Hello all I have been living up here in Alaska for the past 3 years, and have finally started to ice fish again. Growing up in Minnesota I have ice fished all my life, and have just a few basic questions in regards to Rainbows here in Alaska. I fished all weekend long at three different lakes in the valley, and caught well over 100 rainbows. All these fish ranged from 8-12inches in length, and 1 of them was 15inches. What I am looking for is some advice in targeting the bigger rainbows. With a freezer stocked of the summers catch ice fishing is more for the experience than rather filling the freezer. I fished the sunrise, sunset, shallow depths 1-2 feet off bottom, deep depths 1-2feet off bottom & tried multiple depths in deeper water. These areas all produced the same size fish. Are the rainbows that are majority caught ranging from this size 8-15inches? Rainbow's are sort of a mystery to me since the only fishing I did for them back in Minnesota was on Long Lake during the summer months. We would fish deep water with slip bobbers, and adjust our depth until we got the correct depth. Given my knowledge of rainbows back in Minnesota the fish preferred colder waters, and swam in somewhat of a timed circle around the lake. I would have to assume the same would be for the rainbows here in Alaska? Correct? Then with that information the rainbows would move to shallower water during the winter months as food resources would be closer to the shore line. Do the bigger rainbows prey on the smaller sized fish? Would you recommend depths between 5-15ft with a few feet off the bottom, or try fishing deeper water suspended in between the bottom of ice & lake floor?
Just looking for some advice in narrowing down my fishing time, and avoiding the smaller fish.