Early Ice Trout
After the sheer numbers of fish caught the previous week at Sylvan, I was wanting to go after some bigger specimens and heard that Roubaix Lake had at least 3" on it and the little body of water has provided some line pulling fish in the past.
So, Matt and I planned a morning trip out as I once again only had a couple of hours to fish with work coming later that day, but I wanted to get out while I could. Once arriving on site, safety was the priority again as I used my spud bar to prod along the ice to the area we wanted to go to. Both of us were also wearing our neck picks and Ice Armor Ascent suits. Plus, I had my safety rope handy should it be needed. You can't take any chances on first ice.
It was a very enjoyable couple of hours on the lake. We both reeled up several nice trout in the 15"-16" range, but what we were impressed more was their girth. These fish were eating very well!
We only hoped that the lake will keep these bigger ones in it so that in another couple of years or so, we could be looking at some extremely large sized fish.
Using combinations of Clam Pro Tackle Drop Kick jigs paired with Maki Jamei XLs and Craigis or Northland Tackle Mitee Mouse jigs tipped with Impulse Water Flea plastics, I fish responded to aggressive cadence motions and if they came in and left without hitting the lures, slowing down the jigging action to make the tails of the plastics quiver and kick a little brought them back. In just over two hours, we iced nearly 30 fish and had a great time before work called me back.
As many other areas across the Ice Belt are locking up now, be sure to bring all the safety gear and ensure that you have taken every precaution so you don't find yourself in a bad spot should the worst happen.
Bring your buddy, bring your picks and spud bars, and if you have a float suit, wear it!
If not, wear a life jacket at least. You can't predict what the ice might do early season. And no fish is worth falling through for, especially if you don't have the proper gear.