Ohio finally had a week of solid below freezing temperature. Seeing all the great ice fishing reports on all the forums/blogs I visit, I have been itching to do some fishing on the hard water. I’m not one for taking any chances though, and thought I’d give it another week before I try. So today found me back fishing the small spring fed creeks. These creeks usually are fished heavily on a Saturday, but I found myself with only a few people around and at several points I was by myself.
Arriving at the water, I offered my typical 1/64 oz. hair jig tipped with two wax worms. Barely a minute into fishing, a nice strike and a Brook Trout came to the net. About a minute after that, another (yes there was a wardrobe change if you notice the different color sleeves). I was beginning to think today was going to be a record setting day as far as trout numbers. Strangely, after releasing those back to back fish, it went deathly quiet.
Seeing how the area had went from fast action on arrival to absolutely nothing in over an hour, I decided to move to a new stretch. I settled in on an area that was a bit deeper and slower current. I also decided to change the offering to a small white lead head jig with a Berkley Gulp! Minnow. About 10 minutes in and my bobber shot under, and this time I had a much better fish. There is always the hope of a nice Lake Erie Steelhead mixed in with the small trout, and I was sure I had one. The fish put up an incredible fight considering its humble size, and also proved difficult to net. I had been catching so many of the small trout over the last month and a half I decided to bring a smaller landing net. This nearly cost me the fish as I missed it on multiple attempts before successfully getting it landed. The size and freshness of the fish, made it a somewhat easy decision to keep it. I haven’t had smoked Steelhead yet this winter, so it came home with me.