Now that the winter has officially settled on us like a lazy dog lying on his bed next to the fireplace, ice fishing is really starting to heat up. One of the most popular fish to target when fishing through the ice are trout, and in this article I will outline a few tips that will help you catch more fish when ice fishing for trout. Add one (or all) of these simple ice fishing tips to your ice fishing repertoire and you will begin experiencing more ice fishing success.
When discussing ice fishing, I think it's important to reiterate safe ice thicknesses. I realize this info is "old hat" to experienced ice fihermen, but it's nonetheless worth mentioning for anyone who might be new to the idea of fishing on a frozen body of water. In almost all cases four inches of ice is considered safe for walking and fishing through the ice. I personally like to see six inches of ice, but this isn't necessary.
The following tips are being listed in no particular order. Use the ones that feel right to you, discard the rest, but all of the following ice fishing tips are effective.
- Be On The Ice When The Trout Are Most Active: So how the heck do you know when the trout are the most active? Simple, by paying attention to the weather and moon and planning your fishing trips accordingly. The weather and moon have an amazing affect on the feeding behavior of trout and using this information to your advantage can be a big help when ice fishing for trout. Not only this, but when fishing through the ice the warmer parts of the day are generally more productive than the colder parts of the day.
- Small Jigs Tipped With Bait Are Effective: Small jigs, either traditional twister tails or marabou, tipped with meal worms or maggots can be very effective when trout fishing through the ice. A key is to not provide much jigging action to your jig. As a matter of fact jigging you rod every few minutes should suffice. Trout are extremely sluggish under the ice and a lot of movement can "spook" them.
- Powerbait Is Effective: I realize that this may sound strange, but if the body of water you are fishing on contains "stocked" trout, Powerbait can be very effective when ice fishing. A great technique when ice fishing for stocked trout is to us a set of gang-hooks with a small ball of Powerbait covering each hook on a set of gang-hooks. This ice fishing rig can be fished on a rod or a tip up.
- Small Spoons Are Effective: Small spoons such as "Little Cleo's" can be quite effective when fishing through the ice for trout. Just as with jigs, any jigging action should be minimal in many cases. Small spoons can also be tipped with maggots or meal worms for more trout attracting power.
The bottom line is that when fishing for trout through the ice these tips have helped me over the past two decades and I know they will do the same for you. Now get out there and begin starring through a hole in the ice!