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Your Guide to Trout Fishing at West Point Military Academy

March 14, 2024

Connor Merritt

Connor Merritt

Trout fishing at West Point Military Academy offers anglers an opportunity to reel in prized catches in the midst of nature. Mastering the art of trout fishing requires a combination of skill, strategy, and understanding of the different trout species that inhabit their waters. In this article, we’ll provide you with tips for trout fishing success while delving into the distinct characteristics of brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout — all of which can be found in the waters of West Point: Plan your trip today!

Trout Fishing Tips:

trout fishing

  1. Choose the Right Location: Trout are found in cold, clear waters. Look for areas with cover, such as rocks, fallen trees, or overhanging vegetation.
  2. Use the Right Gear: A light or ultralight spinning rod and reel combo with 6-8 lb test monofilament or fluorocarbon line works well for most trout fishing situations. Additionally, consider using smaller hooks and lightweight tackle to match the size of the trout’s natural prey.
  3. Choose the Right Bait or Lures: Trout have varied diets. Live bait such as worms, nightcrawlers, or minnows, as well as artificial baits like salmon eggs, powerbait, or small spinners and spoons can all work.
  4. Understand Trout Behavior: Trout are cautious and tend to feed actively during low light conditions such as early morning, late evening, or on cloudy days. Trout are also more likely to feed in areas with moving water, such as riffles, runs, and eddies.
  5. Present Your Bait or Lure Naturally: Cast upstream and allow your bait or lure to drift naturally with the current.
  6. Be Patient and Observant: Pay attention to subtle movements and be prepared to set the hook quickly when you feel a bite. Additionally, observe your surroundings to adapt your fishing approach accordingly.

Trout Species Overview:

trout fishing

  1. Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis): Easily recognizable by their vibrant colors and speckled patterns, brook trout are native to the eastern United States and thrive in cold, clear streams. They prefer cool water temperatures and are often found in small, rocky streams with ample cover.
  2. Brown Trout (Salmo trutta): Characterized by their olive-brown coloration with scattered black and red spots, brown trout are renowned for their elusive nature and challenging behavior. They inhabit a variety of freshwater habitats, from rivers and streams to lakes and reservoirs, making them a prized catch for anglers of all skill levels.
  3. Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss): Known for their vibrant rainbow-like colors along their sides, rainbow trout are among the most popular game fish species worldwide. They thrive in diverse environments, including rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds, and are prized for their acrobatic leaps and spirited fights when hooked.

At West Point Military Base, anglers have the opportunity to target all three trout species, each offering its own unique characteristics and challenges.

West Point’s 2024-2025 Trout Fishing Season Stocking Plan

  1. Fishing for all trout in lakes, streams, brooks, and creeks at West Point starts on April 1st, following a no-fishing period from March 25th to April 1st, as stated in the 2023-2024 West Point Fishing Notice.
  2. Private trout stocking in 2024 mirrors the numbers from 2023, with additional trophy-size trout in Bull Pond, Lusk Reservoir, & Round Pond.
  3. State trout stocking in 2024 remains consistent with the previous year’s numbers and locations at West Point.
  4. Private brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout stocking tentatively scheduled for March 27th and April 17th. State stocking of brook trout and brown trout will occur on April 15th. Stocking volunteers for 2024 are welcome.
  5. Channel catfish will be stocked in Mine Lake and Lake Frederick, while fathead minnows will be added to Lake Frederick and Round Pond for additional game fish food. Fall stocking of tiger musky remains suspended since 2021 due to state stocking shortages.
  6. Anglers at West Point must have a valid New York state fishing license if 16 or older, along with a West Point fishing permit or be accompanied by a permitted angler with a valid West Point Guest Pass.
  7. Anglers are encouraged to report their harvest on iSportsman to aid in fishery management, although it’s not mandatory.
  8. West Point seeks volunteers for 2024 stocking. Interested individuals can contact Christopher Killough at Christopher.w.killough3.civ@army.mil or (845) 938-2314 for details. Information will also be available at the Round Pond Bait Shop and on the West Point iSportsman website.
  9. For a more detailed stocking plan, including stocking numbers and a map of the stocking locations, read this notice from West Point.

By applying the tips outlined above and gaining an understanding of the behavior and habitat preferences of brook, brown, and rainbow trout, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on an unforgettable trout fishing adventure at our esteemed location. So grab your gear, venture into the wilderness, and let the pursuit of trout at West Point Military Base begin!

Find more trout fishing destinations across the country on iSportsmanUSA!

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