Targeting Winter Trout

When targeting late winter trout there are many things to consider. First, it’s important to recognize just how fickle these fish can truly be. Trout by nature have a very finicky attitude making them a tough fish to catch. During the winter months, trout congregate in harbors and rivers along Wisconsin presenting a great opportunity to target lake run trout. During the summer months, these fish thrive in the deep cool water of the great lakes.  once the water temperatures drop trout start to make there move into shallower water making there way into harbors and rivers. The fisherman from all over the world enjoys the pursuit of hooking these fish during the winter. Although it’s not as easy as it sounds. Trout can be extremely cautious creatures and present a challenge to ice anglers. Understanding trout behaviors are critical to your success on the water. When fishing for trout it’s important to downsize your presentation to increase your odds of getting bit. Trout have great eyesight and sense of smell allowing them to analyze a bait before eating it. If you are using a rig too heavy the trout will not be interested and shy away from your presentation. Having the proper rig is key to your success, I like to use six-pound fluorocarbon when targeting these fish.  Six-pound fluorocarbon allows the line to be virtually invisible underwater. This allows for the trout to not shy away from the rig and be more tempted to strike your bait. When it comes to the fishing rod, I prefer to use a long thirty-six-inch soft tip to absorb the large head shakes from these fish. Its also important to use a high capacity real that is equipped to holding around three hundred yards of line.  If you get lucky enough to hook one of these fish you will experience the long runs these fish are capable of making. The baits of choice for me generally are small golden shiners, shrimp, spawn sacks and jigs. When fishing for trout you want to be anywhere from a foot to three feet off the bottom. Last but not least its important to remember proper fish handling skills. When handling a trout you want to keep your hands out of there soft gills that can tear easily. Trout are fragile fish once out of the water, you want to keep the fish in the water as much as possible unless you are planning to eat it.

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