Until this great weather that most of the Ice Belt is getting right now, about the only safe ice in the Black Hills has been the smaller trout lakes that are scattered about here and most, generally, have small trout in them.
One lake, Roubaix, had reports of better sized rainbows coming out of it most of the summer, but I was unable to find any during my trips there. With a good 6" of solid ice on it, the lake was the place to be on ice at, save for a few other locations.
Brandon and I planned our trip early to try to get there before anyone else did since there were a few places that had been the best spots to find the better trout and avoid the small perch that were also in there.
Well, we didn't leave early enough it seems as when we got there, there were two other groups on the lake, one of which was in the area I wanted to drill on first. But we could still fish near the area while making sure as not to crowd the group and we spread out and popped holes with the K-Drill Auger while Brandon checked on depths. I determined a few holes to try first and we set out jigging. He put out a couple of tip ups just cover a few more holes.
While the action was by no means fast, we did manage to catch a few nice rainbows in between the small ones and even smaller perch. Clam Outdoors Pro Tackle Drop Kicks and Caviar Drops worked the best tipped with Maki plastics and the plastics did help keep more of the perch at bay since they were a bigger profile bait compared to using red maggots.
You couldn't keep the little guys off the hook when maggots were being used. We also observed a few other nice trout being caught by those around us and we helped out with some pictures of the fish since that's what you do on the ice.
The camaraderie on the ice is one of the great things about the sport and since they were releasing the fish back into the water like we were, it was nice to give them due kudos for catching such nice fish.
But now the big lakes in our region have locked solid, thanks to this current cold streak. While others may be wanting to stay at home and in a blanket, all I'm thinking about is when and where I'm hitting the ice next no matter the conditions! This weekend's predicted snowfall and below zero temps should make for some interesting fishing for sure. But that's why we make sure we have good gear to keep us out on the ice. Happy New Year to all and hope 2018 brings on a terrific bite!