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Catching Rainbows through the Ice

 

There are as many ways to catch rainbows, as there are ideas from people who think them up. There are traditional baits, which do well and there are some real oddball techniques. Here are a few techniques that I’ve had a lot of luck with over the years.

The Set Line – The set line is a perfectly motionless, quiet presentation that puts bait, be it trout worms (my favorite) to maggots, mealworms or powerbait in front of the trout. Its advantage is the quiet factor. Setlines should be placed a distance away from where you are actively fishing. Locate your setline around the deeper edges of weed beds or along points. Fish will frequent both locations and sooner or later it will produce. Trout will have all the opportunity in the world to swim by, circle, inspect and inhale your bait.

Use your regular summer trout fishing rod and reel for the setline application and prop the rod up so the tip rests a foot or so above the ice-fishing hole. You can even add a bell to signal a strike. The drag on the reel should be set light. A big trout will hit and run long before you have a chance to get to your rod. If the drags set right, it will pull line until you get there. If it’s set too heavy, the line will snap. If it’s set too heavy and it’s a short trout rod, the rod and reel will be pulled quickly and heartbreakingly down the hole.

The Jigging Rod – The jigging rod is another effective tool at catching trout. I like using the shorter ice fishing rods as jigging rods, simply because I’m closer to the ice fishing hole. Any number of hooks can be jigged, but here are my tops.

My number one jigging presentation now has got to be the bead head nymph and strike indicator set up. I fish it much like a slip bobber and suspend the tiny bead headed fly a foot to two off the bottom. I like to fish over or near weeds with this presentation and I make a conscious effort to move everything slowly.

Slow is how bugs under the water usually move in winter so slow is how I present my fly. I will slowly pull the fly up a couple inches, then let it sink back down allowing it to rest under the strike indicator. I strike at anything. The indicator starts to sink, I strike, the indicator does a funny hesitation, I strike. I think the indicator is doing something, I strike. Most times they will be trout and you’ll be surprised at how big a trout will take that tiny fly.

My other preferred jigging presentation is a small lead headed jig slowly jigged. It can have a plastic curly tail or have marabou or other hair styles tails. They all catch fish. While I like flies over weeds, I like jigs over mud, sand or rock. I let the jig go right to the bottom and stir up a little debris. Trout are tacticians at sucking things off bottom, so don’t worry if the jig is on the bottom when a trout comes by. They can and will nose down and pick it up. If you want to combine the effectiveness of bait with the versatility of a jig, substitute a piece of dew worm for the curly tail. Now you have a presentation that looks, smells and tastes like the real McCoy.

Fishing for trout in the winter is all about slowing things down. Do that and you’ll catch fish.


Previous Fishing Tips & Facts

(1) Texas Travel Tips

(2) Quick Tips for Triggering Strikes

(3) Be the Last Man Standing

(4) Water Temperature & Trout

(5) Visiting Reindeer Lake

(6) Stillwater Stratagems

(7) Those Crazy Cohos!

(8) Leaders & Tippets

(9) Big Water Strategies

(10) Small Stream Stealth

(11) DO I GET UP EARLY?

(12) ACCESSIBLE PLACES TO FISH

(13) Travelling Angler Tips

(14) Choosing The Right Fly

(15) They come out at Night - Our Friends that is

(16) Fishing at Night

(17) Having Troubles Catching fish?

(18) Having Troubles Finding Fish?

(19) Stay Skinny To Catch Fish

(20) Tips For Fishing With Kids

(21) The Wonderful Woolly Bugger

(22) Wading Safely

(23) Double Your Fun

(24) More About The Red River

(25) Rookie Rod Buying Tips

(26) Hook Sharpening

(27) Going Light

(28) Hopper - Dropper Rigs

(29) Tips For Buying A Pontoon Boat

(30) Fishing Tips and Facts for Sturgeon

(31) Three Flies to Live by

(32) Reading Rise Forms

(33) Tips and Facts for Early Season Success

(34) A Fly for All Seasons

(35) Ice Shelters – Seeing is Believing

(36) Effective approaches to working small streams

(37) Unburdening the Travelling Angler

(38) 5 Flies for Anyones Fly Box

(39) Road Trips

(40) Dry Flies for High & Dirty Water

(41) Tips For Dealing With Biting Bass

(42) Summertime and the Fishin’ Ain’t Easy

(43) Depth and Light

(44) Rigging Large Dry Flies

(45) Best Rod for Spring Angling

(46) Stream Etiquette for Floaters

(47) Tackling Whites Through the Ice

(48) Angling Tips for Finding Books

(49) Winter Smart Open Water Angling

(50) Fall Primer for Pike

(51) Packing Tips

(52) Tips and Tackle for the High Country

(53) Hunt them Shallow

(54) Polarized Sunglasses
The smart anglers’ advantage.

(55) Fishing Tips for Early Season Flyrodding

(56) Know Your Knots

(57) Alternative Thoughts about Ice Fishing

(58) Tips for Mexican Bonefishing

(59) Techniques for Tantalizing Grayling

(60) Understanding Fly Leaders & Tippets

(61) Catfish on the Fly

(62) Get Your Backswimmer On

(63) Reading the Sonar

(64) Insect Identification Made Easy

(65) The Sinker and Floating Plug

(66) GADGETS & GIZMOS for "OLD GUYS"

(67) Fishing Drop Offs

(68) Stay On Fish

(69) Landing The Big One

(70) Fighting Fish on a Fly Rod

(71) North Saskatchewan River - Be River Aware

(72) Backswimmer Pothole Trout Frenzy

(73) Hunt for Suspended Fish

(74) Reading Your Waters Before You Cast

(75) Setting Up Your Bait Casting Reel

(76) Fishing Journals

(77) First Casts of the Season are at a River Near You

(78) The Crazy Whitefish Days of Last Ice

(79) The Bait of Choice

(80) Shallow Water Jumbo Perch

(81) Getting Started on the Ice

(82) Plan an Ice Fishing Getaway

(83) Brookie Season

(84) River Fishing is Heating Up

(85) Become a Better Angler

(86) The Forgotten Pike

(87) Get Out Your Plugs and Spoons

(88) Slip Bobber is King in Spring

(89) See You at the Show

(90) Red Hot Whitefish

(91) Staging Walleye

(92) The Lure of Lake Whitefish

(93) Great Rainbow Fishing At First Ice

(94) A Simple Approach to Ice Fishing

(95) Big Pike Combo Approaches

(96) Gearing up for Fall Whitefish

(97) River of Gold

(98) Bottom Bounce Your Way to Success

(99) Small Stream Fun

(100) Consider the Spawn and Water Temperature
for Early Season Fish

(101) I Believe - The Glow in Glow Jigs

(102) Tricks to Improve Your Ice Fishing

(103) Trout Fishing is Red Hot

(104) Dealing With Fishing Pressure

(105) All I Want For Christmas

(106) Staying Warm on the Ice

(107) Hunting Big Browns in Lakes

(108) Where Did All Those Walleye Go?

(109) Keep an Eye on the Weather, Fury of a Storm

(110) Great and Affordable Fishing on the West Coast

(111) Lake Whites in the Summer? You Bet

(112) Prime Time for Lakers

(113) A Slip Bobber is so Much More

(114) Ice Fishing for Pike and Walleye

(115) Catching a Big Pike

(116) Purchasing a Rod

(117) Catching Rainbows through the Ice

(118) Gearing up for the Snow and Ice

(119) Gearing Up For Pike

(120) Getting the Most out of Your Fly Fishing Set Up

(121) The Bottom’s Up in Fishing

(122) Fish Where They’re Biting

(123) Three Standard Walleye Presentations

(124) Two Early Season Presentations for Pothole Trout

(125) Tackle Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

(126) Keeping Your Head Above Water

(127) HEALTHY BAIT CATCHES FISH!

(128) Beginner Baitcasting Tips