Author Topic: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?  (Read 2999 times)

Offline CL_Outdoors

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Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« on: Jan 18, 2023, 01:26 PM »
This is something I've tried to research online with very limited success. Only article I found interesting was posted by KPCnews in 2016. Said "The up side of a short ice season is better fishing when it finally freezes over, and better fishing in the spring....It is simply a function of pressure"

Anyone have experience fishing "first ice" in february? Was it noticeably better/worse than first ice in january or earlier? Does "first ice" in february fall into the mid-ice category where fish have moved to mid-ice locations?

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Offline bigr

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 18, 2023, 01:38 PM »
From my 50+ yrs of ice fishing first ice in Feb is normally much worse than first ice in Dec. I think the entire water column by feb has gotten much colder compared to just the surface area. Also the fish may still be on their fall feed and still in the shallower water with weeds beds that will be gone by Feb.   

Offline CL_Outdoors

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 18, 2023, 01:58 PM »
From my 50+ yrs of ice fishing first ice in Feb is normally much worse than first ice in Dec. I think the entire water column by feb has gotten much colder compared to just the surface area. Also the fish may still be on their fall feed and still in the shallower water with weeds beds that will be gone by Feb.

Thank Bigr. My thinking is that bc there hasnt been ice, and weeds are still receiving good sun, they will still be alive come february? Or am I not taking other things into account?
Limit your kill - Don't kill your limit!

Offline hardwater diehard

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 18, 2023, 02:05 PM »
Good question .. fish would normally move toward the basin(s) through the seasonal changes ...lack of O2 and decaying weeds being the primary factors . Since the weeds may still be greened up that may not be the case in a lot of locations ..O2 may be plentiful keeping the minnows/forage in the weeds with plenty of O2 for the predator fish . I would think its a mixed bag going forward ....with an educated guess as to where they be positioned.
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Offline bigr

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 18, 2023, 03:27 PM »
Just shorter days and colder water will cause alot of weed decay. Maybe not as much as when ice with snow is on it.

Offline High Tide

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 18, 2023, 04:28 PM »
I was just having this conversation yesterday. Tons of moving pieces here which is why it would be very hard to “research” IMO. Right now the fish are feeding hard and are big/healthy. A lot of things are going right, which is a great predictor of the next month. That being said, I believe it all depends on the species you target late ice/short winters. Walleye and perch are feeding up for the spawn, a massive cold front will slow them down but it won’t be for long. Regarding panfish, in the last two weeks, I caught them in 30 and 2 fow on the same day on the same lake, so unlike cold winters they’re usually spread out on warm winters, so you’re gonna need to move a lot… they’re still biting, but the bite will change daily. If you’re not willing to drill and move, there is a good chance to struggle. Short winters don’t have big shad kills so the bait is everywhere still, which doesn’t help the cause. Also, we’re projected to have multiple fronts, and that rapid change in pressure can be a blessing and a curse depending on species… for the fellas that drill and wait, they should see two hours of action in a full day, and it may not happen at dusk or dawn. My favorite part of short winters is the lack of pressure, so the fish should be, where the want to be, not where they’re forced to go. Going to be like abacus if we have walkable ice… but I’m always open to a challenge!
I wish I was good at ice fishing!

Offline wallin

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 18, 2023, 08:20 PM »
Some lakes like Lake X Feb is usually when it gets a good 1st ice. So wouldn't each lake be different?
Tom

Offline bgriffis17

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 19, 2023, 12:51 PM »
I have found in many years of hard water fishing first ice to be good, late ice better but very limited as in can't get too that good spot or you haven been able to stay up on their movements, so ice was late, just be ready as ice out gets closer the bite gets better, but I have only been at this game for a shot time lol      tide have your Walkin shoes ready.
fishing is hard can I go home now

Offline High Tide

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 19, 2023, 03:31 PM »
Some lakes like Lake X Feb is usually when it gets a good 1st ice. So wouldn't each lake be different?
The longer you have ice, the more oxygen plays a factor in the overall game plan. If you’re fishing a lake with tons of weeds, the oxygen consideration gets expedited in the overall consideration, so each lake is different, no doubt. Without saying to much, there are bugs that fish love that eat decaying weeds though. IMO with the right weather pattern and right oxygen level the fish are always biting regardless of 1st, mid, or late ice. I struggle the most mid-ice (given we have 8 week season), because they seem to move the most, and they’re spread out, which is exactly what I’m dealing with in a boat.
I wish I was good at ice fishing!

Offline High Tide

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #9 on: Jan 19, 2023, 03:32 PM »
I have found in many years of hard water fishing first ice to be good, late ice better but very limited as in can't get too that good spot or you haven been able to stay up on their movements, so ice was late, just be ready as ice out gets closer the bite gets better, but I have only been at this game for a shot time lol      tide have your Walkin shoes ready.

Let’s just start with the need for walking shoes first. Haha
I wish I was good at ice fishing!

Offline FishDaddy09

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #10 on: Jan 24, 2023, 11:26 AM »
Since we already had some ice, short lived though it was. We will be having second ice (I hope) in my experience the fishing always sucks after we lose the ice and it comes back on. I'm hoping I'm wrong.
There is nothing in the world I'd rather do than ice fish!

Offline CL_Outdoors

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #11 on: Jan 31, 2023, 08:08 AM »
Since we already had some ice, short lived though it was. We will be having second ice (I hope) in my experience the fishing always sucks after we lose the ice and it comes back on. I'm hoping I'm wrong.

Well, we're gonna find out this week! Heading up to the home waters on Friday.

Based on current forecast AND the fact there wont be anymore precipitation or high winds, the FDD ice-making method says we should have 5 inches by Saturday
Limit your kill - Don't kill your limit!

Offline Ice_Fly_Guy

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #12 on: Jan 31, 2023, 08:19 AM »
I would think that as mentioned, a lack of pressure has to help at least a little.  I would also think that the increasing length of daylight may start to spur a little more movement and feeding.  But also mentioned, waning oxygen levels may play a negative role.

Offline CL_Outdoors

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #13 on: Jan 31, 2023, 08:31 AM »
I would think that as mentioned, a lack of pressure has to help at least a little.  I would also think that the increasing length of daylight may start to spur a little more movement and feeding.  But also mentioned, waning oxygen levels may play a negative role.

Sounds like we all have no idea what we're about to get ourselves into LMAO best of luck y'all be safe out there
Limit your kill - Don't kill your limit!

Offline zcm_82

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #14 on: Feb 01, 2023, 05:18 AM »
Bite was decent yesterday... a lot better than I expected. I fished about an hour and a half in the afternoon and caught 9 gills, a tiny largemouth, and had quite a few misses.



Offline Jigmup

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #15 on: Feb 01, 2023, 12:51 PM »
any ice is better than no ice unless I don't want ice and then I usually get ice. Confusing? Skim ice sucks when it's wading season!
Never tell a fish where its supposed to be

Offline Mhofferman

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #16 on: Feb 01, 2023, 04:35 PM »
Will be rolling into NE Indiana tomorrow for some fishing for the next 3 days! As long as I can get out safely, I’ll be happy as hell!

Offline zcm_82

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Re: Is first ice in February technically mid ice season?
« Reply #17 on: Feb 01, 2023, 05:58 PM »
3.5" a couple hours ago



 



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