Laurel Bed Lake - Fishing Opportunities

Smallmouth bass are doing very well in Laurel Bed. Smallmouth were first stocked in 1998. Some of these fish now measure 20 inches or more in length. Small plugs, spinners, and live bait often produce good catches. Smallmouth fishing is catch-and-release only.

The average size of rock bass has definitely improved. A good many of the rock bass now measure over eight inches long. Rock bass abundance is much lower than it was a few years ago, but the ones you do catch should be nice ones.

Stocked brook trout really did well the first couple of years after the lake refilled and was limed (1998-2000). Since that time trout fishing opportunities have been up and down. Some fairly good fishing for brook trout was available during April, May and early June. Over-summer survival of brook trout, which creates fall fishing opportunities, has basically been nonexistent since 2000. Rainbow trout stocked in the winter of 2003/2004 provided some decent summer fishing opportunities the following summer and fall. Biologists began stocking larger trout, and mostly rainbows, in the fall of 2004 to improve trout fishing opportunities through the summer and fall. This strategy appears to be successful. Rainbow trout are surviving well, providing some good fall fishing and some of them are growing toward the 18-inch mark.