Ice Fishing Stocked Rainbow Trout. By mid day, most fish will be cruising the deeper edges in 15 feet to 20 feet of water. Rainbow trout inhabit thousands of natural lakes from Maine to Washington, including the Great Lakes. It holds up better in the cold conditions. Aggressive fish are attracted to movement, which makes Freaky Frank's freaky worm an excellent choice for ice fishing. The first thing I want to discus is the fish itself, followed by a couple of techniques used to catch them. Drill your holes close to shore in about 3 feet of water. On a good day it is not uncommon to land between 10 and 30 browns/rainbows. If you are jigging a small spoon with no luck try switching up your lure to a small baited hook such as a Mack’s Lure Glo Hook size 6 tipped with bait. The same basic lures that produce fish for anglers ice fishing for other species will catch rainbow trout as well. When targeting rainbow trout I highly recommend fishing with worms. They also often want a larger meal, which the spoon represents. While the majority of fish species move deeper as it gets colder, rainbow trout do the opposite. It is not uncommon to catch rainbow trout in shallow water just a couple feet below the ice. It has been around a very long time and continues to be a productive lure to this day. The Trout will cruise just off the bottom of these shallow areas searching for the most nutrient rich fertile ranges such as weedy bays and shoals. Some of the first ice fishing opportunities for anglers across the ice belt are often for shallow water trout. Excellent options for bait when targeting Rainbows are Pink Maggots, Meal Worms, Dew Worms and Corn. Moving to deeper offshore ledges and fishing the mid-depths with spoons and plugs is usually more productive. With its relatively shallow depth and prolific insect populations, Antero Reservoir grows monster Rainbow, Cutbow, Cutthroat, Brown Trout and Splake, with a 15” average size and numerous fish over 20”. Live bait can also be used in conjunction with artificial lures. Rainbow trout are among the most active types of trout, and they like to stick around weedy coves. It has an eyelet in the middle and a fin on the rear which results in an erratic circular swimming motion when jig. Every day fishing is different and experience is a great teacher. BROKE MY PB!!! It holds up better in the cold conditions. The best live baits for anglers ice fishing for rainbow trout are mealworms, wax worms, spikes, and small live minnows. Sometimes they will come out of nowhere and hammer an aggressive jigged spoon or sometimes they will desire smaller bait with no movement. “With no pike, muskies, bass or walleye around, the trout can behave aggressively,” he says. On cloudy days, the fish may stay shallow all day. These expansive areas with muddy bottom and weed beds will have the most forage in the winter time. Showcasing Fisheries from BC and the Pacific Northwest, SHOWCASING FISHERIES FROMBC AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. The water clarity in the winter months is very clear due to the lack of algae blooms in the lake so the trout will notice a well-presented spoon from far distances away. When it comes to effective ice-fishing presentations, most anglers overlook the fact that rainbows—and brook trout—are the top predators in these smaller backcountry lakes. Tiny jigs, small spoons, and very small plugs are the top artificial lures. They are a beautiful fish that has it all. Ice Fishing For Northern Pike, Walleye and Big Panfish in Wisconsin. Before an angler gives up on a spot, the spoon should be bounced off the bottom several times sharply, then raised a foot or so above. As outlined above, starting in 3 feet of water to 5 feet of water early in the day than slowly moving deeper is a good approach. Rainbow Trout are either super aggressive or very picky on what they choose to eat. Rainbow trout will cruise these edges in search of food. Live baits can be presented on a small hook. A big trout will hit and run long before you have a chance to get to your rod. Once the winter arrives and the ice begins to form trout will start to move into the shallower waters. A small spoon tipped with a tiny minnow is an extremely effective combination as well. The best is if you can look down your ice hole and see half the hole is weeds and half is not; then you know you are in a prime area! As winter progresses, though, usually in February, a midseason lull begins. They come in to forage on minnows, small crayfish, aquatic worms, mayfly nymphs that burrow in the sand, and other invertebrates. This allows them to move about as little as possible without making the noise required to drill new holes. Fish can be found as shallow as 3 or 4 feet. Rainbows will relate to shallow water in the winter months, sometimes as shallow as 3 feet under the ice. However, this does not mean that an angler ice fishing for rainbow trout should set in one spot all day. Set up a lead shot about 16 to 18 inches above your bait. The drag on the reel should be set light. Anglers can add a small split shot 18 inches above the jig if needed. While moving around a lot is often the key to success when ice fishing, this is not so much the case when pursuing rainbow trout. Selecting the best ice fishing lures for trout isn't hard. Oakley has become a hidden gem for big trout through the ice. A good approach for anglers ice fishing for rainbow trout is to start fishing shallow water early and then work deeper as the sun gets higher in the sky. As mentioned earlier, ice fishing for rainbows is a bit different than other species. There is no substitute for time out on the water! Anglers can read this article on, Ice Fishing for Lake Trout, Proven Strategies. Disturbing the bottom will at times kick up forage and attract rainbow trout to the lure. Shallow mud flats and weed beds are best fished early and late in the day. There aren’t many lures on the market that fool trout as well as Leland … Several manufacturers offer line specifically designed for anglers fishing under the ice. In this deeper water the Rainbows tend to cruise in the mid water column to prey upon small minnows or insects. Therefore, that is where the rainbow trout will look for them as well. While conventional fly fishing tackle cannot be used, weighted flies and nymphs can be used to fool rainbow trout. As cold-water fish, trout thrive under the ice and often prefer to feed in shallow water in winter-just the opposite of their summer preferences. The fact that they will often be found very shallow requires a change in tactics. 1/80 ounce to ⅛ jig tipped with maggots, worms, mayfly, or nymphs works great. When the water in a lake is less than five feet deep, rainbow trout tend to hang out near the lake bottom. Generally speaking, the best spots to find rainbow trout under the ice are large shallow flats and shoals. These are the areas where rainbow trout will find food in the winter. Using jigs tipped with some sort of bait that mimics a dying or injured baitfish can be very effective when the bite is on. Like most game fish, rainbow trout are most active early and late in the day and even at night.
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