- 1) Do we need a license to fish at the Century Trout Farm?
- No. And you do not need a Wisconsin trout stamp either.
Our State of Wisconsin license covers you.
- 2) Do you have fishing equipment we can use?
- Yes. We offer traditional bamboo cane poles for free.
- 3) May we bring our own fishing poles?
- Yes. In fact, we encourage you to bring your own poles and lures. You'll
be more comfortable with your own equipment and you'll likely be able
to place your bait where you want it more accurately.
- 4) What bait works best at the pond? Any bait or tackle special requirements?
- Any bait except live minnows may be used. Canned corn (which we provide free of charge) or earth worms (that we sell
for $3.75 per dozen) along with a small hook and bobber work well for everyone. Spinners and small spoons favored
by spin cast fishers usually deliver a full creel. Fly fishermen who present flies similar
to the natural insects of the area do very well also. Note that we ask all fishers to use a barbed hook and keep everything
that is caught.
- 5) Is there a limit on the size or number of fish we catch?
- No. All fish in the pond are 10" or bigger and so all are keepers. And you may catch as many fish as your wallet will allow. We strongly encourage
parents to discuss how many fish the family will catch before the fishing expedition begins. (During the spring of
2015, fish averaged about $8.20 each [including cleaning]. That number will fluctuate as new, smaller fish are added and later removed.
- 6) May we catch and release fish at the pond?
- No, we do not allow catch and release. We find that too often the fish die because of improper handling or else are
unwilling to take the bait of some other fisher. Note also that we prohibit the use of barbless hooks.
- 7) Should we make a reservation to fish at the trout farm?
- No reservation is needed normally, although we encourage groups to call ahead of time. It would
be best if only one group is fishing at a time.
- 8) How big are the fish we might catch?
- All fish in the pond
are at least 10" long. Many are in the 11-13"
range long and there is a generous supply of fish that are bigger than that. It is not uncommon for a family's catch to include a 16 or 17
inch fish. The record for the pond during 2014 was 22.5."
- 9) How often do you stock the pond?
- We normally stock the
pond three times a year, each time adding 1000# of fish, evenly divided between rainbow and
brook trout. Typically we stock at the beginning of May, July and September.
The "stockers" we buy are all 10-12" in length. Note that in 2015 because we will be closing, we have added just one load of fish. As the season progresses, the fish will become harder to catch as the "dumb" ones are first fished out.
- 10) Do you allow companion animals to accompany fishing guests?
Yes, pets may accompany
families if they are kept on a leash and do not bother
- 11) Do you allow people to ride your horses?
- We regret that we are not able to offer
horseback rides at this time. You are welcome to spend as much
time as you like viewing the horses. We have Arabs, Quarter
Horses, Appaloosas, a Thoroughbred and a Hackney pony.
- 12) Can the swan fly?
No, the swans have had their flight feathers removed and are therefore permanent residents of the pond.
- 13) Do you guarantee that we will catch
- We are not able to
guarantee everyone will catch a fish but the great majority will be
successful. At the Century Trout Farm the rule is: "100% of the
fish caught will be caught by 98% of the fishermen." That is in
contrast to the old rule on most lakes that says "95% of the fish caught
are caught by 5% of the fishermen." Note that the fishing will become more challenging as the 2015 seasons progresses.
- 14) Do you clean the fish?
- Yes, we sell fish either cleaned or
not, your choice. We charge 5 cents per inch for cleaning. For us
"cleaned" means gutting the fish. Most fishers agree that it
is unnecessary to scale or filet the trout prior to cooking.
- 15) What is the biggest fish ever
caught at the trout farm?
- The biggest
fish ever caught measured 24." It was caught in 1992 shortly
after the reopening of the business eight years after the
death of the original owner, Ralph Sholts. The record fish caught
during the time that Mark and Jean have operated the pond is
22.5" That rainbow was caught in August, 2014.
- 16) Do fish reproduce in your pond?
- Yes, we find brook trout fry hidden in the weeds
during the summer, but we have found that that the great majority of
baby fish are eaten by the larger fish. That is why farmers who
raise trout isolate their small fish and protect them from their larger
- 17) May we use waders when we fly fish?
- We don't mind if people use waders, but they
aren't really needed. The pond drops off quickly along most edges,
and the more shallow northeast side tends to become quickly clouded by silt
when one walks on it.
- 18) Do you ever allow groups, scout
troupes, school classes and the like to come fish?
- Yes, we welcome groups and offer a
modest discount to non-profit organizations that want to plan a fishing
expedition. Call Mark or Jean for more information.
- 19) Are the fish easy enough for a
7-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy to catch? They get bored easily.
- We hesitate to say "easy" because there are some basic rules
about fishing. Children who are quiet and properly equipped will
catch fish most of the time in May and June of 2015. As the season continues, the reduced number of fish will make fishing more difficult for unskilled fishers.
- 20) What is the best time of spring to
fish? March, April, May?
- Any time in spring is a good time to catch
good sized fish at the trout farm because not many fishers have
disturbed the fish through the winter and so they are ready to eat that
tasty worm or bit of corn. Fishers using quality artificial lures
will also be well rewarded. (Since the pond is open all year long,
we continue feeding throughout the winter. Those 10-12" stockers
added in September become good-sized fish by the following spring.)
- 21) Is there a charge for fishing, or do
you just pay if you catch something?
- We do not charge an entrance fee. You only pay if you
catch fish. Please remember that we ask you to keep all the fish
you catch. (We do have special fee plans that include an entrance fee for groups or families
that want to use the farm but do not wish to fish. See our Rates page.)
- 22) Do you sell live fish?
- No. Our license requires that all fish leaving our property must be
- 23) How long have you been in business?
- The Century Trout Farm was established in 1960 by Jean's father, Ralph Sholts. He
was the congenial proprietor until his passing in 1984. The pond was closed for a few years until
1991 when Jean and her husband Mark purchased the farm and re-opened the business. For more information about the farm, check out the article published in the June, 6, 2003 issue of Wisconsin State Farmer.
- 24) Is this a natural or man made pond?
- There has always been a spring
and shallow, six inch deep pond on the property. Years ago a spring house containing milk cooling troughs was built next
to the pond. The shallow pond was used as a pig pasture until the early 60's when
the Agriculture Department came out with a program to help pay for the construction of farm ponds.
Deeper ponds were good for wildlife conservation and they were good reservoirs for fire protection. The program allowed Ralph to have
his pond widened and deepened. He added trout to the pond when he found the water was cold and clear. When the fish got bigger and bigger,
he put a sign at the road. People have been coming to fish ever since.
- 25) Do you accept checks or credit cards?
- We accept cash or checks but not credit cards at this time.
- 26) Can people who have trouble walking or who require a wheel chair fish at the trout farm?
- Yes, we have a
wooden deck from which guests may fish. We have a "Gator" (a
golf car-like utility vehicle) and a real golf cart that we use to transport
disabled guests to the pond. We also allow disabled individuals to
drive their cars down to the pond if they
prefer. We may have to limit vehicle access following a stretch of wet weather.