Stocked trout a treat

Across Northwestern Ontario, it’s well-known amongst area anglers that there are stocked trout lakes available to anyone interested in catching these pretty fish.
Brook trout, rainbow trout, and splake (a cross between brook and lake trout) are not native to our region, but these stocked populations give anglers a chance to catch these fish.
Fall is one of the best times of year to catch these fish because they move into shallow water around the shore of the lakes they are in, and their activity level usually is pretty good.
Casting small inline spinners, like a Mepps, or small suspending jerkbaits are a great way to catch these fish.
A live minnow hooked through the back and allowed to swim freely below a bobber is a pretty deadly tactic, as well, especially around trees in the water or beaver huts, which are magnets for these fish.
Although we’re running out of time on this open-water season, there still may be an opportunity to get out before things freeze up. These trout love cold water so the cold temperatures don’t bother them.
Usually when I’ve written about these stocked trout fisheries in the past, it has been later in November or December once ice has skimmed over on our lakes. First ice always has been my favourite time of year to catch these fish.
So in advance of that, maybe this story will compel some of you to get your ice-fishing gear ready so that once the ice is safe to walk out on, you’ll be ready to catch some trout.
I’m not totally sure why it is but the first month that you can get out on the ice on these lakes always offers the best fishing opportunities of the whole season. Jigging small spoons, or letting a live minnow swim around near the bottom, anchored on a small jig, remain the two best techniques.
Sometimes the jigging bait will be better; other times the set lines will be better.
These fish will be shallow (think three-eight feet). And it’s funny that usually the holes closest to shore are always the best. I think these fish just patrol all the wood and cover in the water near the shore and pick off small bugs and minnows that are hiding around it.
Just trust me on the shallow water, especially during the early-ice period.
For a complete listing of stocked trout lakes across Sunset Country, anglers can visit the MNR’s Fish ON-Line website, which can be found by typing Fish ON-Line Ontario into your search bar.
In addition to providing a list of all the stocked trout lakes in the region, this website gives detailed information about the numbers of fish stocked in each lake and what years they were stocked.
The website includes an interactive map that functions similar to Google Earth, and allows anglers to click on a specific lake anywhere in the region. A list of information then is provided, listing the fish species in each body of water, as well as relevant information like boat access spots, tourist camps, etc.
I promise that if you get on this website, you’ll have some fun looking up information about lakes in the region that you drive by and always wonder what fish are in it.