April Fishing Sessions: 04/04 - Fishing for Trout at the Pennypack Creek with Power Bait

Hello, Blog Readers! 

I've added 9 new photos to the Public Fishing Album on my Facebook Page. As a reminder, anyone can submit photos! If interested, you may click here for more information.

Now, here is my fishing report for April 4th -- the first day of Trout Season in Philadelphia County;

--- April 4th, 2015 ---

Location: Pennypack Creek
Time: 8:00-9:00 a.m.

Fishes caught:

-- 4 Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
-- 1 Brown Trout (Salmo trutta)

Below are the highlights of this fishing session:

The video is about 30 minutes long. I've divided it in 3 parts: Introduction goes up to 4:45; Setup goes up to 9:45; and the rest is fishing!

This was actually my 4th consecutive year fishing the Trout opening day in Philadelphia, PA. It just so happens that every year I hit the same location: the Pennypack Creek between Roosevelt Boulevard and Bustleton Avenue. Instead of describing the whole scenery and the "chaos" of the Trout opener, here are some shots from 2011 to 2015:

Trout Opening in 2012:

Compared to the other years, the amount of people in 2012 wasn't as high. Note, however, the green scenery in the beginning of April. On April 5th, 2012, water and air temperatures were between 50-55 degrees! 
Trout Opening in 2013:

Here's a nice view of the "chaos" during the first day of Trout season at the Pennypack Creek. In comparison to 2012, everything was just starting to bloom. On March 30th, 2013, water and air temperatures were between 45-50 degrees.

A nice scenery view of the Roosevelt Boulevard dam -- one of the deepest spots around the Creek.

A nice collection of anglers wading a deep hole under one of the bridges between Roosevelt Boulevard and Rhawn Street.

A pack of anglers under the Rhawn Street bridge.

Trout Opening in 2014:

Moments before 8 a.m. on March 29th, 2014! Same dry branch as in the photo from 2013. Same weather. Same crowd. Same chaos! 

A nice scenery view of the Roosevelt Boulevard Dam from above the small metal bridge.

And, as always, the Roosevelt Boulevard dam was packed. Heh.

Trout Opening for this year:

Air and water temperatures around 50 degrees. This year I did a "head count" for the area around the dam: ~50 people total! Quite insane, right? 

As mentioned in the video, some folks decided to step up this year! Apart from all the BBQing and stuff, they even brought in a tent. 

Minutes after 8 a.m. :)

If you watched the whole video, you should already be familiar with all the technical information that I'm going to write here. Just in case, though, let me emphasize some of the fishing jargon. For the first day of the Trout season, I decided to go with the traditional Power Bait. My setup was very simple: ultralight Daiwa Spinmatic rod with a Shimano Sedona 2500 FD; 4lbs Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon line with 3 small split shots and a size #8 Eagle Claw hook. 

For Power Bait, I decided to pick my favorite color: beige. And no additional scents or anything like that. As a matter of fact, I've tested all different colors of Power Bait and I came to the conclusion that the beige, yellow, and white colors work best! And this is definitely not biased -- the fish may actually connect the beige/yellow color of the Power Bait with whatever they used to eat back in the hatcheries. Also, as an additional note, two of the Trout's favorite foods are kind of beige/yellowish: meal worms and corn. Think about it...

As mentioned in the video, I decided to use three split shots instead of one because the current was a little bit faster than usual (due to the rain from the previous day). The regular setup involves only one split shot with a small hook (#6-#12) and 4lbs test line. In other words, "as finesse as possible," as Bass anglers would say. That's usually the way to counter the Trout's top wariness.

Finally, I decided to leave a space of 6 inches between the split shots and the hook. That's because I truly believed that those 6 inches would help my Power Bait stay in the Thermocline. For those who are not familiar, the Thermocline is the water layer between the Epilimnion (a.k.a. "surface layer") and the Hypolimnion (a.k.a. "bottom layer"), and that's where certain Species of game fish hang and feed at. Different watersheds have different thermoclines, since it's based on water depth and water temperature. For a better understanding, I drew a diagram on Microsoft Paint:

As portrayed in the diagram, the current flows to the right. Do you notice how the Power Bait doesn't stay 90 degrees above the split shot? That's due to the force of the current and the amount of line after the split shots (there's a lot of Physics involved here, folks). The goal is to keep your bait inside the Thermocline, so that the fish will actually see and bite it. 

Using the technique described above, I limited out in 20 minutes or so. Photos are below:

Beautiful Rainbow Trout.

My five fish for the day. By now, they are already cleaned and ready to be smoked!

Little Brown Trout.

Stay tuned for more Trout reports, folks! There will be some additional videos coming up on my Youtube Channel as well.

Best of luck for all of us,

Long Days and Pleasant Nights,


Leo S.


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