Time to load up the vehicle and head west. I plan on taking a couple days to ice fish the Parkland area of Manitoba. Reports indicate good solid ice on a number of the smaller trout lakes, in some cases 12 inches earlier in the week. While caution is utmost, it is time to get the rust off.
The two most productive lakes right now are located right in the town of Roblin. East and West Goose Lakes have been pleasant surprises the last couple of years with great numbers of 55 to 61 centimetre rainbows and browns plus a reduced perch population. These lakes both received a few Markosky giant rainbows as well and are all tagged to monitor growth rates. What is that you might ask? — Ken Markosky, 73, who has been stocking the lakes in the region for 45 years under his company, Clear Springs Aqua Farms, decided to raise a few bruiser rainbows for some of his customers. Then the Roblin Economic Development Board ordered some of them for angling promotion. A number of these massive fish, weighing in at over three kilograms, were released in East and West Goose last year. You can see for yourself the size of these bruisers in the town’s promotional video 0n Youtube.
Just a little further north of Roblin you find Twin Lakes, the home of some really gorgeous tiger trout. These fish are fat and sassy and action has been good.
I can remember fishing that lake at this time of year a while back with Don “Sticky” Stokotelny from Dauphin. Sticky had brought along a number of one inch orange Berkley tube jigs. It was all we were to need that day as we had nonstop action in three feet of water in amongst the weeds. Shallow weed edges are always a great location and when you set up a portable tent you get to watch the action unfold below you. When you get tired of looking down the hole, rest back in your chair and watch your flasher. I quick blip on the radar will mean time to check out the hole once again. If you keep getting refusals from the fish, keep changing the presentation until you get bit. I like using various plastics that I use for other species, I just make sure to downsize them a bit by cutting off a couple inches to make them in the two to three inch range.
This next two weeks is when the stocked trout action is at its best! One of my favourite trout videos is by Uncut Angling’s Aaron Wiebe, which is on this website. Check it out here:
He is fishing Barbe Lake, which is up near The Pas, Manitoba. Aaron walks you through how to locate edges from hard to soft bottom and set up in a portable correctly to have both your two rods set correctly and your electronics. In this case, Aaron uses an underwater camera to watch both his set line and jigging lure. This allows him to watch the fish react to the baits. At one point he catches a double header of rainbow including one master anger. It is well worth the watch.
That whole region is worth a trip for a variety of different species including lake trout on Clearwater Lake. Evergreen Resort and Carpenter’s Clearwater Lodge offer winter accommodation and are central to many of the ice fishing destinations..
While you are out in the Parkland area, you might want to spend a day walleye fishing as well. Lake of the Prairies has been real good the past week and anglers have been walking out. Dauphin Lake is also a good bet right now. Most anglers like to spread out near the mouths of many of the rivers that enter into the lake including the Valley and the Ochre.