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Anyone Ice Fishing? / 2020 Ice Fishing Thread

Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:08 am
by the_doctor
Wondering if anyone here has gone out on the ice at all. I know this is not a big ice-fishing site...I joined Ice Shanty forums but LCU has better info and is Champlain-specific so here I am.
I will be fishing the Tackle Box (Dockside) Derby this weekend with my dad and a friend. This will be the first time fishing with them in ages so I am excited. We will mostly be fishing for pike. There is no category for trout or salmon in this derby. $30 for your ticket also enters you in a raffle for a nice pop-up, a power auger, a set up tip-ups, etc which is a great deal in my opinion.

I made one scouting trip on Tuesday afternoon trying to find the weedlines. I did not bring pike bait along that day but I did manage to catch some perch for dinner doing some "depth finding" with a heavy Kastmaster.
Here on the Outer Bay the ice is a good 5" with very light snow cover. It will be a little warm the next few days but there have been a few guys walking right across the bay all week so I think conditions should stay safe until the rain comes Sunday.

The strategy will be to set tip-ups everywhere with a variety of approaches... some deep, some shallow, some live bait, some dead. Going to try and find time this afternoon to poke some holes I can mark to be ready to go early tomorrow with my old man and friend.

Hopefully will have some updates/pics in this thread. Let's see some ice pics and here some ice chat here if anyone has any! Thanks for reading.

Re: Anyone Ice Fishing? / 2020 Ice Fishing Thread

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:40 am
by Reelax
Why fish in a hole when you can get in your boat and troll..........

Re: Anyone Ice Fishing? / 2020 Ice Fishing Thread

Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:41 am
by Reelax
Seriously I haven’t been on the ice since I bought my boat in 2015.

But would love to read some ice fishing reports... thanks the the post Doc...

Re: Anyone Ice Fishing? / 2020 Ice Fishing Thread

Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:20 pm
by Dilly Worm
Before the rain hit Saturday afternoon I did some scouting and fishing... it looks like the main lake had frozen from the south up as far north as Button Bay (not fishable ice, but a start).

Fished Porter Bay Friday, 4 to 6 inches of ice within a few hundred yards of shore, and half a dozen others fishing w/ portables. Open water in the mouth of the bay and across the lake past Diamond Island.

From Button Bay south to Arnolds, Potash, & Tri-Town was about an inch or two of clear ice. It was too thin to walk out but looked like it went clear across to NY with a patch of open water here and there. Might be a good start for ice to build this week if it survives the next 24 hours of warm weather.

Thicker ice starts around Port Henry. Then south of the Crown Point Bridge was about 6 inches of clear ice and lots of people out.

All of this is before the warm-up and rain this weekend, so conditions are probably less safe now, use caution !

Re: Anyone Ice Fishing? / 2020 Ice Fishing Thread

Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:47 am
by dry net
Dilly, thanks for the ice report. Good luck!

Re: Anyone Ice Fishing? / 2020 Ice Fishing Thread

Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:38 am
by the_doctor
Had a fun weekend with my dad and an old family friend out on the ice. We found about 5-6 inches of good ice on Saturday with the temps just above freezing and not too bad a wind. Seemed like the wind was out of the East for a while which is unusual here. We fished from about 8AM until 3PM and the bite was a little slow, but we did get three pike, once of which was a decent 5lbs. We also did a little perch fishing with the jigging rods. The funny thing that day was that out of our spread of 8 or so tip ups, we got all three pike on the same one, even though there were two others only 20 ft. away in either direction. They all had the same rig, too. You better believe I'm marking that spot for open water season!

There were lots of people out on Saturday and some had shanties, snowmobiles, and ATVs going right across the bay.

Sunday was much warmer and very slushy. Everyone took a good soaking stomping around in melted snow and rain from the night before. Some places had 2" of water on top of the ice, though the ice still seemed safe. We only fished from about 11AM to 3PM and only set 5 tip-ups this day. Just one fish came in Sunday but it was the highlight of the weekend: a very nice pike at about 33" and 8 or 9 lbs.

Saturday we used up all our jumbo shiners so the biggest pike came on the medium Hunt's minnows, half the size of the jumbos, that we used Sunday.
We also had two misses on Sunday, one of which was pretty exciting when I ran up to find the line absolutely screaming off the reel! Sadly, as soon as I grabbed it he was gone. I will tell myself it was just a very active pike but I do wonder....

Overall a very fun weekend. We did not weigh any fish into the Tackle Box Derby but had a good time. The top pike in the derby was 13.4 lbs. Full results here:

Hoping to spend more time on the ice next weekend and maybe target some different species. Pike can be fun but personally I think jigging is more fun than watching tip-ups so I will see what plan I can some up with over this week. Tight lines everyone.

pike2.jpg (110.83 KiB) Viewed 1786 times

best-pike.jpg (60.18 KiB) Viewed 1786 times

Call me paranoid but I found this little spot over the summer and have never seen anyone else fishing it so I am editing the pic a little....sorry!

perch.jpg (97.24 KiB) Viewed 1786 times

baitfish.jpg (164.02 KiB) Viewed 1786 times

PS can anyone ID this batifish? The perch were all gorged full of them. Looks like an alewife to me but I'm not sure.

Re: Anyone Ice Fishing? / 2020 Ice Fishing Thread

Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:00 am
by Reelax
Thanks for the cool report... looks like an alewife to me.

Re: Anyone Ice Fishing? / 2020 Ice Fishing Thread

Posted: Wed Mar 18, 2020 3:23 pm
by Sawyer
Our last hooray!!! On March 9,2020