Rainbow Trout Troubles: Why persistence is key in ice fishing

Watch Anna Hamelin catch her first Black Hills rainbow trout, and learn how to catch one yourself!

Anna Catches TroutLAWRENCE COUNTY, S.D. — Not every day goes as planned when you’re ice fishing, and figuring out how to enjoy the challenge is part of the sport. That’s the biggest lesson I learned from my first rainbow trout chase!

Where can I find trout?

At the beginning of the day, Jim Bussell, Pro staffer for Cold Snap Outdoors, decided we’d chase rainbow trout at Roubaix Lake.

“Generally, you’re going to find rainbow trout in higher, deeper bodies of water. They’re very much a cold water fish, and so that’s why you’re going to find them in the Black Hills predominantly,” Bussell says. 

How do I get started?

After arriving, we got started with drilling some holes.

I put in a line of holes and then I’ll go through and I’m going to see if there’s even fish here,” he explains. “So the way that I do that is I use my electronics, in this case, my Vexilar, and I’ve got a rod set up with what’s called a leech flutter spoon. It’s made by Clam Pro Tackle. It’s really bright and kind of flashy. And so I’m going to drop down here and work that pretty aggressive to see if I can draw anything in. If there’s fish here, we’ll work these holes and if there’s nothing here, then we’re just going to keep moving.”

What if the first try doesn’t work?

Well, try again!

We made a big move all the way across the lake, and when you’re ice fishing, if you want to be successful, you have to do that. Year after year, you come up with plan, and if plan doesn’t work and you don’t find fish, you got to move and find them,” says Bussell. 

What if the second try doesn’t work?

Try a third time! I finally caught my first Black Hills rainbow trout after sitting on my third spot for a good 30-45 minutes, and I was so happy when the persistence paid off!

You can watch me reel that trout in above.

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