This past weekend a few friends and I headed up to Crawfords Camp in Sioux Narrows on Whitefish Bay to try and get in on some lakers. It was a last minute decision consisting of my buddy Chris calling me Thursday saying, “Hey the weather is supposed to be nice this weekend, want to go trout fishing?” I was all in and before you know it we were settled in to camp Friday night.
We met up with Matt Rydberg Saturday Morning, he gave us some spots and areas to try and we were off. Twenty minutes later we were set up on a point with a steep shelf, and Chris is hooked up! After a short battle, the first trout was iced and we were all smiles.
The main areas that we were targeting were points and ledges that had access to deep water, trying to stay in 40-75 FOW. The trout were typically running in 20-40 feet with the occasional screamer that would come shooting up off the bottom.
It’s tough to beat the rush of a lake trout chasing you as fast as you can raise it and hammering the bait 5 feet below the ice. There is something about it that you just don’t see while chasing any other species.
It didn’t take long for all of us to get on the board after that! Bait of choice was definitely white and smelt colored Trigger X Minnows on a 1/4 oz. white VMC Swimbait Jig, with white tubes being a close second. One of the other key factors was to not get hung up on a spot for too long. if we didn’t mark any trout or bait within 20-30 minutes we would keep moving to a new spot. Once we did land in an area that we were seeing a few fish, we would drill a bunch of holes and hop around every 10-15 minutes. Being able to hop around in an area that we knew had trout definitely put more fish above ice for us.
Like many trout anglers know, not letting the bait stop moving was key for getting them to bite. As soon as a mark showed up, it’s a game of keep away to try and get them fired up enough to bite it. If you run out of room, just letting it free fall 30-40 feet would have them chasing it again, with some of them hitting it on the way down.
It’s definitely an action packed way to spend your weekend, not to mention the wildlife and the scenery is a sight to see on their own. Within the first hour of being there we had already seen a few otters as well as a wolf running across the bay!
By the end of the weekend we had iced a pile of trout and I even scored my personal best while ice fishing. The guys at Crawfords Camp were definitely to thank as I had never fished Whitefish Bay in the winter and they pointed us in the right direction. It was a great weekend with friends and awesome weather to boot!