Missouri Trout Hunter

Blog for sharing thoughts, beliefs and opinions on issues affecting the world of trout fishing in the Ozarks.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

March 1st!

March 1st! Does anything else really need to be said? Probably not, but I'm a talker, so here goes.

March 1st is on a Sunday this year, so Missouri's four trout parks are going to be crowded to overflowing. Traditionally, Sunday trout openers represent the biggest turnouts, so get yourself into the right frame of mind. But definitely don't miss it! The big benefit of fishing on March 1st is the higher than normal chance at catching a real lunker. During most of the year, the hatchery staff will drop in a whopper trout here and there and from time to time, but each of he parks will be putting in A BUNCH on Saturday night. We're talking 40, 50, 60 or more trout that all measure 20+ inches. AND... they're all stupid. March 1st is the kind of magical day when 6-year olds catch fish almost as long as they are tall. I'll say it again. Don't miss it.

But how would one go about actually targeting a trophy-sized trout? Well, there are a couple of secrets. Secret #1: big fish require LOTS of calories, and they can't generally afford to burn the calories required to chase down food that's hard to catch. For the fisherman, this means you can increase your chances by (a) using baits, lures & flies that look like they have lots of calories -- meaning BIG, and/or (b) by making your baits, lures and flies EASY for the fish to eat. That usually means putting it right in front of his face and not making him chase it. Of course, if you can drift a little tiny bait to a giant trout's nose, they'll probably eat that, too. But big baits will often get them to move a few extra inches to grab it.

Serious trophy hunters will wander the river searching the for the specific fish they want to catch. Once they see it, they'll work on drifting their bait directly to that fish without spooking him off. If you don't have the patience for that style of fishing, then the next best option is to cover a lot of water and target the spots that LOOK like a trophy fish would want to be there. Drift your baits past boulders, downed trees, into the foam under the dams, deep into the holes, etc. Work a spot well, and then move on to the next one. Sooner or later, a whopper fish is going to see your bait. If you can drift it to his nose, you're in business.

Be sure to bring that big fish to Ozark Taxidermy for the best quality trout mounts around. And, if you a catch-and-release kinda fishermen, we do great looking reproductions, too!


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