With the trout season opener only two weeks away (Mar. 30) in 18 counties of the state (April 13 for the remainder of the state), anglers should be checking gear, putting fresh line on their reels and, if you haven’t done so, buying a 2013 fishing license and trout stamp.
While most fishermen wait until the day or night before the opener to purchase fresh bait be it worms, minnows, grubs and varieties of PowerBait, spinners and spoons, there’s a relatively new artificial bait you may want to try. And it’s being made locally in Montgomery County.
Skippy Fish plastic grubs were concocted back in 1995 and were the brainchild of pro bass fisherman and outdoor TV show host, Lou Consoli. Consoli, who hails from Lansdale but has located the business in Perkiomenville, started making the lures for himself when he was on the B.A.S.S. fishing tournament trail. When he did, other anglers asked to try them and subsequently suggested he make them commercially because they were effective in catching bass.
After getting his retail start, Consoli came out with a 4-inch model in 2007 and a 2-inch version two years ago. According to Consoli, everybody from bass fishermen to crappie and trout anglers were using them to target those specific species. In fact, Chris, from Chris’ Bait & Tackle in Mertztown said locals have even been using them for ice fishing at Ontelaunee Reservoir with good luck.
During a phone interview with Consoli, I asked how he would rig his 2-inch Skippy Fish grubs for trout since the larger sizes are normally rigged weedless for bass with a large 2/0 hook embedded into the body where Consoli devised a slit to more easily accommodate the hook. Even the 2-inchers are customarily rigged with a 1/16-1/32 ounce lead jighead for crappie and panfish. But the rig just didn’t seem proper for trout in a fast flowing stream.
Said Consoli, “Most trout anglers merely nose-hook the plastic grub with a salmon egg type hook in sizes 8, 10 or 12. From there it’s just a matter of adding a split shot up-line to give the lure some weight.”
Consoli went on to say, “I talked to one customer at the recent Oaks, Pennsylvania outdoor show who said he hooks his 2-inch Skippy Fish in the nose and successfully drifts them with the current.” Consoli gathered from that conversation that he does quite well that way instead of working them like a spinner.
Skippy Fish are available in a host of colorations, but for trout, Consoli said he sells mostly gizzard shad, alewife, gold and silver shiner patterns, all of which more closely resemble a shiner or fathead minnow. To view the selection, check www.skippyfish.com.
Consoli, who’s a member of Ranger Lake in Whitehall, also sells a DVD that shows the different methods of using Skippy Fish on a variety of fish species. Skippy Fish can be ordered online through the website or they’re available locally at Chris’ B&T and Cabela’s in Hamburg.
CABELA’S & PF&BC PARTNER FOR TROUT CONTEST
Cabela’s and the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission have joined to stock specially tagged trout in 12 Pennsylvania waters during the special Mentored Youth Trout Day on March 23.
“Trout caught with a contest tag, said Harold Luther, retail manager at Cabela’s Hamburg, may be redeemed for a prize package consisting of $20 Cabela’s gift card and a Zebco rod/reel combination.”
Mentoring adults, 18-years and older, are eligible to redeem the tags as part of the Mentored Youth Trout Day qualifications. For specific contest rules, mail-in tag redemption forms (which have an expiration date) and additional information, check www.FishandBoat.com/MentoredYouthContest.htm.
The dozen waters that will be stocked with these tagged fish are as follows:
Adams County: Waynesboro Reservoir; Berks County: Antietam Lake, Scotts Run Lake; Bucks County: Levittown Lake; Cumberland County: Children’s Lake, Doubling Gap Lake; Dauphin County: Middletown Reservoir; Lancaster County: Muddy Run Recreation Lake; Lebanon County: Lions Lake; Lehigh County: Lehigh Canal, Section 08; Montgomery County: Deep Creek Dam/Green Lane; Schuylkill County: Locust Lake.
BOB’S WILDLIFE TAXIDERMY DOUBLES AS BAIT SHOP
Bob Danenhower, owner of Bob’s Wildlife Taxidermy located on Kernsville Road in Orefield, will again be selling minnows, shiners, butter worms, wax worms, worms, crawlers and trout lures for the trout season plus some tackle items. Store hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Thursday, Friday, 9-5 and Saturday and Sunday by calling 610-398-7609.
To automatically receive outdoor news and views from Nick Hromiak, click on the “Subscribe” notation on this page.