What a difference four years makes.
In April of 2009, Jimmy Fee and I met OTW contributor Ron Powers at Wachusett Reservoir in West Boylston, Massachusetts to sample the early-season lake trout fishing. The fishing was good, but the lake trout we caught were alarmingly thin – a condition that Ron attributed to a lack of suitable forage.
In spring 2013, Ron predicted that a rebound in the smelt population, a schooling baitfish that is a favored prey of many gamefish but particularly trout and salmon, would improve the fishery and produce some lakers with broader shoulders and bigger bellies.
Jimmy and I met Ron Powers back at “The ‘Chu” almost exactly 4 years later and connected with a few of the Reservoir’s lake trout, which were cruising the shorelines in the clear, cold water. One fish hit a live shiner fished on the bottom, while 4 others struck casting spoons in the 2/5- to 3/4-ounce size range.
We didn’t connect with one of the double-digit lunkers that undoubtedly live in the lake, but the lakers we did catch were strong, chunky fish that were clearly feeding well – a welcome change from the emaciated fish we saw in 2009.