There's Tigers in The Hills!
I made a list of all the different species of fish in South Dakota about 10 years ago, and I have been slowly checking my way down the list. I decided to go after 1 of the remaining 3 this week, the Tiger Trout!
There's a small lake nestled in the Black Hills by Mount Rushmore called Center Lake that holds some Tiger Trout. That is about the extent of my knowledge of Tiger Trout. So, I hit up my buddy Craig Oyler for some information, and of course, he could get me on the right path to a very successful day, Thanks Buddy!
I struggled to find the proper depth of the fish, but armed with my K-Drill, and hole hopping relatively quickly, I could dial in some fish in 13 to 17 feet of water. I figured all I had to do was find them, as small trout usually aren't very picky, NOT the case with these fish. I dropped half my tackle box on them unsuccessfully, until finally
arriving at the chartreuse Clam Outdoors Sweet Pea tipped with a small minnow head, this proved to be deadly with a good 2 to 3-foot pull followed by a hard cadence.
Found the depth, found the lure, what else is there right? Keeping these little scrappers on the hook! They twist and turn and head shake relentless, fish after fish after fish, I would have pull off. Until, I switched to my Ice Team Professional Series Dave Genz rod, which allowed me to dig that hook in a bit better than my other pan-fish/trout rods, and still not take away from the fun of fighting the fish. That was the best part of the day, I was just looking to check a fish off the list. The fight they put up turned it into a very enjoyable day, twist like a brown trout, pull like a small lake trout.
One of the coolest looking fish I have ever caught, and to catch it in the Black Hills, just seemed fitting. I will be back with the ultra-lite gear in the Spring to do some open water fishing for these beautiful fish.