After the last few weeks of targeting walleyes, in preparation for this weekend's tournament, I was ready for something else. Walleyes are fun and all, but trout are better fighters.
I hadn't yet gone after trout since the ice came off, so I had a few extra hours in the morning last week to go out and try for them at Pactola. I'd heard of a good bite on the north side of the lake, so I figured I'd try the Veteran's Point area there first, then head to south side a bit later.
When shorefishing, it's always important to have a plan in advance to try different areas and have a time frame of when it's time to move if the fish aren't biting. Mobility is also key for shore fishing to cover more ground. You don't want to be hauling six different fishing rods and multiple tackle bags along the shoreline. A couple of poles and a good tackle backpack will always help to keep you moving.
Fishing on the north side did yield fish, but it was mostly "stockers", or fish that had been recently stocked and hadn't moved too far from where they'd been put into the lake. Crossing the bridge there and looking down told me as much, as there were dozens of 10"-12" rainbows swimming around it.
I moved further down away from them in hopes of finding some bigger ones, but only caught those same sized fish not in the main grouping. With that in mind, I packed up and drove to the south side of the lake to see if it would some better-quality fish.
While there weren't numbers on the south side, the quality improved! On the first cast after putting on a 1/4 oz. Northland Fishing Tackle Buckshot Rattle Spoon in golden shiner pattern, the lure was slammed by a very nice rainbow, which gave me a fun fight on 3# test line.
With no net to grab the fish, I had to wear it down a bit before I grabbed it at shore. It was a very nice quality rainbow for Pactola, measuring in at just over 20". After some photos and a little encouragement, the trout was released to be caught another day.
A few more trout followed, but they were a bit smaller after that. I packed up after a while and headed back to town, satisfied after catching some better 'bows, thanks to a little forward planning and staying light and mobile. Here's hoping that some of that luck from trout fishing wears off for some big walleyes this weekend!