State plans to stock a lot more rainbows
Written by Toledo Blade   
Tuesday, 27 September 2005 09:52
They are fun to catch, feisty, and wholly unnatural in the waters in which you will find them, but you will have to look long and hard to find a complaint among anglers who pursue them.

Stocked rainbow trout is what they are, and in mid-October the Ohio Division of Wildlife plans to plant about 25,000 of them 10 to 13 inches long in 25 waterways, including four in northwest Ohio.

The division similarly stocked about 80,000 rainbows in the spring, in some cases in different waters from those planned for this fall, in part as a way to spread around opportunity.

The stocking schedule for the region is as follows: Lima Lake, Allen County, Oct. 13; Lamberjack Lake, (Fostoria Reservoir No. 3) Hancock County, Oct. 13; Norwalk Reservoir No. 1, Huron County, Oct. 13, and Swanton Reservoir, Lucas County, Oct. 14. A statewide list of stockings is available by visiting the state Web site,

The twice-a-year put-and-take program is conducted when water temperatures are cool enough to support trout, and most of them are caught fairly quickly. The daily creel limit is five, and all standard license requirements apply.

The fish represent part of the annual production at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery in Erie County, where more than 400,000 rainbows primarily are raised for stocking in Lake Erie tributaries for the steelhead trout program. Steelhead simply are sea-run, or in this case lake-run, rainbow trout that spend summers in the big water feeding on larger forage and growing larger as a result.

Fishing for these stocked inland rainbows is straight forward. The fish usually are eager to attack most small, flashy lures, or gobble up such baits as garden worms, waxworms, processed fish eggs and Berkley Power Baits such as the Nuggets. Think small - hook, split-shot and a small float or bobber - when fishing the live or processed baits.

If you want to try artificial lures, a bright orange Rooster Tail spinner or a flashy Mepps or similar spinner will work well. So would a tiny spinnerbait, such as a Beet-L-Spin, dressed with a small, bright, plastic tail. Or try a small teardrop jig with a waxworm, or any small panfish jig and a waxworm or bright tail.

Speaking of steelhead trout, Corey Moore of Whitehouse took first place in the rainbow/steelhead division of the 10th annual Lake Ontario Counties Fall Trout and Salmon Derby with a 13-pound, 15-ounce fish.

He was fishing off Olcott, N.Y., aboard skipper Jim Taylor's Hawgmaster. It was Moore's first time on the lake. The fish hooked up 60 feet down over 450 feet of water on a Northern King spoon, said Bill Hilts Jr., a derby spokesman.

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