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Using light line (4 pound test or lighter) to catch large trout ice fishing requires special techniques. When the water clarity is very clear we will down size the line diameter to catch trout ice fishing. Using 4 pound test fishing line will catch fish when other heavier fishing line does not get any bites. Unfortunately it is also much harder to land the fish when hooked. A fishing reel with a great drag system is required. The drag is set loose to allow the fish to run when desired.

Step 1: Ice fishing with 4 pound test fishing line requires special techniques. When a fish is hooked the end of the fishing rod is inserted into the ice fishing hole. This prevents the fish from rubbing the fishing line against the side of the hole. Light line breaks easily when rubbed against ice chips and sharp pieces of ice at the side of the hole.

Step 2: The trout will swim past the hole several times while tiring. Keep the end of the rod clear of the sides of the ice fishing hole. The end of the ice fishing gaff is visible at the side of the picture.

Step 3: When the fish is tired gently pull its head toward the ice fishing hole. We used an 8 inch diameter ice fishing hole. The ice thickness was 6 inches that day.

Step 4: The head of the trout is then gaffed and lifted onto the ice. The lower jaw of the fish is the best place to aim the point of the gaff.

Step 5: Two brown trout caught ice fishing with light line.

Great Lakes Salmon, Steelhead, Trout and other species Fishing tips, tactics, articles, techniques, and information