While much of my winter up to this point has been spent chasing panfish, with trout season now open, I can access some great bodies of water. The temperature today was never suppose to get above 0 so I knew that I needed a location that I could sit in one hole and catch fish. With the cold in the air, I was glad to have spent the night at work making it so that I didn’t feel like I had to be on the ice early! I decided to fish for smelt in deep water.
The bite was decent but I was having trouble with consistency due to brown trout and perch. In the past, I have fished there with tip ups and never had much for luck. Today seemed different though. I used my camera and found that the water was pretty murky and light disappeared about 12 feet down. I didn’t catch anything below that point all day. The majority of the smelt I caught were within 2 feet of the ice and were very willing to bite. Throughout the course of the day every 15-20 minutes I would have bigger fish come through and chase the smelt out. Mostly it was perch but the browns were cruising right under the ice.
I hooked up with 5 of the dozen browns I saw but didn’t land any because of my light line. The perch on the other hand were plentiful and chunky due to the smelt. Picking at the smelt was only possibly with a super small hook today. I used a size 18 jig for the better part of my trip.