Trout Season Open

(4.13) “A seven-pound trout is a big deal.” So stated Dave Henault, owner of Ocean State Tackle on Branch Avenue, when asked about the DEM’s “special prize” this year. The RI Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has always stocked ponds with brook, brown, and rainbow trout in anticipation of opening day, but this year, golden rainbow trout will be stocked in sixteen of Rhode Island’s most popular fishing locations, including one seven-pounder!

These [golden] trout are a color variation of a rainbow trout and provide an exciting angling experience. For locations, visit DEM’s website. Anglers who catch a golden trout from Opening Day through April 29 will receive a free golden trout pin. Take a picture of your catch and send it to dem.fishri@dem.ri.gov. In addition, DEM will be stocking one monster golden trout weighing at least seven pounds in one of these locations. The location is secret, but the lucky angler who catches it will receive a special prize. The fish must be weighed at a certified official weigh station with a digital scale, and a picture must accompany the application for a state record.

A 2019 fishing license is required for anglers 15 years of age and older. These are purchased online now and can be kept on your phone.

Designated trout waters around the state include a few near Providence: Slater Park Pond in Pawtucket (open to young anglers only on the first weekend of the freshwater fishing season), Olney Pond in Lincoln Woods State Park, and Willett Pond and Ten Mile River in East Providence.

I made my annual pilgrimage to Ocean State Tackle to see what advice Mr. Henault had for anglers this year. I am happy to report that his yellow lab, Sukha, is still holding down the fort. Unfortunately, Dave has since gone over to the dark side (Yankees) as you can see in the picture below where he poses with the Power Bait and treble snells that will get the trout biting this Saturday.

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BC: Is golden trout considered a big deal in fishing circles?

Henault: The golden trout is something people get excited about. They [DEM] have been doing it for several years, but this year they are gonna put in a seven-pound golden trout. A seven-pound trout is a big trout, yeah.

BC: I’m wondering what bait you are suggesting?

Henault: A lot of people use Power Bait for opening day trout, but they also use spinner baits, inline spinners, like Mepps, or Worden’s rooster tails, or Acme Kastmasters (Acme is a local company).

BC: Any other recommendations for this weekend?

Henault: This particular opening day is going to be rather windy.  It’s going to be blowing between 15-30 mph. So it’s a good idea for people to take a look at what directions the winds are gonna be and find a place that is not facing the prevailing winds. If they can be in a hollow . . . say if the wind is from the west, if you are on the west edge and there’s a hill behind you . . . the wind will go right over you and it won’t affect your fishing. [Wind can blow your line back towards you, into shore.]

BC: At what speed does the wind become a factor?

Henault: Anything over 15 mph, especially for light tackle fresh water, even 10 mph can be impactful.

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Ocean State Tackle will be open Friday, April 12, 2019 until midnight, and will reopen at 4am, Saturday, April 13th, for Trout Fishing Opening Day.

Ocean State Tackle, 430 Branch Avenue, (directions),

Dave spent four months bicycling around southeast Asia this winter — 2000km later he is looking fit and trim!

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