TROUT SEASON Those old timers who have been fishing Delaware’s trout season already have their spots picked out and have a game plan for catching a quick six-fish limit. If you are new to this game and perhaps have a youngster to take along I will give you a few suggestions.
White Clay Creek is hands down the number one location on opening day. This creek receives the most trout and the most anglers. If you don’t mind crowds and can hold your position once the catching begins, this is the place for you.
If you prefer a more civilized location with plenty of fish and easy access you do have other choices. The park in Newark provides good access and plenty of parking for anglers who want to fish the Christina Creek. The bridge over the same creek on Barksdale Road in Newark is also a good choice.
Access is limited to Pike Creek and Mill Creek, but you can find fishing locations and some parking along their shores. Please be careful and do not trespass on private land or park where your car may receive a ticket.
My personal favorite is Wilson Run in Brandywine Creek State Park. This is where I took my two sons on opening day and we usually caught fish. There is good access to the water, plenty of free parking and even rest rooms.
Beaver Run is where I caught my first trout in the 1950s long before Delaware had a stocking program. I suspect it somehow managed to get there from a Pennsylvania stocking program that put fish in or near the Brandywine Creek.
I rode my bike from Claymont to Beaver Valley and, to tell the truth, that may be the best way to get there today. Parking is very limited along the creek, but is available where Beaver Run empties into the Brandywine.
As for bait and technique, I go with something yellow and round. Berkley trout bait, corn, grubs, earthworms or small, yellow twister tails on a crappie jig.
It seems the bite is best at the opening bell and as more fish are caught the remainder of the stocked trout become a bit cautious. I suggest arriving no later than 7 a.m. to stake out your spot and be ready for the fun to begin.
*Eric Burnley Sr. is a native Delawarean who has fished the waters of his home state for more than 60 years. He has been a full-time outdoor writer since 1978, with articles appearing in most national magazines as well as many regional publications. He has authored three books, Surf Fishing The Atlantic Coast ,The Ultimate Guide To Catching Striped Bass and Fishing Saltwater Baits.