Jason Trout - Whitefish Chain of Lakes
Jason Trout grew up in Wadena, Minnesota and currently resides in Pine River, Minnesota, only 15 minutes from the Whitefish chain of lakes. Jason owns his own machine shop and is a Volunteer Fire Fighter for the Pine River Fire Department; where he has earned certificates in auto extrication, fire fighter 1, and cold water ice rescue. Jason and Mark Rinas, a very close friend, rescued a man that went through the ice in Fort Peck Reservoir, Montana in early 2009. They Both received Recognition from the U.S. Congress for there efforts on the Ice Rescue. Jason has won a number of awards when it comes to Decoy Carving and Spearing Contests. Jason is well known in the spearing community for finding the big pike and matching the decoys to the water he is on.
The Whitefish Chain of Lakes Area is located just north of Brainerd and Baxter, between the quaint communities of Pequot Lakes and Crosslake, in north central Minnesota. The Whitefish Chain of lakes is a 14,000 acre chain located in Northern Crow Wing County in the beautiful Brainerd Lakes Area of Minnesota. Fourteen great lakes make up the Whitefish Chain: Upper Whitefish, Lower Whitefish, Arrowhead, Bertha, Big Trout, Clamshell, Cross, Daggett, Hen, Island, Little Pine, Lower Hay, Pig and Rush. On the Whitefish Chain you will find incredible fishing, scenery, resorts, campgrounds and lake property.
Fish On The White Fish Chain
You may see many species of fish while spearing in Minnesota. You can only spear northern pike, whitefish, and rough fish (suckers, bullheads & dogfish, to name a few). Some of the other species you may see include; perch, largemouth bass, rock bass, walleye, smallmouth bass, sunfish, and the occasional lake trout. It is usually viewed as a great treat to watch the fish come in to a decoy and hang around the hole, the markings, color, and attitude of the fish make it a great thrill to watch these fish until they burst out of the hole when a large pike is coming in.
Practice Of The Sport
While spearing has a bad reputation in some parts of the country, it is a very fun sport and can be a great help to management practices. Most people who spear, practice "Watch and Release", most fish are not speared but rather watched and left alone to swim away. The most popular fish are taken in the range of 1-6lbs, this makes for excellent table fair, and is a great way to manage populations. Not all fish swim away, it is up to the individual to decide what makes sense to them. A few Pike are taken each for the trophy status, these are generally over 20lbs or 40" long. However, the trophy is in the eye of the beholder. The current possession limit for Pike in Minnesota is 2 Northern Pike under 30", and 1 over 30" for a total of 3, or 3 Northern Pike under 30". Some lakes in the state have slot limits or size restrictions, you can refer to the Minnesota DNR web site for current laws and Regulations.
As the ice starts forming on the chain of lakes, the itch starts to build to get on the ice. While most of the time there are no worries on the ice, early ice is dangerous to venture out on too far, especially by yourself. The channels on the chain are very dangerous all winter long as currents of moving water through the channels keep ice from forming for very long if at all. Other things to watch for are pressure ridges, as the ice expands in the cold winter months the ice pushes together and forms pressure ridges; ice around a pressure ridge is very unstable. It is recommended to carry an ice pick all winter long as a safety measure. The picture to the right is a wheeler that went through the ice in Fort Peck Montana.