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Trout throught the ice

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I have never fished for trout through the ice. Looking for some ideas. I am going to be targeting Rainbows and Lakers. I've heard tubes and airplane heads. Anything else I should be doing? Where in the water column do these fish hang out? I know to start along drop offs near deep water, but do trout hug the bottom in the winter, or are they just chasing baitfish everywhere? This is a designated trout lake, so minnows are out. thanks in advance!

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For lakers white tubes is probably the best place to start. Have not had success with airplane jigs. Sonar of some sort seems to make the biggest difference fishing for macs. You can really trigger them by reeling up when they come in under your tube! Small teardrop jigs on light line tipped with waxworms accounts for most rainbows I catch each year. I usually run the rainbow lures high in the water collumn like just a few feet under the ice while actively jigging the tube all over for macs. Hope this helps. Where are you fishing?

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In Chaska, real small lake. About 10 acres, pretty heavily pressured in the open water season. It is bowl shaped with a max depth around 55'.

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Hey James, I fish the metro lakes for browns & rainbows a few times a year. I've caught some fish deep, but I've had my best luck fishing shallow between 5-10 feet. The fish seem to cruise the shorelines looking for baitfish. Most of these lakes are very clear & sight fishing is the way to go. Get your shack real dark inside so you can watch your jig. I use 4 lb. test & various small jigs & spoons. I had my best luck last year with the large Shrimpos from Custom Jigs & Spins. The skinny tail on those jigs give off some great action. Good luck, Vern

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James,
This might be in archives somewhere, but I have a little help for ya.

Generally, stocked trout, especially in a smaller pond, gravel pit or lake tend to follow a pattern.

They will cruise(not always) in a counter clockwise path around the body of water in small schools. They rarely stay put, so the bite will last briefly, but then soon return.

You can try fishing in the middle, but only a few feet down/below the ice is recommended.

ALso, try right up near shore as well!
Granted this technique is intended for stocked rainbow, brookies and browns.

Try using flashy spoons!

Let us know how it works!

Keep the rods bendin'!!!

Jim W

[This message has been edited by Jim W (edited 11-26-2002).]

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James,
I don't want to get your hopes down on this but if you are referring to the same small lake in Chaska I'm thinking of, it is closed for the season.

I had sent an email to the DNR to get confirmation. Received a reply and was told it is closed on the 31st of Oct and will open for the winter season on Jan 18, 2003. The lake falls under Stream Trout Season for Lakes (both summer and winter).

I too would like to hook on to some trout. Just don't to want to get in trouble or see any fellow fisherman in get in trouble.

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hey thanks for the replys. I know that the lake is closed, I am just getting the itch. I am also getting a head start on tackle shopping. Have any of you noticed winter trout being as line shy as they are in the open water? In the warmer months I was using 4# flourocarbon. Should I tone it down to 2# for the rainbows? I should be alright with 6 or 8# flouro for the lakers. Its only been since Oct 31st, but I am missing the wonderful singing of my drag when a trout decides it does not want to be landed.

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Jim W is right on the money when it comes to stocked stream trout lakes. They cruise big TIME! Matter of fact. unlike most other ice chasing tactics, chasing streamers means sitting on your butt for hours and waiting for them to cruise by again. Be patient or come north of 53 and chase them all day long. Bring plenty of beer for those in between times though.

Chunky

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There are two places on this very forum to look for lakers in particular.

One is the BWCA/Duluth area post, the other is the Grand Rapids area post. There are current threads going on lakers on both posts, but neither really is too much on topic when it comes to tips, techniques and baits.

So scroll back through preceding pages on those posts, and you'll find lots of info on where and how to get those lakers through ice.

Also, if you're targeting splake or rainbows under ice, post an inquiry about those in particular, too. Of course, if you're scrolling back through the months, you'll likely find info on those already.

Consider this a library where you always check what's already been posted before launching your new inquiry.

But just one hint. Trout, cold water lovers that they are, to greater or lesser degree depending on species, aren't limited to the deep cold-water regions in winter the way they are in summer. So, since the whole lake is cold in winter, salmonoids will be where the BAIT is, not where the cold is. Think shallow.

Good luck, and have a blast. grin.gif


------------------
Steve Foss
Superior, Wis.
[email protected]

[This message has been edited by stfcatfish (edited 11-26-2002).]

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10 acres seems really small to support lake trout. If its really heavily pressured, 2# and 4# test may be the way to go. On some of the smaller, shallower lakes I have fished, the fish seem to roam more than they relate to structure. I also seem to get more action fishing really tight to the ice, 2-4 feet down on small jigs resembling nymphs, usually black or brown, without bait at all. Don't rule out 1" crappie tubes too. Keep it simple!

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Jim W, good call on the characteristics of stocked trout as opposed to wild trout. These metro lakes are all "put & take" fisheries and the fish are definately cruising in circles. It is a waiting game & can get a little tough on the back when you are bent over the hole watching your jig. But it's well worth it when a big brown or rainbow comes cruising by. They usually are moving pretty fast and will circle the bait a few times before they hit it. Or else they'll just speed on by, which is a total bummer. They loved those shrimpos though. I usually fish very tight to shore around some wood or other interesting structure. It's amazing how shallow those fish will be. Vern

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Try this once.
On a clear day, go shallow and lean over your hole, cupping your hands, blocking the light from above. If lucky you will get to see some cruisers shoot by your hole!

Of done this when the bite was slow, wishing I had my spoon down instead!!!LOL

Jim W

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That's a bummer when I nice fish zooms by & you don't have your bait down. Almost all of my metro trout fishing is done by sightfishing in 5 or 6 feet. I shut the window on my Fish Trap & block out all the light with some snow. It helps to be extra quiet when fishing that shallow. Sightfishing is a blast for any species on a clear lake. I usually cut an extra hole or 2 for a bigger viewing area. Vern

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james, we do very well on both tube jigs and airplane jigs up in canada, were the trout are a little more wild. lately we've had our best luck with tube jigs, such as berkelys power baits. I prefer northland rattle jigs with a glow power bait trailer. hang on tight, the lakers up there absolutly smack it.

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Hi Guys,
I'll put in my two cents since I have been ice trout fishing for about 15 years.
I usually try to help out on the trout scence in the winter so here goes.

All the info. as was mentioned above is good stuff. I'd like to add a couple of things.
Trout have an even more sensitive nose than other finned critters so don't gas anything up that day or even the day before.
Wear good gloves when using the power auger.

As many of you know these are designated trout lakes and are also put and take.
I suggest using DEAD crappie minnows.
Before heading out the door in the morning I scoop a little water out of the softner tank and add it to the cup I have them in.

Sight fish them but most of the time hang it just below the underside of the ice (8-12")
I don't use a bobber. On tough days I use my Frabill rods and can detect a light bite with no problem. Most of the time they do come blasting trough though and there is no problem detecting a bite. The fish can be big enough to drag your rod and reel down a hole so watch out. Oh ya, You can only use one line. So if you have short attention span you'd better bring two rigs.

Last one, Your gonna think I'm crazy but I have used chrome and blue, chrome/chart. Do-Jiggers with no bait. Just pump them up off the bottom and drop back down. You know when they usually hit.

Good Luck

Terry's Guide Service
www.fishingmn.com/terry

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Sightfishing is the best. When I was a kid in Colorado we would buy a snowtube called 'Thundertube'. This was your sled for your stuff (which wasn't much) and also what you used to put next to your icehole to lay on. Throw a blanket over your head and lay down. Jig with your hand and pay attention. We used to fish Kokanee salmon (Dillon resevoir right were the Blue river came in) or SPlake on Twin lakes by Leadville in a little deeper water but still sightfish. However you could rarely see the fish. The key was to have a bright jig and wait until the jig disappeared. My brother and I would do this and people thought we were on fire. Remember we were layong on a tube in a prone position on the ice jigging with your hand. The jig disappears set the hook, throw the blanket off, keep the line tight, grab the rod and start fighting. Ahh what great memories.

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WOW thanks for the tips guys. This is exactly why I come to these forums, hopefully I can return the favor sometime soon.

James

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erikwells
just a quick update on ol' Dillon reservoir... with the drought we had in Colorado this last summer, Dillon res is down at least 60' from normal, probably more. When did you fish there last? Its one of the closest alpine reservoirs to Denver but we usually just drive right by in favor of just about anywhere else. I gotta agree with everyone else... sight fishing for trout is sooooo addictive, nothing like watching a big brown or 'bow come in and slurp your jig. Most times you dont even feel em until you set the hook!

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Here in Itasca County I've been fishing trout for the last 5 years or so. I mainly fish rainbows, splake, and lakers. I've had a tough time, but usually manage to bring home one or two each trip. For rainbows on Tioga Pit I use 2 set ups. I either use a crappie demon jig,split shot, bobber, and salted crappie minnow and set it at 20 feet and fish out in the middle of the pit all over out there, I've found that these trout are mainly out cruising. Or I fish the shore lines with a small swedish pimple/waxworm up tight on the banks (25 feet) again all over, keep moving, you'll seldom catch more than one rainbow out of the same hole. Last year I caught a 21 inch rainbow out of Tioga, he's on my wall now.
Now on Kremer Lake, i've had a hell of a time catching any rainbows, all i ever catch is splake and that is usually with either of the above set ups, but strictly shoreline sightfishing. Anyone with tips for rainbows or browns up there, I would greatly appreciate them.
I've only caught one laker and that was on Caribou Lake, 2 winter's ago. I usually fish it once or twice a winter, but the action is alot slower than fishing splake or rainbows. I use my flasher and fish points, sunken islands and troughs in between the sunken islands. I usually use a jigging spoon with a shiner head on it and then a bobber rod with a shiner on a small quick strike rig. I was thinking for a second line this year, I'm gonna try a windlass tipup with a quick strike rig and a shiner. Anyone else have any laker tips?

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