Posts tagged: ice fishing
FISHING — Thinning ice has caused the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to cancel the Take Me Fishing ice fishing event planned for Saturday, (Feb. 23) at Hauser Lake, officials announced Tuesday evening.
Ice conditions can change every day with fluctuating temperatures and changing water levels. Because of that, anglers must be very careful before venturing out on the ice. Ice that is at least 4” thick is safe if it is clear. Anything less or with bubbles embedded in it can be weak and dangerous.Anglers looking for late season ice fishing opportunities could look at Upper Twin and Lower Twin lakes which tend to hold ice longer than most area waters. As of President’s Day there was solid ice on both. However, the channel between the lakes thins out early.Some of the Boundary County lakes may have safe ice.
FISHING — Anglers who thrive on cutting a hole in the ice to drop a line were in a golden moment today.
The ice was a half-foot thick at Silver and Sprague Lakes today as I cruised around; winds were calm and the sunshine was brilliant, making temps in the teens quite pleasant.
One angler at Sprague said he wished the ice was not quite so thick because it was wearing him out augering holes as he tried to find fish.
The fishing wasn't exactly fast and furious at the two lakes I checked on my way out and back from quail hunting. Anglers at Silver Lake had a few perch. I checked four of the six anglers on Sprague Lake at 2:30 p.m. and they had no fish.
“But what the hay,” one angler said. “It's great to be out here.”
WINTER FISHING — Hog Canyon had an average turnout, but the pressure was down somewhat at Fourth of July lake when the fisheries opened for their winter trout season on Saturday.
Fishing was good, but anglers had trouble getting their limits after catching two fast fish over 14 inches.
Problem: Most of the fish are large and you can keep only two fish longer than 14.
Click here for the opening weekend report from Hatch and Williams lakes near Colville.
Following is the Hog Canyon/Fourth of July lakes report from Randall Osborne, Washington Department of Fish Wildlife area fisheries biologist:
Both lakes were ice free for the opener and with the forcast, should stay that way for a while anyway. Both lakes fished relatively well and should be good for quite a while through the season.
Hog Canyon Lake - this lake had a pretty good turnout for the opener. Rainbows averaged 16 inches and ranged from 9 to 20 inches. Average number of fish harvested by anglers that were creeled was 1.9 fish/angler.
Fourth of July Lake - Not the most people I have seen here in past openers, but still a pretty good turnout. Rainbows averaged 17.5 inches and ranged from 15.5 to 21.5 inches. Average number of fish harvested by anglers that were creeled was also 1.9 fish/angler.
When these two lakes are in form, like they are now, they tend to grow trout really, really well. This is the reason for the relatively low harvest rates. Most people harvested their two fish over 14 inches pretty quickly, but struggled a bit finding fish under 14 inches to fill in their limits.
FISHING — A Washington ice fisherman visiting Fourth of July Lake on Thursday reported open water around the edges and water over the ice in the main portion of the lake. He said he packed up and decided it was safer to go ice fishing somewhere else.
This information was reported and added into today's Fishing-Hunting report by correspondent Al Liere, but somehow his original column was published in today's paper without the updates.
FISHING — A free event to introduce people to ice fishing is set for Saturday (Feb. 11) at Cocolalla Lake south of Sandpoint, sponsored by Idaho Fish and Game Department.
Everything about the event is free, including bait and the fishing equipment available to borrow. Free hot dogs and hot chocolate will be served. Volunteers from Fish and Game and Cabela's will be augering the holes in the ice. No fishing license is required during the hours of the event, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Idaho Fish and Game is sponsoring this Take Me Fishing event two weeks after a big crowd flocked to the first ice fishing event at Hauser Lake.
Cocolalla Lake is on the west side of U.S. Highway 95 between Athol and Sandpoint. The trailer and barbeque will be at the boat launch/campground on the north end of the lake. Follow the “Sportsman Access” signs on the west side of US 95 just north of the Westmond store.
Read on for more details.
FISHING — This photo illustrates the crowd that can be attracted by offering the free loan of ice fishing gear.
More than 350 people showed up at Hauser Lake Saturday for an Idaho Fish and Game Department Take Me Fishing event. They borrowed gear, feasted on free hot dogs and hot chocolate and fished through the ice for a few hours with no licenses required.
ANGLING — Saturday's free ice-fishing event at Hauser Lake, organized by Idaho Fish and Game, was a huge success in luring people of all ages to try the sport.
Lots of credit to go around, but you have to give a big high five for service beyond the call of duty to the three sportsmen who were ice fishing at the lake when they saw the organizers being overwhelmed by people eager to borrow fishing gear from the Take Me Fishing trailer.
The three anglers put their gear away and helped the newbie anglers for the rest of the day, said Phil Cooper, IFG spokesman.
“The event was scheduled to start at 11 am. When we arrived at 9:20, we had people waiting,” he said. “We had them help us set up the trailer and then gave them equipment to start fishing.”
Cooper counted more than 260 people at one time getting gear or on the solid 8 inches of ice trying to hook a fish. Two IFG biologists were drilling ice fishing holes as fast as they could with a gas-powered auger.
The volunteer crew, which included five IFG employees and three Cabela's employees, helped at least 350 people get a taste of fishing — not to mention a taste of the 496 hot dogs and 23 gallons of hot chocolate served free to the crowd.
“The fish were not as cooperative as we would have liked, however, there were some yellow perch, bluegills and one large largemouth bass caught,” Cooper said.
“One man stopped as he was leaving and said he had a blast and had never ice fished before because he had always been afraid to walk on the ice. I asked him how old he was and he said he will turn 70 in a week. So, for him this event helped him overcome 70 years of reluctance to go ice fishing. He said he was heading from the event to Cabela’s to buy an ice auger!”
People participating did not need a fishing license during the hours of the event, regardless age or whether they were from Idaho or Washington.
ICE FISHING — Nobody will be left out in the cold on Saturday during a free ice-fishing event at Hauser Lake, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., sponsored by the Idaho Fish and Game Department.
The agency will loan free fishing gear from the Take Me Fishing trailer on the fishing access site at the south end of the lake off Hauser Lake Road.
Volunteers will drill holes in the ice for participants and help new anglers get started, said Phil Cooper, IFG spokesman. Free hot dogs and hot chocolate will be served.
The parking area is scheduled to be plowed and the restrooms will be open.
Youths under 14 years never need a fishing license to wet a line in Idaho, but during the hours of the event, older anglers also can fish without a license, Cooper said.
”These events give their parents, older siblings and friends the opportunity to try fishing without purchasing a license,” he said, noting that the agency held 28 Take Me Fishing events across the state last spring. Saturday’s event will be the Panhandle Region’s first session on ice-fishing.
WINTER FISHING — Ice anglers in North Idaho should be cleaning upon the record number of mature kokanee in Spirit Lake this winter – except they can’t get to the fish.
Idaho Fish and Game Department reports from August trawling surveys say “the most abundant year class of kokanee ever documented for this lake” is swimming around virtually unscathed.
“The strong year class of one year old kokanee last year is now a record high year class of two year old kokanee,” the report said, estimating there would be more than 382,000 kokanee averaging at least 8.25 inches waiting for anglers when the ice fishing opportunities began this winter.
That pencils out to about 260 catchable-sized fish for each acre of water, or about four times as many kokanee as last year!
But the ice-fishing hasn’t happened.
“It’s a shame for ice fishermen,” said Jim Fredericks, Idaho Fish and Game Department regional fisheries manager. “The east end of the lake has had enough ice for fishing on a couple of occasions, but that’s not really where the kokanee fishing is.”
The bulk of the lake has remained ice-free. Sure, the season’s open year-round and you could fish from a boat, except there’s just enough ice around the edges to thwart boat-launching.
“Maybe we still have a chance for a good cold snap to get ice fishermen out off Silver Beach or Bronze Bay – the best winter kokanee fishing places,” he said.
“If not, there will be a great kokanee fishery waiting for handliners and jiggers off the cliff at the east end this spring,” he said.
FISHING — Ice fishing is still good in areas of the Idaho Panhandle, “but you have to be a bit more careful to keep from going swimming, especially around the shoreline,” said Jim Hayden of Idaho Fish and Game. The warming trend has made ice less safe in many areas.
” Watch you don’t sneak out onto the ice, and not be able to sneak back off when it warms up later in the day,” Hayden warned.
By the way, Idaho requires sportsmen to buy 2012 fishing and hunting licenses starting Jan. 1.
WINTER SPORTS — No need to be slip-sliding along all winter.
Korkers, the Oregon boot company that made its name with interchangeable soles for fishermen's wading boots, has diversified into other footwear, including with snowboots that have different traction options, including studded soles for applications such as ice fishing.
Check out this story from the Oregonian.
FISHING — The arctic weather chilling the Inland Northwest is firming the surface at some lakes and pushing the reset button for ice anglers.
If you're looking for a wall-hanger fish to brag about this weekend, try to guess where the angler in this video is fishing — and be sure to cut a big enough hole.
ICE FISHING — This story out of the Muskegon (Mich.) News sort of dashed any romance I had about settling down in one of the traditional ice-fishing shacks that are so popular on the eastern half of the U.S.
Turns out you have to be careful about the neighborhood, even on the ice, as you can see from this story about a couple of guys minding their own tip-ups when a lady piddles on their plot of ice and starts whacking them with frozen fish.
FISHING — The Spokane area’s two winter fishing trout lakes open on Wednesday. The fish are there, but the conditions are iffy.
The waters are Fourth of July Lake just south of Sprague and Hog Canyon Lake off I-90’s Fishtrap exit.
Fourth of July’s east end has about two iches of ice with a lot of snowy insulation coming down on top of it today. The west end of the lake still had open water as of Monday.
Chris Donley, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department fisheries biologist said some anglers will probably try out the ice, but he wouldn’t.
I have no firm report on Hog Canyon, but it will take a few heroes in chained up four-wheel drives to break trail in to find out.
Lake Roosevelt, a year-round fishery that’s particularly hot for large trout in November and December, is the clear favorite for catching fish, but beware that the boat ramps have been very icy from the dripping of boats coming out of the water. Boaters who pull the bilge plugs and let their boats drain as the pull up the ramp contribute to the icing.
But shore fishing at Roosevelt areas such as Seven Bays is a great option.