rodney Hsu
Webmaster of Fishing with Rod and Public Advisor of Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC

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