One of the first places I can remember fishing with my dad was at Lucas Pond in Northwood, NH. Pop would always be excited about opening day for trout ponds and Lucas was probably his most favorite place to fish. Pop would wake my brothers and me up early, even before the sun was up and we would grab our fishing gear and go. We had this small 12 foot john boat that Pop had saved to buy and every opening day you would find us sitting in that boat on Lucas Pond regardless of the kind of weather the day had forecast. Let me tell you there was never an opening day that didn’t start out cold. Now you might ask, why it is we would go to the same place on opening day year after year? Simply put, Tiger Trout. When Pop discovered Tiger Trout for the first time he was confused. It was like no other trout he had ever caught. Of course you have to imagine seeing this fish for the first time, not knowing they even existed. Pop even spoke to a game warden at the time to find out what these new fish were.
What Pop found out was that the Tiger Trout is the offspring of a female Brown Trout and a male Brook Trout. But, these beautiful Tigers do not occur naturally. These fish have to be made in the hatcheries because Tigers are sterile. I guess this is so that these Trout do not overpopulate a water body. Now, the Tiger trout grows twice as fast as a normal trout which means that your chances of landing a larger fish is greater. Tigers fight harder and are more aggressive than it’s parents and as far as taste goes, you will not find a sweeter tasting fish.
I hope you take the time one day to go to a Tiger Trout pond. I highly suggest you make a trip to either Lucas Pond in Northwood, NH or to Willard Pond in Antrim, NH (click on the photos to see larger).
Willard Pond is where the NH State record Tiger Trout was caught. The record is 20″ and it weighed 3 lbs 8.64 oz. It was caught back in July of 2011. You can catch a Tiger on worms, salmon eggs and spinners or if you are into fly fishing, flies that imitate minnows The best times to try and get a Tiger is early morning or later in the evening. You don’t need any special gear to catch them but if you want to add some excitement to your day, use some light tackle such as an ultralight rod and reel combo and 2 to 4 lb test line. The light gear will make the fight that much greater.
One thing to be aware of is that Tiger grow faster than any of their cousins so their mouths are a little weaker. When you get a bite, set the hook with a tug, but do not yank it as this may just rip the hook out of the Tiger’s mouth. One last thing is you will want to use a net for the same reason as above. A fish in the water weighs next to nothing but as it is coming out, gravity will hit it and the weight is enough to pop the hook out and lose the fish.
Pop fell in love with the Tiger Trout and every year as opening day was getting closer he would get more and more excited. Pop really liked catching Tigers, but he seemed happiest when we boys were catching fish. He loved knowing that the excitement and love of the outdoors that he felt, was being passed down to his sons. I know Pop was proud that we never stopped getting excited about going fishing.
I treasure those times spent with Pop, sitting in that small boat on Lucas Pond.
Tight lines, The Amateur Angler
P.S. If you are interested in fishing either Lucas or Willard, here are a couple of links to see the topographical map of each…
Lucas Pond – Northwood, NH http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/bathy_maps/lucas_northwood.pdf
Willard Pond – Antrim, NH http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/bathy_maps/willard_antrim.pdf