With the weather warming up, attention turns to The Parklands waterways for fishing. It is a great time to pursue fish given a strong fish stocking program and the miles of new creek access opportunities afforded by the completion of Beckley Creek and Pope Lick Parks. Below are a couple of recommendations on how to make your trip more enjoyable.
First, make sure you follow all existing rules and regulations. These rules have been established by fishery biologists to preserve a high quality fishing experience in the park. This means keep only the number of fish allowed by species. When in doubt, please catch and release. If possible, reduce the number of hooks on your rigs including removal of barbs if practical.
Second, if you are taking a child fishing, remember that patience and reasonable expectations are key. This is a great guide for taking a child out fishing, if you'd like to learn more about first-time fishing trips with youngsters.
Finally, always make sure you have the appropriate gear. If kayaking or canoe fishing, that means a life jacket. And always have your fishing license (and trout stamp if applicable) current and up to date. Wardens and rangers are patrolling our waters regularly.
Below is a breakdown of some species to target and bait to use, based on two of our most-fished areas, William F. Miles Lakes and Floyds Fork.
Rainbow Trout Channel Catfish
Classic Bottom fishing outfit for catfish Live Minnow or Worm Set Up
Largemouth Bass Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass Rainbow Trout
For bass, work deeper holes and areas with submerged timber or structure on the bankside. For trout, fish the runs right below riffles and runs. Any water can hold fish, so pick out those dark pools and work them. If you don’t pick something up, simply move to the next spot. That’s the beauty of creek fishing.
Creeks generally have more aggressive feeders. And most anglers are convinced that the smallmouth bass is the feistiest fighter in our home waters. In the spring months, the water is often stained so go with a lure that stands out – think bright colors or jet black. Popular lures include rapalas, rooster tails, and anything fished in a jerky, almost panicked motion. Largemouth and spotted bass prefer slower moving water, so let your lure sink a second before retrieving. Try plastics for larger fish. If you are having a hard time getting past the smaller sunfish to get to larger fish, try removing the back treble hook or fishing with a larger lure.
Take photos, post them to The Parklands’ Facebook page, and share your big fish stories with us!
Scott served as the Parks Director for The Parklands of Floyds Fork from 2010 to 2017. Tasked with operating the park, Scott served as member of the leadership team that sought to reapply the metropolitan planning and development lessons of Fredrick Law Olmsted in the new century with the wrinkle of the new model being a private/public partnership. Scott joined The Parklands team in 2010 after serving eight years as the Director of Commerce & Leisure Services in Franklin County, VA. In this capacity, he was part of the County’s leadership team overseeing economic development, parks & recreation, tourism, and pilot open space conservation programs. Prior to Franklin County, Scott spent five years working for the Boise (Idaho) Parks and Recreation Department as the Coordinator of Partnerships during which time he provided staff support and conservation planning for the successful $10 million Foothills Open Space Serial Levy campaign that has preserved over 9,000 acres of land to date. Scott holds a MPA (Natural Resource and Environmental Policy with honors) and BA (Political Science) from Boise State University. Scott and his wife spend their free time kayaking, camping, and hiking.
Being a donor-supported public park means we rely on donations, not tax dollars, for annual operations each year. Because of your generosity, we are able to maintain, program, and further develop this extraordinary public space without charging an entry fee. Together we work to enhance quality of life and help our community and economy grow in ways that are healthy, sustainable, and enjoyable for people of all ages. Help us reach our goal of sustaining The Parklands by becoming a Member today. Members make it happen!
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