This spring's trout fishing has been a success throughout Carroll County's stocked put 'n take streams and ponds. Back during the early morning hours of opening day, I joined about 75 anglers ringing the shoreline of Westminster Pond and it appeared that someone was always reeling in a rainbow.
I arrived at the popular Westminster fishing hole a few minutes after the 5: 30 a.m. official starting time and impaled a Berkley Trout Nibble on a gold #10 hook. After pinching on a small lead shot about 8 inches up the 4-pound test mono line, I made a short cast and allowed the line to sit. In no time at all the line began to move and I took up slack and belatedly set the hook. The first miss of the spring.
A half-dozen casts finally produced the first rainbow of the year -- a nice 14-incher. But, I had some fishing to do to catch up to the angler on my left, Bud Nichols of Taneytown. Nichols was using a can of Jolly Green Giant corn swiped from the family pantry and, by 7 a.m., was a trout short of the five-fish daily limit.
In the meantime, Mason and Ray Belt, fishing a dozen or so yards to my right, were packing up their combined 10-fish limit and heading for home.
"I use nothing but Velveeta cheeseballs," Mason proclaimed, while his brother shook his head.
"Worms, don't miss," Ray Belt countered. "I like small earthworms, not more than an inch or two long. Mason always does okay on those cheeseballs of his, but I always get my limit before he does."
By 7: 30, two more rainbows had fallen for my store-packed bait and the pond was becoming a little crowded with late arrivals. Time to move down Route 140 to Beaver Run, near Finksburg.
Beaver Run was teeming with trout fans and a great many of them were attached in one way or another to a least one rainbow. As always, the most popular spot was the bridge area just off Route 91.
"Salmon eggs are what they want," Tom Knarr, of Reisterstown pointedly advised me when he noticed that I was pinning on a Trout Nibble.
I smiled, tossed out my yellow Nibble and let the current carry it under the bridge. The line paused, then began to move a bit to the left and the hook was set on a feisty 12-incher. Somewhat smugly, I offered a Nibble to Knarr and departed the bank to
intercept Upperco's Mike Adams as he waded to shore a hundred yards upstream from the bridge.
In answer to my question about his success, Adams lifted the trailing fish stringer from Beaver Run's current and hefted the five rainbows for me to see.
"Got 'em all on these Trout Nibbles," he announced.
Since that first day I have managed to steal a few hours on the Patapsco River off of Route 32 near Sykesville and Piney Run off of Arrington Road. I came away from the Patapsco with four trout and carried two home from Piney Run the next day.
Plenty of trout remain and Beaver Run, Piney Run and the Patapsco will be closed and restocked this week. All three will reopen next Sunday. It has been my experiences that the Farm Museum and Westminster Ponds are lightly fished following a week or two into the season.
Final county deer numbers
Carroll deer hunters bagged 2,884 whitetails during the 1996-97 seasons. Bow hunters took 760 (510 antlered, 250 antlerless). During the modern firearms two-week season, the official tally was 1,076 bucks and 592 does for a total of 1668. Carroll buckskinners bagged 184 bucks and 272 antlerless deer.
Statewide, Maryland deer hunters bagged 60,164 whitetails and 1,571 Sika deer, breaking the previous 1995-96 record season when 61,949 deer were taken.
Pub Date: 4/13/97