PRATT — Despite weather fluxuations trout anglers have been lining the banks of the Pratt Centennial Pond since November 1, looking to hook into an aquatic battle or simply enjoying the extended fishing season made possible by recent stocking efforts of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.

Longtime Pratt fisherman Denis Rasmussen, 80, hasn't caught any of the coveted trout this season yet, but the chances of doing so have him at the pond nearly every day.

"I like to go any time the wind chill factors aren't too bad," Rasmussen said. "If I can get over the bank, out of the wind and sit with the sun shining on me I can spend an hour or two every day fishing. I just really enjoy it."

Ludi Egging, Public Lands, Fisheries, & Wildlife Divisions spokesperson for KDWPT, said that trout restocking takes place every year at all Kansas state-managed ponds and lakes just prior to November 1. This year a truck from Colorado brought in trout during the last week of October. This type of fish is known to remain active even in cold weather.

"Trout permits are required when fishing at state parks and lakes," Egging said. "The daily creel limit is 5 trout, unless otherwise posted by the local managers."

For Rasmussen, who is a retired mortuary owner, two trout a day is enough, but often he puts back what he catches.

"When I was working full time 15 years ago, this was just the best relaxation I could get," he said. "My wife would always say I came back from fishing a different person. Now I just enjoy the challenge of landing a nice trout. I like to eat what I catch.”

Rasmussen shared his recipe for cleaning and cooking trout, which he said was a good, mild-tasting fish, but one has to be careful and watch out for the bones.

"When I keep a catch, I chop off the head, clip the fins and leave the tail on," he said. "Then I gut them, using a stiff brush to get that black cord out that goes into the backbone.

"I lay the fish on heavy gauge foil and coat it inside and out with olive oil. I shake on a good amount of lemon pepper, put a few lemon slices inside the fish, and maybe an onion slice or two if I have it. I roll it tight and seal it in the foil, then place it on a half-inch rack on top of a cookie sheet in my oven and bake it at 425 degrees for 20 minutes."

Rasmussen said when he opens the foil around the fish the skin slips right off and he can open and peel the meat right off the rib bones.

"You still have to be careful of those bones if one or two stays in the meat," he said. "But it is very good to eat."

When deciding which fish to keep or throw back while fishing, Rasmussen said he always chooses the fatter ones.

"Those skinny one just aren't worth the effort, too many bones and not enough meat," he said.