Even when Gwynn Oak Pond is freshly stocked, bagging your limit of rainbow trout can be a challenge, especially with the water a bit murky from the spring rains. Just ask local angler Sam Glass. The fish are wily and, while they will tickle a baited hook in the cold, crisp waters of Gwynn Oak Pond, teasing one onto a hook is tricky.
“It’s a little rugged and the water is shallow, too. It depends on if it rained the day before. Then the water is heavier,” says Glass.
Some anglers use live bait such as trout worms or earthworms but this time of year, veteran fishermen like Glass have their own way of going after the elegant , or artificial lures to catch their fish. “I like to use artificial bait but I prefer to wait until the next day after they stock the pond. They feed the fish before they stock it so I don’t always get a bite,” says Glass.
The prized trout may be less than 12 inches long but after a long, ugly winter, the snap of a strike on a fishing line makes the long wait worth it for dedicated trout fishermen on those first chilly days on the pond banks.
Gwynn Oak Pond, one of 11 bodies of water in Baltimore County to be stocked with trout, received a load of 200 fish last weekend, adding to the 800 rainbow trout dumped into the pond at the end of March by the Department of Natural Resources. The pond is getting only 1,000 of the 37,200 trout that are placed in the county’s pond and streams, compared to the 330,000 fish stocked by the state.
With the stocking and the weather finally easing into a pattern of chilly nights and balmy spring days, the rush is on to snare the two-fish limit, according to the merchants who supply anglers with tackle, bait and other fishing supplies. Manager George Sprucebank of Woodlawn Tropical Fish store, located about 10 minutes from the pond, says before the pond was stocked the store received a lot of customers. “Customers usually range from ages 25-35 years of age and right now as the weather breaks, it picks up more,” says Sprucebank.
Fish stocking is a completely safe, non-hazardous act performed by the DNR every year. The fish are originally raised in a hatchery and then are released into a river or lake. Fish stocking is done to restore a population of endangered fish but also for recreational purpose.