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Nature is playing all kinds of tricks on local fishermen this year. So far, this has been the winter that wasn’t, but it isn’t over yet.
The weather has been so different we have not had enough ice for those in this area who like hardwater fishing to enjoy their sport.
Whenever ice would start to form, the weather would warm up enough to make it unsafe.
There was that one day that I saw an ice fisherman on Beaver Pond by the Meriden Dog Park. The next day, the ice was again unsafe.
I have been keeping an eye on local waters throughout the so-called winter and this really has been a different weather pattern.
However, some of the hardier local anglers have taken advantage of any open-water fishing they can get, and who can blame them? Mirror Lake has seen some fishermen any time the ice went out, which was quite often.
Silver Lake has had its fair share of boat and kayak fishermen. As a safety reminder, ALL kayak and canoe fishermen and paddlers must be wearing a life jacket (a.k.a. PFD). It is the law!
Last Saturday, I drove up to Silver Lake and saw some ice down by the dam area, but was amazed to see a couple of gents getting ready to launch their bass boat for some fishing time.
One of the fishermen said that this was their second time on Silver Lake. He said they caught a couple of bass the last time out, but it was great just to be on the water this early in the year.
So far, Marty Loos and some of his buddies have been having a great time fishing for trout in Black Pond. I questioned him about the rim of ice along the boat ramp area, but he said they go down shore to the open water and have caught some nice rainbows.
So, where do we go from here?
Many of the waters that allow trout fishing until the end of February will now be closed to all fishing. Others will allow some fishing, but if you catch a trout it will have to be returned to the water unharmed.
Two examples of the latter are Mirror Lake in Hubbard Park and Hanover Pond in South Meriden. Mirror Lake is open year round to open-water angling only. However, if you hook a trout while fishing there after February, you have to return it unharmed until trout season opens the second Saturday in April.
There have been a couple of warm days this winter when I saw some carp fishermen on Mirror Lake. Once a very popular fishing spot over the years for children ages 15 and under, Mirror Lake seemed to lose its attraction for kids fishing. I walked the lake almost daily during that period and saw only a couple of kids fishing.
I figured it was due to the danger many parents felt their offspring would be in, so they did not want the kids there alone. I went to the City Council and asked them to allow an adult to fish with a child and the Council agreed. This resulted in some action, but really not enough for such a beautiful spot.
Then the City Council agreed to let senior citizens have a go at fishing Mirror Lake. This brought a few more anglers to Mirror Lake, including a number of carp fishermen. (It is a fact that Mirror Lake is home to a number of very huge carp — I am talking about fish that exceed 30 pounds.)
Then the DEEP Inland Fisheries stepped in and pitched making Mirror Lake a Community Fishing Area. The city agreed to this and the DEEP Inland Fisheries have been stocking Mirror Lake quite heavily with trout and, once a year, with channel catfish.
I have seen some of the catfish. They are getting to be quite big and have become a popular species for local fishermen.
And don’t overlook the largemouth bass that inhabit Mirror Lake. It seems like every year we hold the City of Meriden/Meriden Rod & Gun Club/ Carl D’Addario Children’s Fishing Derby some young angler comes up with a huge largemouth bass.
Along with those fish, Mirror Lake also has a good population of yellow perch, sunfish, calico bass, bullheads and eels, so you never know what you are going to catch. After February, all trout caught have to be returned to the water unharmed until the second Saturday in April.
And for those that are wondering, YES, there will be a City of Meriden/Meriden Rod & Gun Club/Carl D’Addario Children’s Fishing Derby in May. We will keep you posted on that.
Two other places that provide preseason open-water trout fishing in our area are Hanover Pond and Lake Beseck.
Believe it or not, one of the best kept secrets (at least for some) is the bass fishing at Hanover Pond. I have personally hooked up with (and lost) a lunker bass, and I know that local bass pro Jonathon Dingle has caught one that tipped the scales at 10 pounds.
There are trout in Hanover Pond, but after February they have to be returned to the water unharmed. And don’t overlook the carp fishing in Hanover Pond. The Village barber, Glenn Agnew, who we recently lost, was a hardcore carp fisherman, and Glenn always said that he felt the record Connecticut carp was going to come out of Hanover Pond.
Lake Beseck is also a year-round fishing area because trout are not stocked in it. Word had it that Lake Beseck now has some lunker northern pike. I know of a couple of fishermen who have caught them, so it is no rumor.
That’s it for now gang, gotta run. See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops wherever they may be serving to protect this great country of ours.