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Re: Night Fishing During the Colder Months?

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2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
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Quote:

sandfly wrote:
why not give them a rest for awhile, they have been pressured all season. I think season should end in Oct. till april. give the trout a break.


Sandy,

Can you elaborate on this position? I rarely encounter people who are even hiking while fishing in the winter and I don't ever recall encountering anyone who was fishing. So I don't think there is a lot of pressure from anglers over the winter time. I also have never encountered anyone while I was night fishing, any time of the year. You posted a little bit ago that you felt the season should be closed above I-80 in the winter. Why is that? If the fish are pressured from April to October, wouldn't that be the time to give them a break?

Posted on: 12/3 19:06


Re: Night Fishing During the Colder Months?

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2012/10/24 19:22
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Quote:

sandfly wrote:
why not give them a rest for awhile, they have been pressured all season. I think season should end in Oct. till april. give the trout a break.


it's a fair point i guess, but i'm of the mind that the fish i'd target would likely not been pressured at all.


Posted on: 12/3 19:17


Re: Night Fishing During the Colder Months?

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It's tough enough braving the elements in winter during the day and night even worse. But if one of those warm winter days come through I couldn't see why not a trip wouldn't be productive on a limestone water at night. Letort would be a great place to start and I personally would start at the headwaters where the temp is a bit warmer than downstream and give it a go.

Posted on: 12/3 19:56
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Re: Night Fishing During the Colder Months?
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Quote:

LetortAngler wrote:
Letort would be a great place to start and I personally would start at the headwaters where the temp is a bit warmer than downstream and give it a go.


I've long been tempted to fish that section at night, however most of the upper Letort where there is public access is special regulation and night fishing (at least past legal time) is not permitted there.

Posted on: 12/3 20:06

Edited by Fishidiot on 2013/12/3 20:36:34
Edited by Fishidiot on 2013/12/3 20:37:54


Re: Night Fishing During the Colder Months?
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Quote:

geebee wrote:
Quote:

sandfly wrote:
why not give them a rest for awhile, they have been pressured all season. I think season should end in Oct. till april. give the trout a break.


it's a fair point i guess, but i'm of the mind that the fish i'd target would likely not been pressured at all.


Yep - fair enough, esp on very heavily pressured streams like VC and LL.
However, on many if not most trout streams, this time of year follows a period when they haven't really been pressured much by anglers. July to Sep might be a better time to give 'em a break.

All relative of course - follow your own best ethical course.

Posted on: 12/3 20:09


Re: Night Fishing During the Colder Months?

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2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
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Quote:

Fishidiot wrote:
Quote:

LetortAngler wrote:
Letort would be a great place to start and I personally would start at the headwaters where the temp is a bit warmer than downstream and give it a go.


I've long been tempted to fish that section at night, however most of the upper Letort where there is public access is special regulation and night fishing (at least past legal time) is not permitted there.


On PFBC special regulated waters (ala Delayed Harvest, Catch & Release), there are no longer any time-of-day restrictions. That was a rule change this year, which I had heard talk about in a proposed rule making, but then heard nothing more on. However, I contacted the PFBC and they pointed me to the 2013 summary reg book (which I obviously didn't read). And it's in there. The only way that a special reg area would be closed at night is if the property owner does not permit access at night (say a stream that flows through a county park that is closed dusk to dawn). The signs on the water may still say different, but I think the regulation on the books would be on the side of a night angler.


See page 2, whats new for 2013 and page 14, and call the PFBC if you don't want to rely on the collective ignorance of the Internet forums

http://fishandboat.com/fishpub/summaryad/z2013complete.pdf

Posted on: 12/3 21:00


Re: Night Fishing During the Colder Months?

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From G-side AKA GLENSIDE
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I think you could get away with fishing in the park at night. they is also some good water outside the park to.

Posted on: 12/3 22:03


Re: Night Fishing During the Colder Months?
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Thanks for the clarification Salmonoid.

The special regs have banned night fishing for as long as I can remember and I never took notice of the change (like a lot of other folks I'm sure too).

Frankly, this would be good fodder for a separate thread.

Posted on: 12/3 22:21


Re: Night Fishing During the Colder Months?
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Quote:

Fishidiot wrote:
Quote:

geebee wrote:
Quote:

sandfly wrote:
why not give them a rest for awhile, they have been pressured all season. I think season should end in Oct. till april. give the trout a break.


it's a fair point i guess, but i'm of the mind that the fish i'd target would likely not been pressured at all.


Yep - fair enough, esp on very heavily pressured streams like VC and LL.
However, on many if not most trout streams, this time of year follows a period when they haven't really been pressured much by anglers. July to Sep might be a better time to give 'em a break.

All relative of course - follow your own best ethical course.


Agreed above.

Posted on: 12/4 6:27


Re: Night Fishing During the Colder Months?

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2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Posts: 5433
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Quote:
You posted a little bit ago that you felt the season should be closed above I-80 in the winter. Why is that? If the fish are pressured from April to October, wouldn't that be the time to give them a break?


Ok think about this, April through October there are insects all around. hatches are happening, lots of bait in the water from small fry to adult baitfish. water temps are in the right zone for trout to be active and feed therefor getting the nutrition they need to survive. Once you get into the colder months the fish start to shut down for the season, stomachs shrink and they go into a semi hibernation mode. insects are scare, all the bait is gone or just a handful are around, water is dropping temps are cold all the time and the fish are sluggish barely hanging on. now along comes Joe fisherman tossing a fly into the water and hooking said fish, they expand what energy they have fighting the hook and then get yanked out of the water to maybe a colder environment which starts to freeze their skin. now they are put back in said stream with no nutrition around (insects burrow in to substrate for winter) for them to regain that energy level. trout goes hungry and is in a weakened state and unable to find food. hard winter comes along and guess what trout dies from not being in good health to survive. most small stream fish will go to deep holes to try and survive from predation, no food, cold, ice, they are in the most difficult conditions they can be in and we come along and pull them out and toss them back not even thinking about their survival. spring creek fare a little better than free stone streams but they still have to fight the elements to stay alive there also.

migratory fish aka: steelhead have a fighting chance dropping back to deep lakes and good food sources. so I don't have a problem with them. I will only fish for migratory fish up here in the winter..

Posted on: 12/4 6:28
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Re: Night Fishing During the Colder Months?
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Quote:

sandfly wrote:
Quote:
You posted a little bit ago that you felt the season should be closed above I-80 in the winter. Why is that? If the fish are pressured from April to October, wouldn't that be the time to give them a break?


Ok think about this, April through October there are insects all around. hatches are happening, lots of bait in the water from small fry to adult baitfish. water temps are in the right zone for trout to be active and feed therefor getting the nutrition they need to survive. Once you get into the colder months the fish start to shut down for the season, stomachs shrink and they go into a semi hibernation mode. insects are scare, all the bait is gone or just a handful are around, water is dropping temps are cold all the time and the fish are sluggish barely hanging on. now along comes Joe fisherman tossing a fly into the water and hooking said fish, they expand what energy they have fighting the hook and then get yanked out of the water to maybe a colder environment which starts to freeze their skin. now they are put back in said stream with no nutrition around (insects burrow in to substrate for winter) for them to regain that energy level. trout goes hungry and is in a weakened state and unable to find food. hard winter comes along and guess what trout dies from not being in good health to survive. most small stream fish will go to deep holes to try and survive from predation, no food, cold, ice, they are in the most difficult conditions they can be in and we come along and pull them out and toss them back not even thinking about their survival. spring creek fare a little better than free stone streams but they still have to fight the elements to stay alive there also.


Interesting above. Maybe Mike will read and comment.

Posted on: 12/4 6:31


Re: Night Fishing During the Colder Months?

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2012/10/24 19:22
From Da 'Berg, PA
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interesting thoughts Sandfly - i had heard about the skin freezing before which is another reason i don't fish below 35F.

in terms of the bait, where do they go ? - i've also read that stoneflies are active all winter and thats why big (12/14) weighted stoneflies work so well in winter, same as cased caddis.

i guess its a question of conscience whether you fish or not - a few writers i've read also think the anglers need a rest over the winter to renew their 'vigor' and take time to appreciate the trout.


Posted on: 12/4 8:11
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Re: Night Fishing During the Colder Months?

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2013/2/12 12:31
From Camp Hill, PA
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Not all of the PA streams are as fragile as mentioned. If your local stream is that confined and limited...don't fish it and protect it. Each body of water is subject to your own ethical assessment.

Some bodies of water actually attract trout that are willing to migrate to them for the bounty of food they still offer in the winter. And it seems the fish are well fed.

For me, the most exciting time to fish is over the cold months (I am always looking for the big'ens). After the spawn, the big fish are hungry and on the move, in my local waters. I'm talking bigger streams...and the action can be as close to an out-west river as I can imagine.

The shorter days allow for night-time fishing. I do not exclusively choose to fish at night, it just happens that I am out and continue to fish after dark. The most productive time, for me, to catch a large brown trout is just after sundown. In fact, I have been know to wait...prepositioned for 20-30 minutes...for the opportune moment to cast. That can be a really difficult wait. If I cast to soon...zero encounters. If you wait to long the fish may have left or can see well enough to reject your presentation. Each location varies. The overcast gray days with snow/rain are ideal to find groups of fish to target. Once located you can try your luck with various techniques.

As far as fish freezing...I keep them in a big steelhead net...in the water. This does not allow for very impressive photos...especially at night. If my skin is freezing, so will the fish. Water temps tend to stay above freezing...it is the wind chill/air temp that is the concern.

Dave, I agree summer time night fishing is best for Smallmouth. Slapping mice for Browns is my only trout summer night time adventure...and that would be on the smaller limestoners.

Dave...questioning your being Nuts...would be a new thread.

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Posted on: 12/4 11:24


Re: Night Fishing During the Colder Months?

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From Dauphin PA
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If you really think about it, most of the Catskill waters are closed from October 15 until April 1st. Closed 6 months out of the year! Allows for safe / uninterrupted spawn and hatch out. I'd agree to that on most streams with significant wild populations here in PA. I'm guessing it can only help the fishery. Any thoughts Mike?

Posted on: 12/4 15:46
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Re: Night Fishing During the Colder Months?

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I can cross off my December after dark fish today, although since I caught it at 5:42PM, I'm not sure that technically qualifies as a night fish. It was a full hour after sunset and there's a good chance I probably could have picked up a few more, but I promised myself that I would leave for home if I landed a fourth fish. I may have to maintain parallel goal lists - a fish on a mouse after dark each month of the year and a night fish each month of the year.

Even though the temperature never reached above freezing today, the fish were pretty active, chasing buggers, and surprisingly were not too skittish. I fished for a few that were holding about seven feet upstream from my vantage point. As for this fish? I don't think he was harmed by being out of the water for five seconds in sub-freezing temperatures. The fisherperson survived four hours in the same temperatures with no freezing skin. It's probably self-evident that the stream is a limestoner.

There were a number of solid rises right before the sun set, so I figured if they were rising for a mite, they might rise for mice. I cast for awhile with no action and then turned my headlamp on, to locate some fish. I found a particularly nice size fish, turned the light off, and on the first cast to the spot he was in, I hooked a fish. It was much smaller than the biggie I had spotted, but it clearly contradicts a general rule that I had followed, which was to leave the light off unless a fish was caught, and if the light was turned on, I considered the fish to be put down for the next few hours.

Walking out, I was spotting the stream a bit, and saw a HUGE wake. Whatever it was made a beeline upstream and disappeared. I think it may have been a 29.875" fish (with a nod to the 30" fish thread). Whatever it was, it was clearly the largest fish I spotted today.

I read an interesting debate on another board; apparently, the Michigan guys view it as sacrilegious to use a light on the stream, whereas Pennsylvania guys are a bit more relaxed. In fact, one guy talked about Joe Humphrey's technique for night fishing - go out with a light and locate a big fish. Turn light off. Wait two or three minutes. Cast where big fish was located. Catch big fish. I think the MI guys weren't so much arguing that light puts the fish down as they were saying don't break the darkness of the night by piercing a light through it, which I can appreciate in areas where there is no light pollution.

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Posted on: 12/18 23:20



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