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.
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??