Saturday, March 7, 2015

Little George for Round Valley Reservoir Lake Trout

Ice a foot thick, Round Valley Reservoir crowded with ice fishermen and tourists alike, I placed tip-ups over 60 feet of water, and then cut additional holes away from the set to jig. Instead of the popular Kastmaster (although other lures are used), I tried an old invention of Tom Mann, Bassmaster Classic winner from the 1970's. I used to read about him in Bassmaster magazine and heard him speak at Montclair State College in 1979.

"I'm not your college educated bassman," he began. He cracked a smile to signal the irony.

The Little George weighs an ounce, has a Colorado blade for a tailspinner that sends out good vibrations and is a rounded inch long. It reminds me of the dozen barred sunfish an inch long that fell out of the stomach of  Mike's laker, caught just before ice-over. Jigs great. But I got no hits I know of. Sometimes fish hit and you never feel a tap, cameras testify, but of course I doubt anything happened.

Heard of a number of lakers jigged on a hump that rises to 85 feet from deeper and heard of a couple others, one of them nice sized.

At the end, I felt dismayed at the area I fished, although very nearby guys had two flags. With so much line threaded off the tip-up spools, I counted 12 turns back onto the spools before I set, thinking this enough to keep the shiner off bottom. For two tip-ups, no. Shiners came up with a little mud slime on scales. Could have been from a thin layer on rocks, but the thought of soft bottom really turned me off. So did the shiners' ineffectiveness for the rigs' not having been raised enough.

Right when I had got on the ice hauling my gear, I was informed of two flags right there at the primitive launch. Were they rainbows or browns? Mike told me about a brace of five-pound pickerel caught in the same spot, 2010.