By Jack Spaulding
Indiana’s DNR stocked 5,228 rainbow trout in five different lakes and streams across Indiana this month. Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station had a surplus of trout, which allowed for the additional stockings. The stocked surplus trout are greater than 7 inches on average.
Stocking locations included:
- Pinhook Lake (South Bend, St. Joseph County), 400 fish
- Fancher Lake (Crown Point, Lake County), 1,000 fish
- Delaware Lake (Fort Harrison State Park, Marion County), 700 fish
- Cedar Lake (Whitley County), 2,128 fish
- Brookville Reservoir Tailwater (Franklin County), 1,000 fish
Anglers ages 18 and older need an Indiana fishing license and a trout/salmon stamp to fish for trout. The bag limit for trout in inland waters, other than Lake Michigan and its tributaries, is five fish per day with a minimum size limit of 7 inches. There is no closed season for taking trout from inland lakes. Review inland trout regulations online at eregulations.com/indiana/fishing/inland-trout-regulations/.
Free youth hunting days
Do you know a kid who’s interested in hunting, but not sure when the best time is to start mentoring them? Then, you might want to take advantage of free youth hunting days, which occur twice annually in the fall. The second set of dates this year falls on Nov. 27-28, the weekend after Thanksgiving. Several seasons are open. Any resident age 17 or younger on the date of the hunt, accompanied by an adult with a hunting license (at least 18 years of age), may take any legal game in season during the special weekend. Learn more about requirements and other youth hunt opportunities online.
Lake trout fishing is good on Lake Michigan
Beginning in late October, Lake Michigan’s native lake trout venture into shallower water seeking food and places to spawn. The fish congregate near rocky structures and offer excellent fishing opportunities for both shore and boat anglers. When the water temperatures drop below 50 degrees, shoreline anglers should cast blade baits, spinners, and spoons from the Michigan City Pier and Portage Lakefront Park to attract the large fish. Boaters can also enjoy reliable action, especially off the Port of Indiana submerged reef in Burns Harbor or along the break walls in East Chicago’s Pastrick Marina, Hammond’s Hammond Marina and Michigan City’s Washington Park.
Lake trout average 6-10 pounds but can tip the scales at 15 pounds or more. Use a medium or heavy action spinning or bait-cast rod spooled with 10- or 12-pound test line to compensate for the heavy fish. Rod action refers to how much the rod flexes when there’s something on the hook – heavy action provides a stiffer rod.
Anglers may increase their success by either jigging with blade baits and tube jigs or slowly trolling near the bottom of the lake. Downriggers, which are devices attached to the boat using weights to fish at specific depths, are popular when targeting lake trout this time of year. If you prefer to catch-and-release, the cold water creates better opportunities for successful release; however, keep in mind smaller lake trout are excellent table fare.
Anglers need a valid fishing license and trout/salmon stamp to fish for lake trout. Buy online or purchase at a local retailer.
Arcola hunter injured in firearms accident
Indiana Conservation officers are investigating a hunting accident that occurred Nov. 14 in Allen County. About 9 a.m., responders were dispatched to private property near the 3900 block of Felger Road for a person possibly shot in a hunting related accident.
Charles Spicer, 57, of Arcola, was deer hunting on private property with three other hunters when he was struck in the chest by either a bullet or bullet fragment fired by another hunter in his party. Spicer was taken to a private residence and then transported by ambulance to Parkview Regional Medical Center in good condition.
All parties involved were wearing hunter orange as required by Indiana law. The incident is still under investigation.
Conservation officers would like to remind all hunters to always wear hunter orange and to be sure to always identify your target and what lies beyond it before discharging your firearm while hunting. Officers were assisted on-scene by the Allen County Sheriff’s Department, Arcola Fire Department and Three Rivers Ambulance Authority.
ORV accident kills Shelburn man
Indiana Conservation officers are investigating a fatal off-road vehicle (ORV) accident occurring Nov. 13 in Sullivan County. Around 4:45 p.m,, Indiana Conservation officers were dispatched to a property near the 600 block of Orchard Street for a possible fatal ORV accident.
Upon arrival, responders learned Billy Joe Alumbaugh, 53, of Shelburn, had failed to return home when expected, and concerned family members set out to find him. While searching the area, family members located Alumbaugh and his amphibious ORV in Busseron Creek. Alumbaugh was unresponsive and pinned under a fallen tree, still occupying his ORV. He was pronounced dead on the scene. The investigation has determined the death as accidental, and no foul play is suspected.
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Spaulding’s books, “The Best of Spaulding Outdoors,” and his latest, “The Coon Hunter And The Kid,” are available from Amazon.com.