Late season ice

Print Article

If there’s any silver-lining in the cold-windy-snowy-sunny-rainy-squally-grauply, typically April weather we’re having, it’s a few more days of ice fishing.

And that sounds good to me!

If you remember late last year, ice formed pretty sketchy in November and December.

Late forming ice got multiple blankets of heavy snows which kept the ice from forming deep and safe.

Then we got weather so cold even the hardiest ice fishers were challenged.

While late ice can provide some of the best ice fishing of the year, late ice can be the trickiest to assess for safety.

We’ve discussed safety on late ice several times in this space. If the weather holds, maybe we’ll revisit the topic of safety late-late ice in the near future.

In the meantime, if you don’t know how to read late season ice, stay off!

Early spring is a good time to catch big pike through the ice. Still fishing with frozen herring below a big bobber or mechanical hooker will catch pike.

Pike often spawn in water less than 10 feet deep, so concentrate efforts around shallow weed beds.

Rainbow trout like to cruise shallow water in early spring. Remember, the water is cold so limit your jigging and don’t be making lots of noise of the ice.

Small jigs or wide-gap bait hooks sweetened with maggots or mealworms often fool trout.

Early spring is a great time to put some big perch in a bucket. My favorite bait, price-wise, is small pieces of earthworm. Leftover bait can be pitched into the garden!

Years ago I learned, if the perch aren’t biting late in the day, go back early the next morning and expect a bunch.

What I’m looking for are some kokanee salmon. On most lakes limits are liberal.

Remove heads and guts and lay them on the barbeque! Delicious!

Now go take advantage of the last days of this year’s ice fishing.

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

Print Article

Read More Outdoors

Federal judge stops grizzly hunt, for now

September 04, 2018 at 8:43 pm | Hungry Horse News U.S. District Court Judge Dana Christensen last week issued a temporary restraining order to stop a grizzly bear hunt near Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Idaho. Grizzly bears number about ...

Comments

Read More

Yellowjackets? Here’s some trap ideas

August 29, 2018 at 7:57 am | Hungry Horse News If you’ve waded along shorelines, fished around lily pads, or even tried to eat outdoors, you’ve been harassed by yellowjackets. No doubt the best way to control these pesky wasps is to find their h...

Comments

Read More

Biologist reflects on grizzly bear attack and her own recovery

August 29, 2018 at 7:52 am | Hungry Horse News Keep going. Don’t stop. Get back into the field when you can. These and many similar sentiments, and more than $45,000 in donations to offset medical costs, have “absolutely shocked” the bear resear...

Comments

Read More

Tricos can be a hatch to remember on the Missouri

August 22, 2018 at 8:14 am | Hungry Horse News Early August reliably brings a hatch of an insect about 1/8-inch long that absolutely drives trout into a feeding frenzy. So, why would even the biggest trout in the stream get excited about a tiny ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 892-2151
PO BOX 189, 926 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

©2018 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X