Winter trout fishery off to good start

Eric McCarthy
Published on January 19, 2014

ALBERTON -- The Town Pond in Alberton was a popular spot on the weekend as many people stepped out onto the ice to try their luck at ice-fishing.

The P.E.I. Bait Fishers Group stocked the pond in November with 750 large trout, to go with the remaining fish from the 800 they put in earlier in the year as well as those from previous stocking efforts and those residing there naturally.

By early Saturday morning fishing enthusiasts were bringing out fish weighing up to four pounds. Mike Costain from the Bait Fishers Group said one that got away probably would have tipped the scales at six pounds.

Of course there were fish tales, too, true or otherwise, like needing to enlarge an ice fishing hole so that a large trout could be pulled through.

About 120 people participated in the experimental fishery Saturday alone. Joe Sonier, one of the volunteers with the Bait Fishers, said fishing was at its best early in the day. Luck was less likely for those who arrived later.

Any sort of bait seemed to work early Saturday, Sonier said, noting some used pieces of shrimp, clams or corn. Some put their hooks through mackerel dough and others were successful in finding dew worms for the occasion.

Holes that were lucky on Saturday did not seem to be the ones with the luck on Sunday. Of the approximately 200 trout caught on the first day, more than 60 of them came out of four holes near the town gazebo, a volunteer reported.

For a five dollar registration fee, participants could continue fishing until they hit their three-fish limit. Many re-registered and went fishing for more. One family of seven caught 42 fish on Saturday, a Bait Fishers observer reported.

Tanner Gaudet said the largest fish he caught on Saturday measured 18 inches. He cooked his mess of trout up on the barbecue and returned Sunday looking for another feed.

A woman, who told organizers she never ever fished before, got skunked on Saturday but left with four fish on Sunday and said she’d be back for future winter fishing weekends.

The Bait Fishers Group had scheduled four winter fishing weekends for three ponds on P.E.I. this winter. This past weekend was to be the first for the ponds in Alberton, Stratford and Wellington. The fishery in Wellington had to be delayed until this coming weekend, because mild temperatures had robbed that pond of a safe base for participants.

The second winter fishing weekend for the three ponds is planned for February 1 and 2.