With the return of colder weather and some safer ice, it was time to look past the smallest ponds in the area and to slightly larger ones over the last 10 days. Some larger bodies of water were starting to ice up, but they needed some more time. With that in mind, the next place I normally head to after hitting up the little guys to start the season is Roubaix Lake. It normally has some nice-sized rainb
ows in it when compared to the ponds, so it makes a good transition place to get some drag pulled from my Piscifun reels each season. And I arranged for some friends to come with as well since ice fishing is always more fun with some friends around. With my buddy Beau in tow, we met up with my friend Aaron and his daughter Chloe who drove down from Spearfish to give the lake a shot.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that in a week, the lake had put on over 2" more inches of ice since I had checked it out and was safe to walk on. After some hole cutting with my K-drill setup, I put out some Arctic Warriors tipped with Clam Blade jigs and minnows to cover some more water and set out with my Vexilar 28 to jig up some fish. Well surprisingly the lake is on another cycle of being loaded with small perch again, much like it was a few years ago. Anything tipped with waxies was harassed almost constantly by them. But using the CPT Jointed Pinhead Mino in an exclusive wonder bread color did catch me a few rainbows as I tried to keep the smaller bait stealing perch away from it. Chloe also managed to catch several perch and rainbows as well, sometimes stealing Aaron's Vex. We managed a double at one point, making for a nice picture! Beau and I both started using Clam's Swirl Drop jig tipped with a Maki plastic and I noticed it was not enticing the perch as much which made it easier to fish for the bigger trout we were after. Beau wound up catching the best trout of the morning on it and was happy to tackle something that pulled some drag out after fishing for smaller fish on the ponds with me. Watching his Clam 24" Legacy noodle rod being worked hard by a fish is always fun to watch as well to see the reward of a good fish.
With other lakes locking up and putting on more inches, it will not be long before others will be getting walked on if they are not already. Safety is still key before heading out onto any new lakes right now. It is best to keep bringing out the spud bar, ice picks, safety rope, and float suits if you got one. The recent warm up has passed and now more even more places will soon be ready to try to walk on. But continue to exercise extreme caution and do not go out by yourself. Having a buddy along is always best right now. And having some company always makes for a more interesting outing anyways. Always fun to brag about who has the biggest and smallest fish right!