Ice Fishing for Trout in Grand Rapids, MN
Trout Fishing by: Tom Neustrom
The winter season continues to move along and there are numerous opportunities to take advantage of. Besides the good ice fishing options there are great snowmobile trails, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. The Grand Rapids area has many options to enjoy the seasons and winter is just one of them.
Winter angling has been tracking its normal opportunities and with the winter trout season opening, it gives anglers another species to pursue. Itasca County has numerous lakes loaded with Rainbow, Brown, Splake, and Lake Trout. A Trout Stamp is required to angle for trout which is added to your current license. Except for Lake Trout, lite tackle is most often your best option. Most trout lakes are gin clear, and trout can be pretty spooky characters and finessing them at times is critical. Four to six pound test monofilament is required and if you intend on using braided line then consider using a 3-4 foot section of fluorocarbon leader rather than straight braid. Small baits are the best option for most species of trout. Small spoons, jigs and a variety of plastics, are needed to chase trout in the winter. Live minnows are not allowed on designated trout lakes, but attaching wax worms or euro larvae are allowed. That additional taste can make a difference. Some of the small jigs to consider fishing winter trout are Northland Tackle’s Mud Bug, Tungsten Mini Smelt, Tungsten Mayfly, and Tungsten Bloodworm. Each of them have that micro appearance that are trout catchers. With the Mud Bug attach a couple wax worms and you’re in business. The Forage Minnow Fry or Forage Spoon are also good options and attach several euro larvae and you set the table.
For Lake Trout a slightly bigger offering may be the answer and spoons are the calling card. Fished in deeper water than Rainbows and Browns, a stiffer rod and eight to ten pound test will be a better choice. With somewhat large jigs like the Buck-A-Roo or Deep V Bucktail can be great options when chasing Lakers. A strip of sucker belly cut into strips can be a great bait when fishing winter Lakers. Depths of 40-80 feet on lakes that contain these bigger fish may require beefier tackle. St. Croix makes several ice rods that can handle lakers.
Some of the good lakes to try in the Grand Rapids and Itasca County area for Lake Trout are Pokegama (Sherry’s Arm), Caribou, Trout, and Bluewater. For Rainbows and Brown Trout there are several lakes that can be good choices. Kramer, Tioga Pit, Erskine, Moonshine just to mention a few. You may have to snowshoe into some of the smaller lakes for they are located in Non-Motorized areas.
Trout fishing is just another example of the multi species opportunities that exist in the Grand Rapids and surrounding areas. Stop by Thousand Lakes Sports and ask Grant, Mark, Sam or Bryce where some of the best options to catch trout and what you will need. They are a great source of information throughout the year.