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Trip Conditions:
Locations Fished: Southport Marina in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Date: 12/28/2003
Weather: Cloudy, Overcast, cold
Temperature: 35-45 degrees
Wind Velocity: 20 mph SW
Water Level: low, Clarity: clear
Fish Species Targeted: Brown Trout
Fish Caught: 1 Brown Trout, over a dozen brown trout caught by other anglers
Fishing Trip Quality: Good

Overnight the weather had changed drastically. The front that had moved thru the prior day brought above freezing temperatures. Early this morning there was rain with air temperatures in the upper 30's. Warm rain is one of the worst things that can happen to ice. The day before there was 2 to 3 inches of ice in the marina. This morning there was less than 1 inch left and what was left was melting fast. Several of the boat slips at the end of the pier were now open water.

I arrived at the marina at 7:30. The fishing action was consistent. That morning about a dozen brown trout and one steelhead had already been caught. Most of the fish were caught by anglers using trout spawn below slip bobbers. I saw several fish caught and just as many fish lost during the fight. I lost my first fish hooked, breaking the line as the fish swam under the pier and brushed against one of the pilings. I was using an ice fishing rod with 4 pound test line. A small piece of brown trout skein (7-8 eggs) was placed on a small #10 jig. The bait was lowered to the bottom and raised 6 inches above the bottom. This places the bait immediately in front of a bottom cruising trout. It also allows the bait to sway with the current, making it look like a small cluster of eggs floating along the bottom. I used another rod setup with an ice fishing spoon tipped with a waxworm. This rod was used jigging the spoon from the bottom to mid water. The second hit also came on the same rod. This fish was landed, a brown trout about 6 pounds.