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Monday, January 30, 2012

Icefishing for Trout, 1-28-2012

I went to Lake Petocka, near Bondurant in central Iowa, on Saturday to ice-fish for stocked Rainbow Trout.  A fresh batch of trout had been stocked last Thursday.

I thought it would be easy to catch 'em, but I was wrong.

There was 8" of good ice on the lake.  I didn't take any live bait.  I planned to spend most of my time fishing near shore over 4'-7' of water, and aggressively jigging lures to draw the trout in.  I started out with a Reef Runner Cicada blade bait.  After missing 5 trout in a row that hit 2-3 times each, I switched to a Salmo Chubby Darter.  The first trout hit the Chubby Darter a couple times, then took a tungsten jig tipped with a Gulp! Alive! Fish Fry.

All the trout I saw came up to hit within 2' of the bottom of the ice.  When in the shallows, I didn't bother using the flasher.  When I ventured out to deeper water, I did use the flasher, but saw very few fish, and none that were willing to strike.  I did get a couple of "looks".

It had been slow all day....long periods between sightings of fish.  I did eventually catch another trout on the Chubby Darter.  This one was a bit larger than the first, and its fins were not clipped, indicating it was probably from a previous stocking back in October.
There were quite a few folks out fishing, but nobody was having much success.  A couple of guys fishing deeper water with minnows apparently caught 3 trout.  The DNR arrived and checked licenses.  A few people left right around then.

The big question...probably around 1500 trout had been stocked 3 days before I fished...SOMEBODY should have spotted decent groups of trout somewhere in the lake.  Nobody did.  Where are all these fish??

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