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Aerated Lakes are Big Trout Factories

 

That’s a bold statement, but true. There are a number of aerated trout lakes I fish regularly and on each and every one of them I’ve caught more large trout than I could have envisioned in my childhood dreams. On many of them two-pound trout are common, three to five pound trout are expected, daily. The quality of the fishery varies from lake to lake because of a number of factors: stocking amounts, size of the water body, the ability of that water body to produce food and of course, angling pressure. On a whole, however, aeration systems have dramatically improved the overall trout fishery in the province of Alberta.

I first heard about these ultra productive lakes many years ago and my first experience fishing one was on a tiny pothole called East Dollar Lake. This was back in the day before Dollar was ‘discovered’ and it produced some monster trout, mostly to locals and the fly fishing crowd in the know. But since it was discovered some serious catch and keep fishing has inundated this little pothole and the overall quality has suffered. There’s still good fishing to be had at Dollar, but don’t expect the big fish of years past. I still like this lake; it’s tiny and it offers up some fun fishing for eager and willing average sized trout, and on occasion, I still catch a good one.

Seeing the potential of Dollar and what it had to offer, I started paying a whole lot closer attention to which lakes were aerated. Locally, Spring Lake came on line as an aerated lake and in the past few years, the quality of the fishery has been astounding. My friends and I have caught some genuine five-pound and bigger rainbows, plus a multitude of fish over two. This is my home lake. It’s close, it produces big trout and there’s a genuine outdoors feel when I’m there. In spite of cabins lining some if its shoreline, while on the water I’ve seen coyotes, moose, deer and more bird species than I can shake a stick at.

I like Spring because during summer days and evenings I can take friends out, put a flyrod with a sinking line in their hands and pull big quarter pound flies, like a bead head wooly bugger or a doc spratley. In no time the rod is bucking and they’re wearing a smile as big as Texas.

There has been the question raised as to why aerated trout lakes produce great fishing and the reason is weeds. Yep, the lowly weed. In shallower lakes, which have typically been prone to winterkill, it’s weeds that give bountiful life and plenty of food to growing trout in the summer, but during the winter those same weeds die off and consume much needed oxygen. If too much oxygen is consumed the trout suffocate and die. It’s not pleasant. But with the aeration systems, which looks much like a wintertime water fountain, the trout get the benefit of heavy food production in the summer, while getting the oxygen they need by way of the aeration system through the winter. It’s a win-win situation.

As a result, these trout grow big and heavy fast. A three year old trout can weigh an astounding three to six pounds. And that’s not all. That same fish may only be 22 inches long. A feat that will never be accomplished by their stream dwelling cousins. So all these trout have to do is pretty much swim around with their mouths open filtering out food and growing bigger. And when one of these tanks hits your fly or lure, you’ll probably be hooked as solidly as me on aerated pothole trout.

For the adventurous group, refer to the list of Aerated Lakes that the Fishin’ Hole website is providing and bring along the cartopper or belly boat. Fishing from a boat is better than being limited to shore for the simple reason of mobility. With a boat or some other floatation device you will be able to explore the entire lake and fish the best spots. And when you get to your chosen lake, if your experience is similar to mine, you’re bound to get into some great fishing.


Previous Fishing Articles

(1) Fly Selection for Beginners

(2) Fly Fisher's Christmas

(3) New Waters

(4) Big Bad Burbot

(5) Looking Back

(6) Out of Africa

(7) Finding Success on Crowded Trout Streams

(8) Mountain Peaks, Fast Streams, Fall Colours And Rocky Mountain Whitefish

(9) The Browns of Autumn

(10) Fly-Fishing Pike Through The Seasons

(11) Walleye Town

(12) River Fun - One Bite At A Time

(13) Fly Fishing Larger Rivers

(14) Going With The Flow

(15) Becoming A Better Fly Fisherman

(16) Swinging The Fences

(17) A View From The Aerie

(18) Dixieland Delight

(19) Atlantic Salmon - The Fish of 1000 Casts

(20) Do It Yourself Pink Salmon

(21) Montana's Cool Missouri

(22) Pretty Is As Pretty Does

(23) Toothy Critters

(24) Hard Water Lakers at Cold Lake

(25) Top Ten Flies

(26) Northern Exposure

(27) Home Water Lessons

(28) Chicken Of The Sea

(29) Sealing the Deal – How to Ensure You Land More Fish

(30) Deep In The Heart Of Texas

(31) Keep It Up!

(32) River Fishing for Fall Walleye

(33) After the Flood - A look at Southern Alberta rivers and streams one year after the flood

(34) Reindeer Lake - A Diversity of Opportunity

(35) Hawg Holes

(36) Saltwater Salmon

(37) Early Season Dry Fly Fishing

(38) Down a Lazy River –
A Fly-rodding Adventure on the Lower North Saskatchewan

(39) The Fly Fishing Season Ahead

(40) IN SEARCH OF SPECKLED FOOTBALLS

(41) FISHING CANADA'S PRAIRIE CITIES

(42) Bright Fish from the Land of Silver

(43) Canada's "Other" Salmon

(44) Fall Walleye

(45) Wet Flies

(46) Versatility the Key to Success

(47) Grayling of the Boreal

(48) Teaching Kids To Fly Fish

(49) Size Matters

(50) Fly Fishing Small Streams

(51) Chasing Winter Whites One Lake At A Time

(52) Manitoba's Fishing Jewel

(53) The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas

(54) The Point Of It All

(55) Fishing With Friends-Big Weather Seizing The Day

(56) Fall Fly Fishing

(57) Personal Pontoon Boats 101

(58) Big River, Big Fish

(59) Bottom Bonanza

(60) Fishing Small Flies

(61) So Many Choices, So Little Time

(62) Four Seasons of the Bow

(63) Favourite Lakes - Some Like it Hot

(64) GEARING UP FOR SMALL STREAM TROUT

(65) Trout Hunting - New Zealand-style

(66) Don’t Leave Home Without Them –
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(67) Edge Walleye

(68) FLY FISHING STRATEGIES FOR HIGH WATER

(69) Smallmouth Bass – An Oft Overlooked Challenge

(70) Four Corners – Four Waters

(71) Chasing Pothole Trout

(72) Springtime Stoneflies

(73) The Torrents of Spring

(74) Drift Boat Fly Fishing

(75) Bust Them With Bait

(76) Cure the Winter Blues with a Good Book

(77) Hot Strategies for the Cold Months

(78) Cutthroat: The Angler's Trout

(79) Terrestrials

(80) Fly In For Fishing Fun

(81) Rocky Mountain High

(82) Reading the clues

(83) Where the Trout Are
The art of locating feeding trout
in rivers and streams.

(84) K.I.S.S. and Tell Fly-fishin

(85) Fly Fishing 101

(86) To Catch a Big Halibut, or Ling Cod

(87) The Bountiful Bones of Ascension Bay

(88) Grayling in the Eye of the Beholder

(89) Fly Fishing for South Fork Clearwater Steelhead

(90) Manitoba's Red River - North America's Catfish Capital

(91) Eliminating the Spook Factor

(92) Trust Your Electronics

(93) The Most Important Hatch of the Year

(94) Early Season Nymph Fishing for Trout

(95) Finding Success for Ice Trout

(96) Walleye can be Humbling

(97) The Secret to Landing the Big One Finally Revealed

(98) Winter Flyfishing

(99) North Saskatchewan River - An Underutilized Gem

(100) Hot Fall Pike Action

(101) Tips and Tricks to Save the Summer Slow Down

(102) Reading Trout Stream Waters

(103) Frequently Asked Questions

(104) Streamer Fishing for Larger Trout

(105) The Lure of Big Walleye at Last Ice

(106) Deep Water Perch

(107) Post Spawn Brookies

(108) A Fisher's Life

(109) The River's Last Stand

(110) The Big Ones Come out at Night

(111) Coho on the Coast

(112) Chasing and Catching Halibut

(113) Summer in the Mountains

(114) Peak Walleye Season

(115) Slow and Steady Wins the Race

(116) Last Ice Rainbows

(117) The Burbot Event

(118) Tackle Matching

(119) Ice Fishing Strategy #2 - Going Light

(120) Ice Fishing Strategy #1 - Location

(121) The Lure of Brook Trout

(122) The Shallow Water Hunt is On

(123) Hot Backswimmer Action Happening Right Now

(124) Fishing Among Giants-Pursuing Lake Sturgeon on the Prairies

(125) Adventure at Davin Lake Lodge, Northern Saskatchewan

(126) The Vesatile Plug

(127) Bead Head Flies, Plugs and Shot and other Spring Favorites for Pothole Trout

(128) Planning your Upcoming Angling Adventures

(129) Good Fishing at Last Ice

(130) Maximize the Odds - Use Multiple Presentations

(131) Daily Fish Migrations

(132) Fish Migrations - Following the Spawn

(133) Lake Whitefish - An Ice Fishing All Star

(134) Pick Your Favorite Brook Trout Lake...and Go Fishing

(135) A Look Ahead to Great Trout Fishing

(136) Wrestling White Sturgeon on the Fraser

(137) The Fun in Ultra Light

(138) Flyfishing and Leadcore Lines

(139) Embrace the Spirit of Adventure

(140) Never Stop Learning

(141) Ice Fishing is Getting Hot

(142) Jigging through the Ice

(143) An Ice Fishing Unsung Hero – The Setline

(144) Rainbows on Ice

(145) The Season of Ice Begins

(146) Red Hot Fall Pike Action

(147) Hitting it Right with Water Boatman

(148) Facts On Cats

(149) West Coast Adventure

(150) June Walleye Frenzy

(151) Aerated Lakes are Big Trout Factories

(152) "First Fish of the Year - Pothole Rainbows and Browns"

(153) "Northern Exposure"

(154) Sometimes There is More to Fishing Than Catching Fish

(155) Early Season Pike On The Fly

(156) Man Overboard