Ice Fishing Tips -Check your local regulations! > Eelpout


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Barley dog, what part of alaska are you in? What do you fish through the ice for mainly? Funny, I never heard the name Lawyer until I started fishing Canada. The locals would say " Oh *&$%#@ it's a lawyer, can I have him". You mention eating carp, I haven't done that either but I have started fishing for them in the past couple years. I live in the Minneapolis Suburbs and we have Lake Minnetonka which is an outstanding multi species lake. It is a very heavily used body of water and has a huge population of carp. My brother lives on the lake and one day I get a call from him to come over. He has found the answer to our "Lake Trout" fever. Well, we spent four hours fishing off his dock drinking beer and having a blast. We caught over twenty carp from 10 lbs to 30lbs. Wow, what a fight!!! We did release them all, still can't bring myself to eat them. It's hard when you can go out and get an easy meal of Walleye's.

Bushmaster,  I live outside the Fairbanks are about 20 miles south west of the city.  GREAT fishing for a variety of different fish that are relatively easy to catch.  We mainly fish for Rainbows, Artic Char, Landlocked silver salmon, Lake Trout, Humpback Whitefish, Burbot, Grayling, and my favorite Pike.  I started the ice fishing season about 4 weeks ago on some of the areas smaller lakes, since they froze up first.  We have had unseasonal weather up here and the ice formed REALLY late!  We have about 14" on most of the smaller lakes and a couple on the big ones.  I try to fish every weekend if it's above -10.  FIshing is pretty fast and furious if you know what your doing and have a portable shanty!  THe real problem is fishing in only a couple hours of daylight this time of year.  Anyways, I may have misled you with the last post, I have never eaten a Carp, (except for smoked, the old timers back home make one mean hickory smoked carp that is excellent!).  I have eaten some strange things in my life but can't bring myself to eat a Carp.  I guess if someone showed me how to fix them so they taste like Halibut, I'd eat it!   Laywer was the name they used to call it when we fished in old Lake Winne-septic.  We rarely ate Walleye out of the lake not less alone Burbot!  I certainly hope it's been cleaned up after years of abuse.   The Minneapolis area has some excellent small lakes around the metro area, at least it used too right?  I used to fish on my uncles creek that ran through his farm outside River falls Wis.  Was great for Brown Trout!   :)  

Barley Dog, Sounds like you live in ice fishing heaven, long season, lots of fish. How thick does the ice get by season end? I have fished Grayling in the NWT on Dubawnt river and Dubawnt lake in open water with a fly rod. What an awsome fish! We have caught them up to three pounds! I caught my largest Lake trout on Mosquito lake (NWT) 50lbs, again open water. I love Lakers through the ice!!!! I fish NW Ontario a great deal in the winter. The Metro area has some great little lakes. I was out yesterday testing the ice and we have about 5 inches on most lakes. I will be sliding my shack out today on the lake I live by. The Walleye's are not easy to catch, but they run nice when you do. I have a portable I use for my serious fishing. The DNR here has been stocking Rainbows, Browns and Brook trout in some of our two teir lakes. They can be great fun in the winter. By the way, now that you mention it, I have eaten smoked carp... But I had my beer goggles on.

Bushmaster,  Beer goggles eh! Hahaha!  You know that I admire the fact that you have fished Carp, and admit it!  Really, I think any fish creates a challenge.  I figure it this way, the more multi-species fish you can catch on a regular basis the better fisherman you really are.  I love the fact that one day I can fly fish for Grayling with a #20 Midge pattern and turn around and fish King Salmon with a Magnum Wiggle Wart!  If you can catch a variety of fish consistantly, that makes you a  good fishermen!  This is of coarse is the ramblings of a guy who dislikes the bass masters!  These guys are good at catching one fish, but put them on the ice and let's see them work eh?  O.K. Enough rambling, you asked how deep of ice?  Well I need an extension for the auger come late season.  The ice is usually thick, but this year may be different.  It's warm here and I love it!  Going fishing for Pike Saturday and look forward to 25-35 degree weather!  Thank the lord for global warming!  Hey you may want to buy some land up here in Alaska, when Minnesota is a desert and our climate is comparible to yours, you can still fish up here in your sweatshirt.  I envy your 50 lb. Laker!  The biggest I had caught was 35 lb. in Lake Superior way back when.  We have a couple of lakes for laker fishing, and I will get to them when the ice forms up enough.  Have you fished the boundry water areas much?  How about Ice fishing them?  I was always curious if the boundry waters were a good fishing area in the winter.  Had some good times in the summer there.   Hey I will update this weekends catch when the day is done!  Don't catch them all bushmaster.  -Barleydog

Barley Dog, You know when you are having warm weather in Alaska, we have cold. This year is the earliest I have put my big shack on the lake. A full threes weeks ahead of last year! Went out last night and snagged a few nice crappies. Walleye's were elusive, had one on but he wasn't hooked very good and lost him at the hole. I'll chase 'em this weekend.
I have never fish the BWCA in the Winter. I always go past that into Ontario and fish from Souix Narrows to the Manitou and everything in between. Mostly chase Lake Trout, but have found some excellent Walleye and giant Crappies. I got into Crappies last year that ran from 1 to 2 1/2 lbs, all huge!

Good luck this weekend! Don't forget to give me an update on your catch!!


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