Derek, Tim, and I spent the day Friday scouting out the harbor and found that the fish were scattered all over! We managed 4 Rainbow Trout and 1 Brown Trout in 3 hours on the ice! We all figured that the derby would be phenomenal after the day we had with only 9 lines!
Derek and I arrived at the harbor at 5:30 to begin drilling the holes for the day, hoping that doing all the drilling before the sun came up wouldn't spook the Trout as much as if everyone drilled their own holes upon arrival. Our plan didn't appear to work, as the first couple hours of daylight were slow for everyone.
At around 9:30, Brett's flag popped up on his tip up rigged with a Medium Shiner. Everyone, including myself, figured he had a Pike on, since we had already caught a couple small Pike on Shiners this winter in the harbor. After a 10 minute battle with long runs, the fish finally came up through the hole. Brett had himself a beautiful buck Steelhead!
This was the only action of the morning and proved to be the only Trout caught in the derby! Even though the fishing wasn't spectacular, everyone still enjoyed themselves on the ice, playing football, drinking beer, and eating Venison.
A few things I have learned from the derby:
1. Trout are extremely spooky, we would've been better off drilling half the holes and probably would've had more action.
2. Trout fishing is best when the barometric pressure is falling or already low.
3. Trout change what they want to bite on a daily basis, so be prepared to try a little of everything on any given day.
4. You don't have to catch lots of fish to have an enjoyable day on the ice with friends.