For many, the opening day of trout season isn’t just about catching trout – it’s a chance to get outdoors after a long winter, a tradition shared with friends, or an opportunity to spend time with your family. Jacobs compared the excitement he felt as a child to that of Christmas morning. For him, opening day marked the first weekend of many that he would spend fishing.

On April 18th, Monroe County fishermen will be lining the county’s streams to welcome spring and kick-off the fishing season. Don Jacobs, a life-long fisherman who is familiar with all the fishing holes the Poconos has to offer, gave us great tips on how to prepare for the big day.

First, be sure to visit the PA Fish and Boat Commission website to find out which bodies of water have been stocked. If you want to start the season early, you can help the PA Fish and Boat Commission stock the waters. Simply show up at the given place and time (check their stocking schedule online), and you can help carry the fish to the stream – a great way to get kids excited about the upcoming season.

For opening day, Jacobs suggests fishing in the more populated areas, focusing on deeper holes and higher volumes of water. His choice of bait? Good, old fashioned worms, shiners, corn and salmon eggs. “A trout hasn’t changed its taste,” he explains. “Stick with the basics.”

You also need to modify your technique on opening day to accommodate for the frigid temps. For the best results, fish slower. The trout are cold so your presentation must be slower. “Typically the most trout are caught, on the first day and the first couple of weeks in the deeper holes and streams, by fishing very slow and fishing with bait.” You should also prepare to fall in – bring extra clothes so you won’t need to stop if you get wet.

After your day of fishing is complete, fire up the grill right away. According to Jacobs, it doesn’t get any better than fresh trout. Aluminum foil, dill, salt, pepper, and sliced lemon are all the supplies you need for a great-tasting meal. If you can’t grill up your catch right away, the key is to keep them cold. Jacobs explains, “If you catch them, you should field dress them or gut them right there at the stream and get them cold. You don’t want to put them in a bag and walk around if the temperature is 50/60 degrees. You want to take them and put them in a cooler because if you keep that trout cold it will be delicious when it hits the frying pan.”

The opening day of trout fishing is right around the corner. Whether you’re continuing the traditions you’ve shared with your family for years or you’re starting a new tradition, fishing can provide recreation for all seasons.

For more information on the trout stocking schedule in Monroe County visit www.fishandboat.com.

“If you’re raised in a fishing family then there is always something to do.” Don Jacobs, host of WNEP-TV’s Pennsylvania Outdoor Life, explained to us when we sat down with him to talk about the opening day of trout season. “You can fish 365 days a year, whether it’s fall fishing, ice fishing, trout fishing – it’s not just about the opening day. You can fish every day or in the middle of the night – there are no rules.” And while that’s true, fisherman still wait in anticipation for opening day.