Time and patience is required to master the art of fishing stillwaters, particularly for elusive trout. Understanding the anatomy of the lake and spotting opportunities is explained in this article.
Stillwater trout fishing is one of the best and most rewarding ways to fish, but it takes time, patience, and skill to master. If you have spent a good amount of time bass fishing then you will already have put together a good basis of knowledge that can be shifted towards stillwater fishing. However, mastering this art takes time and there is a lot of research, practice, and information that you are going to have to delve into if you really want to have a field day in stillwater.
Anatomy of the Lake
The size, shoreline, elevation, annual precipitation, and depth of a specific body of water will have a large effect on the trout in the water and how they are able to grow.
One of your best bets in starting on stillwater fishing for trout is to find a lake nearby and ask fellow anglers about good fishing areas. It is advisable that you focus on one specific area and become an expert before you start chartering your way into other areas.
Begin by finding a spot on the lake that has feeder streams, an inlet, or an outlet. These are the best spots where trout can find food easily and the areas where there is the most oxygenated water. Often the key in making a lake beneficial for trout is a healthy chunk of shoreline. The more shoreline, the more food will be available for trout.
Sunlight is also another determining factor for trout, as the more sunlight there is the easier it is for plants to grow and the more of an attraction there will be for insects.
Cover and Targeted Waters
While there are a plethora of books, videos and articles available on stillwater fishing for trout your focus needs to be on sticking to the obvious. Trout require a lot of cover and protection in order to survive and will congregate in areas where there is overhead cover that hides their outline from predators.
Trout also rely on cooler waters that are abundant in oxygen, so there are a number of areas that you want to target;
Your best sources for trout in stillwater are bays, channels, near cliffs, underneath fallen trees, on drop-offs, around outlets and inlets, on top of rocks, in algae blooms, and close to submerged islands or shoals.
When you are trying to locate a hot spot for trout you want to search for a few things. If there are birds, especially hawks, hovering around the area it is a good sign that there may be a hatch nearby.
While you do want to search for rises in the water there are quite a few that are too subtle to notice. You can use binoculars to scan areas of water and search out spots where the water is moving in an unnatural way or possibly even locate a hatch.
The good news is that it does not take much to attract trout and get their attention in terms of food. While that does bode well for surface fishing, an overwhelming majority of trout fishing experts suggest that most stillwater fishing should be done underneath the water.
Cloudy or dark days can really stimulate trout and get them excited and ready to feed, especially in shallow water. On windy days you want to wet your line closer to shorelines as this is where the trout will head to avoid the breeze.
Best Times to Stillwater Fish
One of the best times to go stillwater fishing is right after ice thaw. At this time trout are hungry and active and you want to do your best to target different inlets as this is where the fish will head to spawn. In the spring time you can attract the heavy hitting trout by fishing with a Glo-Bug. Lastly, as every fisherman knows fish are much more active and ready to bite when a storm is approaching the area.
On the other hand, you may want to pack things in when there is lightning over the water, during a cold front, or while there is a full moon, as trout are more likely to stay hidden deep in the water and let food pass them by.