Is Fishing Better Right After a Lake was Stocked?

As fishing is becoming a much more popular sport, new lakes are being man made in different parts of the world. New home developments are now digging lakes to entice people to buy houses in their community, and it seems to be working. I lived in a community that had three private lakes to fish on. The problem with this is that a newly dug out lake needs to be stocked. People expect to move in and hit the lake with their fishing gear to catch something, while other communities have fishing derbies, like mine did once a year.

Is fishing better right after a lake is stocked? Fish that are delivered straight from the hatcheries will normally not be fed a few days before they arrive, so they will want to eat right after being planted. This will give anyone fishing a better chance at catching something right after a stocking. Fishing will be best right by the stocking point the first few days after the fish are planted, so it is helpful to know what part of the lake they stocked at.

What Do Fish Do Right After Planting?

Fish stocking is primarily done by a huge truck, but it can also be done by plane in remote areas. When the truck pulls up, a long hose or slide comes out, and the door is opened, and the fish are released. Fish will hit the water and will disburse. Depending on how many tons you have stocked will depend on how far the fish will travel. Fish will not just hit the water and take off across the lake, that is why fishing is better by the stocking point for the first few days to a week after planting.

Do Fish Spread Out Or Stay Close?

Fish tend to stay close right after planting, and takes them time to spread and move out. They will not shoot out of the truck, and take off swimming for the furthest spot from where they were planted. It takes fish time to adjust to where they just got planted, and fish are generally lazy swimmers anyway.

fishing prep

If they find food, they will stay right where they are and not move unless there is extreme over crowding. Try to fish around the stocking spot, and if you know, go to a deeper spot and try there. Trout are the most commonly stocked fish, and they like it cold, so if you have a smaller lake, look for the deeper, colder spots.

What Is The Best Bait After Stocking?

Since the fish are not always fed right before their trip to be stocked, anything flashy or smelly will almost always work. They are going to be hungry when they hit the water, so if you can find anything that is close to what they are fed, you are going to catch a lot of fish.

Shiny lures are also going to work very well because they will be more aggressive when they are hungry. You can try things like Powerbait, and Salmon eggs which are staple baits for trout. Fish hatcheries normally feed fish dry meals to get the fish as big as they can, as fast as they can so they can be taken for planting. The dry meals normally consist of dried milk, liver, crab and vitamins to help the fish grow quickly.

How Do You Catch The Most Fish After Stocking?

The best thing you can do to catch the most fish, is to find out what part of the lake they stocked the fish, and try there. Find a bait that works, and do not move more than 10-20 yards each way from your fishing spot.

Since you know the fish are not going to spread out that fast, you will not have to move around very much to find where they are all congregating. If you are having no luck at the drop spot, you may want to move to the other side of the lake (if its a small inlet) and try there. Hatcheries will normally plant in a small inlet, or cove area where they have easy access.

What Is The Typical Depth For Stocked Fish To Eat?

The most common fish to have stocked is trout and salmon which are cold blooded fish, so they like to stay where the water is cooler. If you stock a lake in the late Spring, you are going to find fish around 30-40 feet depending on what elevation you are at. At a typical lake, this will be about 20 yards out or more, which is a fine casting distance for a spinning reel setup.

fishing on deep water

If you stocked with bass, you will be able to find them very close to shore, so all you have to do is find a nice weedy spot where they can hide. Docks, stumps, weeds, and moss are perfect places to find bass because they like to hide and attack the bait.

Final Thoughts

Fish stocking is extremely popular, especially at a popular places to camp. Stocking is a great way for fishing derbies, and getting people excited about getting into the sport. It does not cost much to get one or two tons of trout planted depending on where you live, and is a great way to populate new man made lakes. Even lakes that have been around for years have their lakes stocked with big and small fish to attract new campers, anglers, and visitors. The most important thing to keep in mind that newly stocked fish are not going to move around a lot, and will take time for them to get settled in.

Related Questions

Should I Eat Stocked Fish?

Should I eat stocked fish? There is no harm in eating stocked fish at all, and are usually fed lots of vitamins to keep them healthy, so they grow faster. Be sure to clean your fish very well to get out any other baits that might be in their system, and if you catch a fish that looks to have some sort of illness, do not eat it at all. Stocked fish are perfectly healthy to eat.

How Many Times A Year Do Lakes Stock Fish?

How many times a year do lakes stock fish? Most popular campgrounds and lakes will have their lake stocked at least one to two times a year with around 2 tons of fish depending on the species. Smaller lakes that stock for themselves or smaller communities will only stock their lake once a year with roughly 1 – 1.5 tons of fish. Trout are the most popular fish to have stocked with Bass being the second most popular.