Tips for Catching Rainbow Trout Through the Ice
Rainbow trout are easily one of the most popular and recognizable fish in North America, and potentially the world. Not only are they beautiful fish, but they taste great, put up a fight, and are fun to catch year-round. This even includes ice fishing, which may fly under the radar for most serious rainbow anglers.
So how do you go about successfully catching rainbow trout through the ice? Here are a few simple tips to help you get started and ensure your next ice fishing trip ends with some trophy photos and smiles!
Find the Best Spots Under the Ice
The first thing you want to do is find the best potential area to be fishing. Some of the best locations to find rainbow trout underneath the ice are places like shallow flats and shoals. Those with muddy bottoms and weed beds will also hold important forage during the winter. Look for depths of five to ten feet depth, although every lake and location will be different. Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit of time looking for the ideal spot to start fishing!
Start Shallow and Then Move Deeper
As we just mentioned, many rainbow trout love to hang out in somewhat shallow water. A serious rainbow trout angler will start in shallow depths early in the day, and then slowly move out to deeper depths as the sun gets higher and time passes throughout the day. Like other fish, rainbow trout are the most active early in the day and will generally stick to shallows but move into deeper water as the day goes on.
Bring Some Bait
While rainbow trout can be caught using a wide variety of different lures and baits, there is something about live bait that seems to work extremely well when paired with ice fishing. You can even use live bait in conjunction with artificial lures for even more effectiveness. Some of the favorites include things like spikes, wax worms, small minnows, and of course, mealworms.
Or you can try our Elite Multi Species Tackle Box and discover new lures.
Don’t Forget the Lures
But while live bait is a favorite and can really help you catch fish, don’t forget all of your other lures at home! Small jigs are incredibly effective this time of year, especially when fished near drop-offs. Spoons are also a staple for rainbow trout, and can even be more effective than jigs as rainbows are more active than other fish species this time of year. They also respond to larger baits that are being more aggressive.
As if ice fishing could not get better when you head out in search of rainbow trout you are in for a real treat. Hopefully, now you have a few simple tips that can help you get a better start on your next ice fishing adventure, and can successfully catch plenty of big rainbow trout!
Learn more ice fishing tips here.