By Shari Harris, Publisher
Many grew up listening to complaints of “cabin fever” late in the winter, as people became weary of the cold and yearned for spring. For those attending the opening day of the 2023 Trout Season at Montauk State Park, “cabin fever” was likely replaced by “trout fever” in the days leading up to the event.
Equipment was readied and plans were made in anticipation of braving the chill of an early March 1 morning. Hatchery workers, lodge workers, DNR and MDC employees alike readied themselves for the onslaught of feverish fishers, eager to be outside and standing in the Current River as the horn sounded.
Oran Naramore, of Salem, earned the honor of firing the ceremonial starter pistol at 6:30 a.m. sharp on the bridge overlooking the Current River. The 89-year-old has fished at Montauk since 1969. Hatchery Manager Tom Whelan joined him on the bridge and provided the countdown to the opening shot.
And then it began. Another season of lunkers and lines tangled, stringers full and lost dough bait floating down the stream.
Two lunkers were weighed in at the lodge by Miss Salem Sierra Rusco during the first 15 minutes of fishing. Two more would arrive before 7 a.m.
The lodge had sold 1,367 adult trout tags and 114 kids trout tags by 7 a.m., and visitors continued to trickle in throughout the day. Total opening day sales were 1,733 tags, with 1,587 of those adult tags and 146 kids tags.
The weather cooperated this year and provided a nice warm up and a beautiful day to be outside, easing the symptoms of many of those suffering from “trout fever.” For others, perhaps it only fanned the flames and it will be a season of “trout fever” treatable only by heading back to the river, pole and tackle in hand.
Photos by Shari Harris