Brook Trout on Ice
Just because it’s winter you don’t need to put all your fishing tackle away, and lay around waiting for the spring to come. Ice-fishing is becoming an increasingly popular way to spend the winter months. With very little cash outlay, compared to open water fishing, you can be up and running an out catching the prized Brook trout. Now let’s not say that you can’t spend a ton of money outfitting yourself. I mean a new snowmobile could set you back $10,000. But really there is no need for this for you to enjoy the great outdoors ice-fishing.
Clothing is a big issue when fishing on frozen water. I would suggest that you layer your clothing, so as the day warms up or you warm up from drilling holes in the ice you can remove some layers of clothing. The worst thing to happen would be for you to get all sweaty, because this will cause you to get cold. And getting cold is a very unpleasant experience, and completely preventable if you layer your clothes. Make sure that you wear woolen socks inside your winter boots. Because standing on the ice can cause your feet to get extremely cold. When I was younger we used to wear snowmobile suits, but now one shouldn’t venture out onto the ice without a flotation suit. You’ve probably seen these on people, they are usually bright orange. And if you do fall through the ice they will keep you floating until you can be rescued.
Now to equip your ice-fishing adventure you can consider many different options. Some people use homemade tip ups, while others use commercially made tip ups. Other people use small rods made especially for ice-fishing, combined with a spinning or bait casting reel. You’ll also need a way of getting a hole through the ice so you can lower your bait or jig down to the fish. The two main options are augers or spuds. I’ve even seen people use chainsaws but to me it seemed a bit risky. The augers come in two models, manual and powered with a small engine. If you’re only going to be making one or two holes the manual auger works just fine. But there’s nothing like a power auger to drill many holes fast and easy.
Now why you’re on the ice fishing for Brook trout it’s always nice to be out of the wind. You have a choice of many different styles of windbreaks. The simplest being, fishing in protective pockets where the wind can’t get to you like on the lee side on an island. I’ve seen people put in poles into the ice and wrap them with plastic and then just stand behind the plastic. Some people bring along portable, collapsible fishing huts. So on windy, snowy days you simply go inside and shut the door. This serves two purposes. First it keeps you out of the wind, and secondly it allows you to see it deep down into the water.
Now when fishing for Brook trout I usually use either minnows, jigs, or spoons. Also a combination of jigs, spoons tipped with minnows. Many of the power baits work quite well also. Lots of times I will use a tip up in one hole, and jig in another hole, as around here you are allowed to have two lines while fishing for Brook trout.
This is just a short overview of ice-fishing for Brook trout. So if you’re tired of laying on the couch watching TV, I would suggest spending a few days during the winter in the great outdoors, ice-fishing.