Hook, Line & Sinker by Judy Van Put: April 15, 2009

A check with the NYC DEP Web site shows that current reservoir levels are as follows: Pepacton, 98.3 percent capacity; Cannonsville, 99.3 percent (no longer spilling – which is good news for West Branch anglers); Schoharie, 90.3 percent capacity; Ashokan, 94.6 percent; Rondout, 96.3 percent; and Neversink, 98.1 percent.
The second week of the trout season brought back blustery cold weather. Streams and rivers are low on average, which has proven to be good for early-season trout fishers. Although the cold weather has kept some from taking out their fishing gear just yet, those who have gone out to try their luck have done well.
Al Carpenter, of Al’s Sports Store, Downsville, reported that fishing on the lower end of Pepacton Reservoir has been pretty good so far. In the two weeks that the trout fishing has been open, a couple of 10 pounders have already been brought into the store; one last Monday and one this past Monday. Last week, Joe Solomon of Binghamton used a Krocodile to catch a big brown that weighed a whopping 10 pounds and measured 30 inches in length. And this week, Angel Colon, also from Binghamton, brought in a nice brown measuring 29 inches that tipped the scales at 10 pounds. Angel used a gold Krocodile to catch his fish; both men were fishing from shore.
On opening day of the season Butch Schwartz from New Jersey bagged a seven pounder using a Krocodile.
And Jerry Skeba from Binghamton used a three eights-ounce Silver and Blue Kastmaster to catch a nice brown that weighed six pounds. All fish were caught while fishing from shore.
Opening day also proved to be productive for some of our younger anglers. Donovan Sprague and Max Kaufman, both from Downsville, each caught a beautiful brown trout fishing in the East Branch near their town. Donovan’s fish measured 21 inches and Max’s brown was about 18 inches in length. Both boys were fishing with worms.
Sonny Somelofski of the Tremperskill Country Store reported a couple of nice trout that were taken on opening day. John Todd, Sonny’s nephew, brought in a beautiful rainbow that measured 18 inches and went about two pounds, taken from the Tremperskill on a Krocodile. Another Tremperskill angler netted a brown trout that measured 22 inches, but “was long and skinny like a pipe, it probably only weighed about two pounds,” Sonny recollected. The brown was also caught on a Krocodile.
Also on opening day, Phil O’Dell of Downsville was fishing in the river with mealworms when he caught two nice browns that measured 20 and 21 inches.
Jerry Sauer Jr. of Kingston was out fishing Saturday night in Pepacton Reservoir and caught some nice browns. The largest weighed six-and-one-half pounds. Jerry was using minnows as bait.
The water is still cold; thanks to the frigid air temperatures and high windy conditions we’ve had lately. Sonny recommends that, “If people want to catch fish, they should try fishing where the brooks come in (to the reservoir or river.) That’s where the trout will be for now, looking for oxygen and shallow warmer water.”
While opening day trout fishers did well at daybreak, last week the best fishing seemed to be from 5 p.m. till dark. Perhaps it was the colder weather settling in that made late afternoon and evening fishing more productive.