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Re: monster trout.

Joined:
2006/9/9 16:08
From Erie Co.
Posts: 504
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Lake Erie, Tribs of Lake Erie and PI Bay have your fish. Lot of water to fish. You may be better off using a boat and trolling. One can cover more water in a day that way. They are there. Remember the State record brown came out of a LE trib.

Posted on: 4/13 13:55


Re: monster trout.

Joined:
2006/9/18 8:28
From Attitudinally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
Posts: 868
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Often, another good bet for finding bigger trout can be the transitional sections of a stream where it is no longer good cold water habitat, but isn't quite decent warm water habitat yet either. I don't know enough about Franklin County to give you local examples, but over the years, friends and I have taken some really large browns out of a number of NW Pa. streams while fishing them for smallmouth. Usually, these fish will come out of the lowest stocked section of the stream or the next section below where stocking ceases. As a general rule, this sort of fishing is a closer cousin to musky or big pike fishing than regular trout fishing in the sense that there is a high hours expended to fish hooked ratio and in many cases, you'll locate the fish long before you actually catch him. I also tend to think that the more fertile the stream is overall, the better candidate it will be for this sort of big fish hunting. That is to say, the transitional water in a relatively fertile stream like Oswayo Creek or a large limestone like the Bald Eagle will provide better big fish hunting than someplace like lower Kettle, the Loyalhanna or the Loyalsock, etc. for example...

Posted on: 4/13 14:24


Re: monster trout.

Joined:
2007/7/2 19:40
Posts: 15165
Online
I was a big trout nut in Montana for 30 years.
Two things that are quite different are your trout back east are more obese as a typical four pounder not filled with eggs would be right around 28 inches.The other is my night fishing was Always done under quarter to quarter moon phases as I wasn't about to wade those big rivers during the dark phase.the trout would co operate but they tended to feed in fits and spurts rather steadily so i would go for hours with no action than bang,bang than stop…
No way am I suggesting the fish in the East would react the same as everyone seems to want to get the other guys in the dark.

Posted on: 4/13 19:19
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Re: monster trout.

Joined:
2009/4/21 16:39
From G-side AKA GLENSIDE
Posts: 713
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If you want to catch big trout you have to change your whole understanding of trout fishing. Like they said night is right. I wouldnt say a trout becomes top predator until they get in the 20 inch class. They become meat eaters not to say that they will not eat bugs. A 20 inch fish has probably seen a few flies in its day so they get picky. Thats why guys thorw big streamers at them. The fish mike strike because it's hungry but I think its more cause they are annoyed by the fly. Like any other big fish they get lazy. They are going to eat maybe three for four times a week. Its usually something large like a smaller trout or other baitfish. They hide in deep pools or along banks where its easy to ambush pray.

Posted on: 4/13 20:17


Re: monster trout.

Joined:
2012/10/24 19:22
From Landenberg, PA
Posts: 1637
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as well as RleeP's suggestion, i'd check out junction pools where a coldwater stream meets another or flows into a larger warmer stream.

usually there will be a deep hole or seam where big fish will sit and wait for bait to be flushed down to them.

given the relatively spartan food on offer on Eastern coldwater streams, i think the access to warmwater streams plethora of baitfish - shiners, chubs, suckers has to be attractive to big trout.

so spring, fall, winter and night time is where i'd hit those spots.

GB

Posted on: 4/13 21:07

Edited by geebee on 2014/4/13 21:27:46
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Re: monster trout.

Joined:
2006/11/20 10:08
Posts: 1210
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You guys are a lot better big trout fishermen than I am. I consider 18" trout big ones, and 20" trout are special. I have caught stockers up to 28" and a wild brown of 24", but these have been really rare fish for me. Even when I did some night fishing, 20" was about the best I could manage. You guys who catch fish like this regularly are a special group, IMO.

Posted on: 4/13 21:25


Re: monster trout.

Joined:
2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2766
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Agree with most info so far. There very well might be 20" and larger browns right by you or in the waters you fish. If you are out mid-day....you'll never see them. Most have transitioned to nocturnal / hard food feeders. Those big boys hide in log jams, under cut banks or hug the bottom in the deepest pools. Low light (after sunset or 90 minutes before sunrise) will greatly improve your odds. Crappy weather is typically big brown weather (cold, overcast, rain). No magic fly, no magic water or easy answers. You have to try, experiment, put in your time and they will come. Some waters will help you improve the chances as the provide habitat that draws big fish or hold larger numbers of fish over 20". There are more of them out there than you probably realize and persistence will put a 20"-24" in your net. There are a few times and places that will give up 20"+ fish on dries or nymphs but those are rare. It becomes a streamer game and a good 6-7 weight will help you get the job done. Don't be surprised if you spend 3 days covering 5 miles of water just to get 1 take. It's not like you will be nailing one after another doing this type of angling. Enjoy the journey just as much as the trophy at the end of the journey.

Posted on: 4/13 21:35
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Re: monster trout.

Joined:
2009/3/21 0:58
Posts: 62
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I'm on a similar goal of a 20"+ wild brown. last yeari caught a 19.5" and Saturday a 17" Out of a stream you could hop across. i think they get big eating natives. this is probably more of the exception but that's where I'm hunting.

Posted on: 4/14 8:33


Re: monster trout.

Joined:
2006/11/10 8:32
Posts: 1757
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With only 1.5 percent of the wild brown trout in Pa being 16 inches long and longer (not including Erie tribs, Kinzua tail-race, Yough, Lehigh R, Delaware R), random sampling is not going to cut it. To have the best chance of catching large BT it would be best to accept that they are clumped in their distribution. Waters that have produced big fish in the past will tend to do so again because of the physical habitat, forage base, and probable limited competition. They also tend to be of at least moderate fertility, although not exclusively so.

A proxy for limited competition is less than ideal habitat for an abundance of trout, but fair to good habitat for large trout. Where good big fish habitat is present but forage is limited there may be many "holes" that are vacant at any one point in time because there are less big fish than the physical habitat would suggest. Large fish may have to move some surprising distances on a frequent basis in order to find appropriate sizes or abundance a of forage for maintenance and growth. Anglers unfamiliar with the forage situation in a given stream may mistake the lack of larger fish in good habitat for the effects of harvest or poaching.

Heavy harvest of smaller fish may help by removing competition for limited forage or habitat. That harvest may be associated with stocking and high fishing pressure. Stocking and high fishing pressure may not harm the big fish population perhaps due to the behavior of large trout, just as it did not in Logan Branch during its prime and as it does not appear to do in a trib to the Lehigh that consistently produces large browns..

Fast growth rates may also be helpful in that there is less time exposure to factors that result in natural mortality before fish achieve a larger size. However, that has to be weighed against the general observation in fisheries that fast growing fish are shorter lived. Nevertheless, fast growing fish are robust fish and their high fat content aids these fish in overwinter survival.

Given the stockpiling of mid-size or smaller fish that occurs in limestoners under C&R regs, I would avoid most C&R areas. I said most, not all. Fishing for big trout is often better outside of and downstream from the C&R stretches, such as in the Letort and Codorus. As for Big Spring, it is a marginal brown trout stream, but it has produced some very large browns despite the relatively small Brown trout population.

Posted on: 4/14 21:42

Edited by Mike on 2014/4/14 22:02:52
Edited by Mike on 2014/4/14 22:05:35
Edited by Mike on 2014/4/14 22:13:47
Edited by Mike on 2014/4/14 22:14:21
Edited by Mike on 2014/4/14 22:28:48
Edited by Mike on 2014/4/14 22:31:00


Re: monster trout.

Joined:
2010/5/28 0:25
Posts: 588
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Mike (and others), a suggestion:

Please break up your responses into paragraphs. My old eyes and ADD get lost in long responses without paragraph breaks. I would appreciate it, others may as well.

Posted on: 4/14 21:51


Re: monster trout.

Joined:
2006/11/10 8:32
Posts: 1757
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You were too quick. I was breaking it down into paragraphs at the end, but had to submit what I had already written to avoid the timing out problem.

Posted on: 4/15 7:15


Re: monster trout.

Joined:
2013/5/15 10:50
From PA
Posts: 57
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A lot of these replies are sound information, lots of good advice. I am also like Night Stalker, my Dad and I do the majority of our fishing focusing on big trout.

The best I can tell you is simply go where the big ones are. You cant catch them if they aren't there. MANY waters hold browns over 5 pounds that is for sure.

I have gotten several large browns from Yough River and many more from a few local limestone streams, one that is very well known. The limestoner has given up 2 over 10 pounds in fact and many, many 5 plus.

Do you homework and I bet you will find what you are looking for. Also, always remember the truly big trout are most vulnerable ONE time of the year, and its not a hatch. Its the fall. The big boys leave their lairs looking for spawning water and streams that all year seem void of big fish suddenly have 20"+ fish seemingly all over.

Posted on: 4/15 10:54


Re: monster trout.

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7742
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The Delaware River probably produces the big trout on the most consistent basis, that being said it's out of you Geo area. I'd look for a stream that flows into a reservoir that has trout in it that migrate to streams in the fall. I'm not very familiar with much of the southern tier, other than brookie streams, but every time I find large brookies, that fish over 12 inches, it's in streams that flow into reservoirs and some of those brookies are 3 pounds, which would be in the 18 inch range for a brookie.

Posted on: 4/15 11:09
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Re: monster trout.

Joined:
2013/5/15 10:50
From PA
Posts: 57
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Chaz, I second that about streams flowing into reservoirs. There is many more of these across PA that hold Lake Run trout, definitely a great thing to keep your eye out for. I know of a few with some very nice browns.

Posted on: 4/15 12:04


Re: monster trout.

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13553
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Approaches (aside from Erie and stocked or fed fish):

1. Big Rivers. Allegheny Tailwaters. Delaware. Lehigh. You could add the Yough, Clarion, etc. in there.

2. Limestoners. Generally, there has to be some browns but the real trophies are usually where there's not a real strong population of them. Perhaps the stream has a strong wild brown population upstream, but downstream it begins to warm and becomes marginal. That marginal area is often where there's not many fish, but there are a few trophies.

3. They exist in smallish freestoners too. Can be like the limestoners, in marginal areas. Also occurs in streams that are primarily brookie streams. That super deep pool with the big rock undercut that you strangely never catch a brookie out of? Yep.

The constant seems to be that unless it's a huge waterway, trophy browns are NOT found in the same places where A LOT of browns are found. You are not after numbers. You are after a place where lots of food is found, but food is not the population limiting factor. Maybe holding water. Maybe water temp but there's a small spring where 1 or 2 fish can oversummer. Whatever it is, you have a situation where only a few fish can survive, but those that do have an abundant food chain virtually to themselves without competition.

The exceptions to the above are when it may not be a huge, rich waterway, but it's close to one. We said about Erie, the D, Allegheny, etc. Well, the TRIBS to those same waters can have em. Same goes for reservoirs.

In all cases, fish streamers at night or in high muddy water to structure. In smaller water you can often locate them in the daytime and then go back and target them at night.

On smaller waters, approach it like a bowhunter chasing a trophy buck. You're searching for a tiny subset of the population. Once found, you're patterning a specific animal, and then you set up an ambush.

Posted on: 4/15 12:23



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