Hot Trout Bite, Blackhills
Recently, we had some friends in town from across the state and I offered to take them out for some ice fishing trips since they had been getting into it this winter. The first morning trip to Deerfield proved a dud for both, but Chad still wanted to go out the next morning, so I picked Sylvan as the place where I felt he could get some fish.
While most of the trout there are on small side, there were some nicer ones there and I hoped he'd tangle with one or several. It was a slushy mess on top on of the ice since a winter happened not long before they'd arrived in town, with 8" of snow on top of another 8" or so of slush beneath it.
It was a bit of a slog to get to our spot, but the lake isn't very big and we'd packed light for the morning. The wind certainly didn't make it any easier as we had to put up with hard gusts for a majority of the morning.
After drilling several holes with my K-Drill setup in an area that the fish typically run along on most mornings, in 7'-8' of water, it wasn't very long at all before fish were coming up through the holes.
Using a combination of a Clam Pro Tackle Drop Kick Jig and a Maki Craigi plastic, the Trout couldn't resist my offering. Chad was using a pink Jamei or red maggots and was also bringing up several trout. It was a fun morning with a very hot trout bite, as over a span of 3 hours, we pulled up at least 60 fish, most in the 12"-13" range, but we did catch several that were 15" or better, which is good for this lake.
Plus, any trout will fight hard no matter the size and using ultralight rods, line, and lures is the best way to go after them. The fish seemed to respond best when the lure was given a hard jig cadence followed by raising it about a foot. Many times, as the jig fell, the fish would appear from above it and rocket down to grab it! I was glad to have given Chad a chance to catch some more fish while they were here and hope that they'll come back next winter and go out again. With the gear that he and Kelly have purchased this year, I don't see that being a problem.
It's always a good time to have friends out on the ice with you, and when the fishing is good, it's just icing on the cake. The hardwater season is beginning to wind down in most places. We've got a few weeks left in the Hills if it doesn't stay too warm over a span of many days. Enjoy it while it lasts!