Last Ice Rainbows

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The month of April triggers the closing of the ice fishing season. However, throughout the prairie provinces there are still a number of stocked rainbow trout waters that remain open for avid ice anglers can take advantage. (Check your provincial fishing regulations).

Rainbow trout have just endured a long winter in lowlight conditions beneath the ice, and trout in smaller, shallower lakes and trout ponds are also dealing with the stresses of low oxygen levels. However, rainbow trout will still be feeding aggressively at this time of the year.

I like to start fishing in 20 feet of water and gradually work my way shallower if need be. I also keep my presentations small and simple. A small J-hook beneath a couple split shots, baited with a red worm, maggot, small plastic baits or even a piece of cheese is all that is really needed. Send your presentation down until it hits bottom and slowly lift it off the bottom anywhere from six inches to two feet and let it sit. Let the movement of the water gradually move your light bait around until the trout zero in on it.

During the month of April, rainbow trout will often be in schools and once they find your bait, you will know it. It’s not uncommon for the bites to come fast and furious, and it’s also not uncommon to land a limit of trout in less than an hour once you’re on the fish. These are rarely the biggest trout caught during the year, but they keep an angler fishing a little longer while other water bodies are closed.

Try last ice rainbows this April. It may be some of the fastest ice fishing action of the hard water season. But safety first – be sure to check the ice conditions before you venture out.

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