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Ice Fishing (5)
White Perch (1)
Wildlife Management (1)
Last Ice: How to Stay Safe and When to Call it Quits
Mar 26, 2020
The ice at the lake edge is dark, slushy, and covered in standing water, as if the lake dug a moat around itself. Farther out, where I want to set my tip-ups for pre-spawn northerns, the ice integrity looks uniform and solid. I don’t see any obvious pressure ridges or widening holes that mark danger. On this late March morning the air remains chilly. I’m glad I’ve remembered the 2×4 wooden plank, about 7 feet long, which will act as a bridge...
Ice Advice: Staying Warm During the Coldest Fishing Season
Feb 13, 2020
In my earliest fishing photo, I’m two years old, stuffed in a baby blue snowsuit, shoveling Cheez-Its in my mouth on the floor of my dad’s ice shanty.
Some 30 winters later, I’m thinking of that same photo—of my genuine look of comfort and coziness—as I drill holes through Clearwater Lake, in western Maine, at six in the morning. It’s early February. My nose and cheeks burn in the frigid air. My frosty eyelashes stick briefly with each blink...
Hardwater Basics: A Guide to Tip-Up Fishing
Dec 27, 2019
After augering 10 holes and clearing the slush, we moved on to setting tip-ups. My fingers were already losing function due to the cold, but the adrenaline kept me going. As usual, we were first on the frozen lake, my father and I. The sooner we set up, the sooner our jumbo shiners would swim at depths haunted by big northern pike. To break up down-time between pike bites, we would set a few smaller rigs tipped with tiny emerald shiners for white...
First Ice: Early Hard-Water Fishing Safety
Nov 19, 2019
We stood in the trees near the shoreline, waiting for sunrise. The morning was frigid and windless. A few feet beyond, lake ice folded against land. As far as I could tell, we’d be the season’s first ice anglers; it was early December and a week-long cold snap had hardened my favorite local lake. In a month’s time the lake would be dotted with shanties, alive with the echoes of power augers and snowmobiles, but this morning it was empty and...
Pike Under Ice: Advanced Tactics for Spooky Winter Northerns
Mar 8, 2019
I came to pike fishing by way of salmon, which is to say I was utterly unprepared. Landlocked salmon—the preferred quarry at the outset of my ice fishing journey 20 years ago—require delicate leaders, small hooks and pin smelts pierced gently beneath their dorsal. Call it finesse ice fishing, if such a thing exists.
What did I know about northern pike? Not much. A biologist acquaintance told me that pike were illegally introduced into the...