Catching Trout Through The Ice

Interested in catching Trout through the ice? Well here are a few tips to help you prepare and increase your odds of success. After a few ice fishing trips and following these tips you should be catching Trout on a consistent basis.

Where To Find The Trout

Catching Trout during the Winter is much different than the Summer Season. Once the water has cooled the Trout start feeding in shallow water and will work from the bottom to just under the ice. However from my experience I have found them suspended half way down or just a few inches below the ice.

Before going to the lake look over a map and find the large shallow flats with weeds. These will hold food sources such as minnows, nymphs, and larvae, which your Rainbow Trout will be after. Look for shallows (bays, inlets, coves) of 4-12 feet deep and close to drop-offs/breaks.

Note; rainbow trout spook easily so take caution. I like to drill up to 12 holes before I start working them by fishing the bottom, mid-range, and just under the ice. Your Fish-Finder will help locate the trout, except for those that are traveling 2 – 6 inches below the ice, which is where I have caught most of my Rainbows. See video! In this video we team up with a couple of young fisherman on the ice, Josh & Greg.

Inland Trout Baits To Try

Hooks with spinners are very popular for catching Trout since they are drawn to metallic flash. So try a small hook with a spinner attached and tipped with a wax worm, maggot, or some type of Gulp trout bait. You will also want to try a minnow and if that does not work just the head of a minnow, this works well for Walleyes also. A bait I like is the Rapala Jig (W3 & W5), which also works well for Walleyes, Bass, and Northerns. If a small teardrop with a spinner does not work then try a nymph hook tipped with a waxie.

Rainbow Trout Fishing Tips

A. Find a map of the lake you want to fish and find the shallow bays. Look at Earth-Cam or another type of Cam and see if you can find the weeds and drop-offs.
B. Search the internet for videos and articles on catching the type of trout you’re interested in. Take into account inland versus large body trout fishing.
C. Call the DNR and see if they will give you any tips on where to fish and what is the best fishing technique for catching them.
E. Talk to the fishermen on the ice when you get out there. Some may tell you to drop a line and figure it out, but others (True Fishermen) will help get you started. So don’t give up if rejected by the first couple of wanna-be fishermen, as this is the best and fastest way to learn.
F. Plan on 3 or 4 different baits and presentations such as; Live Minnows, Wigglers, Wax Worms, jigs, tear-drops, ect..