Bringing the science of weather to the sport of fishing. I'll discuss how weather affects what the fish are doing and how to catch them!
By: Jim Root , 3:49 AM GMT on January 25, 2014
My buddy Paul Mueller (my Dobyns Teammate from CT) posted some pictures of some HUGE smallies he caught through the ice in this awful cold spell we're in. After he told me a little bit about how he got them I decided to call Josh Sheldon, local guide and frequent fishing partner of mine, to see if we could have a day like that of our own at Chenango Lake.
It's cold. Let me clarify that for you by saying I've lived in Upstate NY nearly my entire life and I'm one of the few people I know who actually likes winter. But today it's even cold for me; single digits when we reach the lake, and that's not counting any windchill. But we're here and the lure of huge fish has us going places we otherwise wouldn't...
The trek is a long one out to our spot. Paul tells me he found his fish in 29-35 feet of water. Thankfully I have the Navionics app for my iPhone, so I'm able to tell where I can find places like that here without having to guess or drill a bunch of test holes. I have waypoints marked here from several trips Josh and I made last summer when we smashed some beautiful small mouth and we waste no time heading there today.
We finally get set up, holes drilled, lines rigged, sonar and cameras set, get the first fish showing up on the screen, and my batteries start dying (user error with my equipment), so the only fish pics I have are below and I missed our best fish. But trust me when I tell you that the moon phase in the North East is dead on right now for ice fishing. You can find great numbers of fish in the 30-35 feet of water range, Just make sure you don't bring so many heaters that you end up melting the ice you're standing on, lol.
A closer look shows a fish about to hit my lure!
We caught our fish several different ways today. We were jigging spikes, maggots, and minnow heads. We also used several different hardbait lures and spoons. The key for us was getting the bait in the strike zone and keeping it there. It seemed like it was a smaller profile bite, with only one fish coming on a bigger bait.
Ice fishing is always dangerous, so please take every precaution whenever you head out on frozen bodies of water. As a general rule I never venture out on moving bodies of water (rivers, streams), as they are extremely dangerous. If you've been out in this cold snap, share your pics with me!
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