Trout Season Kickoff: Belmont Lake - The Fisherman

Trout Season Kickoff: Belmont Lake

Some brook trout are usually stocked in the lake as well and some of them are good size!

A body of water that will receive over 2,000 stocked trout this spring.

Belmont Lake State Park, located in the heart of Long Island, New York, offers an opportunity for fishing enthusiasts of all levels. With its lake as the centerpiece, this state park is a favored spot for those seeking a peaceful retreat to immerse themselves in the joy of spring fishing for those first trout of the season. The lake contains a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, carp, and sunfish. But it’s mainly the trout that attract fishermen of all ages to the shoreline during April. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just looking for a serene spot to cast your line for the first time, Belmont Lake State Park promises an enjoyable and rewarding fishing experience.

Well Stocked

The pond is fully stocked by the unofficial April 1st opener for spring trout season. During the month of March, the lake will receive 170 yearling brown trout, 100 two-year-olds, and 750 rainbows, providing great fishing opportunities for anyone wanting to give the lake a shot come the beginning of the month. Throughout the month of April, the lake will receive supplemental stockings of 170 yearling browns again, 250 two-year-olds, and another 1000 rainbows, all from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Part of the reason why the lake is so well stocked is for the Belmont Spring Fishing Festival that will take place on the 14th of April this year. The over 2,000 fish placed in this lake before the festival create a great opportunity for those looking to get right into the sport, along with those looking to bend the rod for the first time this year.

Aside from the rainbows and browns, some stocked brook trout always seem to find their way into the lake before the month of April, which adds to the variety and excitement of fishing this loaded body of water.

While a lot of the rainbows released in the pond tend to run smaller, these fish are perfect for the young ones just getting into the sport of fishing.

Ample Fishing Room

Unlike a lot of other lakes on the island, this pond is totally geared towards fishing, with the majority of the shoreline cleared of brush and trees that would otherwise prevent an angler from getting off a proper cast. This is part of the reason why the lake is so ideal for young and beginning anglers. Less time to get caught up means a better and more enjoyable fishing experience for all.

The main fishing locations of the lake start near the rental paddle boats on the eastern side of the lake and wrap around to the south, down towards the spillover dam. All the area in between is cleared out for the most part and an easy walk from the eastern parking lot.

I would suggest sticking to this side of the pond for trout fishing due to the fact that most of the fish are released on this side when stocked, and it takes a while for them to spread out to other locations. Most of the lake has a stone or wood border, so you don’t have to worry about the young ones losing their footing and tumbling.

Down on the southern portion of the lake some of the stockies will group up at times to the location of the spillway and slightly deeper water that it created. And yes, in case you were wondering, the spill itself will hold some fish. The stream to the south of that will hold some trout as well once the fish stocked in the main lake begin to make their way to those cooler and protected waters.

The lake is well stocked leading into the month of April and especially for the Spring Fishing Festival.

The Ideal Trout Setup

Light trout tackle is the way to go when fishing this pond. When I say light tackle, this, for me, would be something around a 6-foot rod that can cast down to 1/16-ounce and up to about 1/8-ounce. I like a lightweight fishing rod that I can fish with in one hand an entire day – something with light cork grips and a short butt for early one-hand control. Remember, these fish are small for the most part – especially the rainbows and yearling browns- so having a lighter rod will allow you to have the most fun while reeling them in. And if you do hook into one of those two-year brute browns, you will have a nice drag-peeling fight on your hands.

For a spinner, stick with something as light as possible again. Some of the sporty anglers go down to a 500-sized spinning reel but I’d say the 1000 is standard and for reference I’m talking about the Shimano reel sizing scale. You could step it up to a 1500 if you want but I found that size to be overkill for a lot of the fish being stocked.

The line will also make a big difference in fishing success for these small trout. I find myself using a lot of lighter lures, so using the proper line is key to having no knots and still being able to achieve a good casting distance at the same time. A few light braids are on the market today that will work, but they can be a little tougher to use with the super light lure weights. I’ve found monofilament to be much more forgiving. If you consider yourself a newer angler with less braid experience, stick with the mono. Even if you do knot up the mono where it requires a change, you’ll be out a few bucks as opposed to $20 when getting new braided line.

Most of the fish put into the lake are intended to be taken out since the pond is not ideal for holding them over throughout the hot summer months. Rainbow trout will make a tasty table fare.

Baits And Lures

If you consider yourself a beginner, I would suggest sticking with the bait route to start. Casting lures will require a bit more finesse and skill as opposed to watching your bobber for a visual strike from a trout. If you have kids, this is the perfect way to get them started in trout fishing. Bait is easy to use and exciting and will keep the interest of the young ones for an extended period of time.

If you stick with the bait to start, you will have a few different options. For all of the bait options, I would suggest going with the old-fashioned hook fished a foot or two under a float. This rig is pretty foolproof, and when you get a strike from a trout, you will know it. You can start with the traditional nightcrawler, cut in half and threaded on a hook. This bait has gotten it done for ages and continues to do so. Other baits that will work well in this pond are mealworms, waxworms, and doughballs. All of these choices are readily available for the most part.

Finding your way to the park is fairly simple. If you’re heading west of the Southern State Parkway you will want to get off at exit 38. Make sure to watch the signs because the exit comes up quickly and the second entrance will lead you to the park headquarters. Once you get off 38, follow the road in and past the toll booths to the parking lot. The lake is a short, 5 minute walk from where you park to where you can start fishing. For general information on the park, call (631) 667-5055.

If you find yourself being a little more experienced and the sporty type of angler, you should definitely try working a small lure in this pond. Smaller Rapalas, Thomas spoons, Kastmasters, Mepps, Cleos, Trout Magnets, and Daredevils are some of the ones that will definitely work, but remember, these are stocked fish, and they most likely hit and small spoon once they are first put in. After some time, they will become a little more selective.

The lake is certainly worth the effort due to its fishability and the ample amount of stocked trout it receives every spring season. Keep in mind that NY State Parks will be hosting a fishing festival at the lake on the 13th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with no fishing licenses required. The Fisherman Magazine will also be present at the event as one of its corporate contributors.



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