Posted by Kinsey's Outdoors on 12/20/18
Ice Fishing Stoever’s Dam for Trout
With temperatures getting colder and colder, ice fishing season is fast approaching. This means it is time to start getting ready for a great time of the year. Ice fishing brings the opportunity to spend time in the outdoors with friends and family, and also catch fish during a time of year when most fishermen are sitting at home. Stoever's Dam, located just north of Lebanon, PA, and 40 minutes from Kinsey’s Outdoors is stocked with trout yearly. After a week or two of below freezing temperatures, it is likely that the mandatory 4 inches of ice is covering the lake. This brings a great opportunity to get into some phenomenal trout fishing during the winter months.
Stoever’s Dam Park
The 23-acre lake is located inside the 153-acre Stoever’s Dam Park. The park is owned by the City of Lebanon and is located on the Northeast boundary of Lebanon City and North Lebanon Township. The park has 4 different entrances making access very easy.
Essential Gear for Ice Fishing at Stoever's Dam:
First and foremost, a Pennsylvania fishing license and a trout/salmon permit are both required to fish for trout at Stoever's Dam.
- Rod, Reel, and Line:
Fast or medium action rods work great for ice fishing. A forgiving rod like the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 will allow for jigging if that’s how you decide to fish. Four-pound test fluorocarbon is the best choice for line. Tip ups are also a great bonus to have. Multiple holes can be drilled in the ice with a tip up deployed at each. The flags make it easy to see when a fish strikes. Fishermen are allowed 5 lines in the water per person. This includes any combination of rods and tip ups.
- Bait and Lures:
Different colors of corn-based PowerBait are very effective. The bright colors and strong smell make them a great option for catching trout on Stoever’s. Trout Magnet larva lures and plastic honey worms are also a must have at Stoever’s. Again, there are several colors to choose from. Even with some great artificial options, live bait seems to always catch the most fish. Minnows, mealworms, and red worms certainly work, but wax worms seem to be the go-to.
- Warm Gear:
On a snow and ice covered lake with frigid temps, warm gear is essential. Being cold can ruin what should be a fun experience on the ice. Thermal base layers are a good start. A pair of knee-high Muck boots along with some wool socks work great for keeping feet warm and dry in the ice, snow, and slush. However, hands can get a little tricky. Wearing big bulky gloves are warm but make it tough to fish effectively. A light to medium pair of gloves paired with a hand muff around the waist is the ideal setup. Hand warmer packets are a great bonus for inside the muff too. Fishermen can use their hands to get fish off the hook, attach bait to hooks, and everything else that goes on, yet still keep hands warm in the muff while not using them. Hot drinks are also a great thing to have along in a Yeti Rambler mug.
- Other Things to Have:
- Ice spikes for boots
- Ice ladle
- Fish Finder
- Rod Holders
- Ice Auger
- Ice pics (These are worn around fishermen’s neck at all times while on the ice. They are used to grip the ice in the event that the ice would break.)
How to Catch Trout at Stoever’s Damn
The very south end of the lake seems to consistently produce some good fishing. Try to get anywhere between 50 to 100 feet offshore in about 6-10 feet of water. Hovering bait or lures 6-12 inches off the bottom of the lake should result in the highest amount of hits. Live bait can get stale after some time. Be sure to keep checking bait and replace as needed. Replacing old bait with new will often result in a fish almost immediately.
Don't Miss Out!
Late winter can be prime time for ice fishing. Fishermen can have a great day at Stoever's Dam, and the lake will soon be ready to walk on. Take advantage of a great Pennsylvania sporting opportunity with family and friends this season!