The Herald Bulletin

March 26, 2014

Rick Bramwell: Plenty of good fishing, if you know where to look


The Herald Bulletin

---- — Whenever, I tell a fish story, folks are not shy about asking me where I fish. I just tell them, "Private ponds and pits in the area."

A frown usually follows my lack of detail. People are looking for good fishing opportunities, but where is one to go?

Chief Anderson might well be proud of the fishing in White River these days. With the fish kill a faded memory, a new, superior genetic strain of fish now inhabit the river thanks to restocking efforts by our DNR. Smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish and other species make for a good day on this river.

You may not want to hear Shadyside Lake, but go to the marina on Alexandria Pike and look at the pictures of large bass caught every spring. The lake also harbors some nice crappie and pole breaking wipers.

Summit Lake State Park, northeast of New Castle (north of U.S. 36), is real good for bluegill, crappie, bass and catfish. Its neighbor, Westwood Park Lake is west of New Castle, south of Indiana 38.

The fishing opportunity seldom mentioned is Eagle Creek Reservoir just northeast of Indianapolis. The 1,300 -acre lake swims largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, wipers, catfish and walleye. And, the bass growth rate is above that of Patoka and Monroe. Eagle Creek bass grow to 14 inches in four years, and most anglers there practice catch-and-release.

Crappie is the most sought after species at Eagle Creek, followed by bass. Crappie size is decent with fish up to 13 inches being caught.

Creel surveys at Hoosier reservoirs reveal one species being underutilized. Only five percent of anglers fish for catfish.

"I pretty much have them (catfish) all to myself at Morse Reservoir," said Gary Cloud.

He uses a cast net to catch shad then uses them as cut bait. Catfish in reservoirs are begging to be caught.

I like to fish for bass in early spring, and my go-to bait is a Booya quarter-once hair jig. I can only find them online and like to use an Uncle Josh pork frog trailer with the jig.

Drive west of Indianapolis to Green-Sullivan State Forrest and find a bunch of small pits and ponds that are friendly to bank fishermen.

Three years ago, I was in a bait shop in Spencer. A guy came in and ordered four dozen minnows.

"I have been catching slab crappie at Green-Sullivan," he said.

The guy told me he was fishing from the shore and had the spot to himself.

I did not ask what lake he fished, but I would guess the folks at the Green-Sullivan could point you in the right direction.

Heavy winter snows often mean good spring morel hunting, but we also need some warm weather soon.