Randy Says… Start Your Young Angler

By Randall Bonner

Bonner Kid FishingOregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) trout stocking continues through the spring and into the summer, providing a great introduction to fishing for younger or inexperienced anglers. A general Oregon angling license is all that’s required to fish for trout. Youth aged 14 to 17 need a juvenile angling license and kids under 14 can fish for free. ODFW also offers Oregon residents and visitors a full weekend to fish, crab, and clam without a license on Saturday, June 7 and Sunday, June 8. This is a great opportunity to introduce new anglers to the water.

Bright dough baits, single eggs, and worms fished just off the bottom or under a bobber are popular presentations, but there are a number of spinners, spoons, and other baits made for casting and retrieving that also work well. Most trout in shallow still-water ponds will be suspended within a foot or two off the bottom, so when you’re casting lures, it’s a good rule of thumb to allow them to sink for a few seconds before retrieving them. Try different depths to find the fish. The ODFW website has a great beginner’s guide to trout fishing: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/docs/ODFWOutdoorsTroutFishing.pdf

The stockings will periodically place different quantities of approximated sizes based on age. The four different size classifications for ODFW-stocked rainbow trout are:
* Legals that range from 8″ to 10″
* Larger Trout: 12″
* Pounders: 14″
* Trophy Trout: 16″

For more on Free Fishing Weekend events in Benton County, contact Matt Frank at 541-487-7240.

For more information on local stocking schedules near Corvallis, call the ODFW South Willamette District Office in Corvallis at 541-757-4186 or visit the ODFW website to check stocking schedules for nearby areas: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/trout_stocking_schedules/.