Lunkers Lurk at Silver Lake State Park!

A northern pike
Concessions Manager, DJ Collise, couldn't think of many things he'd rather be doing than fishing on Silver Lake. He took some time to give us the inside scoop on this sport and a little more about the man behind the fish.

First, where are you from and when did you first pick up a rod? I was actually born in Cuba. Both my parents were in the navy, but I was raised in Claremont, New Hampshire. My Dad taught me to fish when I was about eight years old and I've been fishing ever since. I used to do fly fishing, but I really like catching bigger fish, so now I do spinner fishing.

How long have you been fishing on Silver Lake?
Hmmmm, about 5 years.

What types of fish are in these photos?
The long ones are northern pike the shorter ones are large-mouth bass. Silver Lake also has many catfish and perch.

They are huge! Is this a fluke or do you normally see these large fish in Silver Lake? Well, I do lots of tournaments, all over the state, so I do a lot of fishing and I have to say, Silver Lake is one of the most difficult lakes I've ever fished, but the most rewarding. On  average, most of the fish are pretty big. Some species smaller species are found can also be found in the lake, like perch, but of the larger species, they are pretty huge. Last year, I caught a very large catfish and close to a state record rock bass. Rock bass are an invasive species; It eats the eggs of other fish.   

Where else do you like to fish?
Lake Champlain
, Lake Ossipee (NH), Lake Fairlee, and Lake Morey, and on the Connecticut River.


What is the best fishing you've ever done? On Silver Lake, I had the best fishing day a while back, catching eight fish that all were around four pounds each. The largest bass I've ever caught was around 6.5 lbs. and the largest northern pike I've landed was 42 inches in length and around sixteen pounds! Usually I fish by myself, which can make landing a pike pretty difficult. It's the fastest fish and pretty big. They put up a good fight, especially that sixteen pounder.
  
Good lures for northern pike
large mouth bass
Finally, what's your secret - is it the bait or how you reel your line in or what? I use artificial lures and I think that good fishing is knowledge based. I know what the fish in Silver Lake like to eat and use the lures which mimick those bugs. For example, crawdads or crayfish and silver shiners are commonly eaten by the fish, so I have lures that look like these. It also depends on the season as to what bugs are on the water and what the fish will go after. As for the lake itself, there are better places than others to check out. Silver lake is fairly shallow, with the deepest part being only 32 feet. You need to go farther off shore where the fish like to hide in the deeper water. They hide in the weeds sometimes 50-60' off shore.

Do you eat the fish? I release everything I catch. Pike and bass are usually more of a sport fish, but you could eat the catfish and the perch I would think.

A successful catch!
Do you show others your secrets? I really enjoy sharing my passion for fishing on Silver Lake with others. I've been known to take out some campers and show them where the good spots are to fish. I'm out there everyday so find me and just ask what you like. I'm also hoping to get together a fishing program, but check back with me later on this.

Thanks DJ and happy fishing on Silver Lake!

For more information visit Silver Lake's webpage or call the park at 802-234-9451.

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