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Montana => Ice Fishing Montana => Topic started by: larryjr2376 on Jan 15, 2019, 01:41 PM

Title: koocanusa
Post by: larryjr2376 on Jan 15, 2019, 01:41 PM
Ice Report?
Title: Re: koocanusa
Post by: RuralMT on Jan 15, 2019, 06:06 PM
None to speak of up on the northern end.  I haven't been down to Libby in a while so I can't say what it's like around the dam, but from Big Bridge to the border is wide open.
Title: Re: koocanusa
Post by: RuralMT on Feb 10, 2019, 05:14 PM
A group of us went out from the Murray Springs access and fished out over 40 feet of water or so.  Be extremely careful if you venture up here.  There was about 2.5-3" where we set up, but there were soft spots around us where we punched through with an ax on the first strike...definitely bring the spud bar and test your way out.  By the end of the week, I would bet that everything from Rexford north to the border will be locked up; it capped all the way across the lake last night and should only get better!

Also, I had my first "butt-pucker" moment on the ice.  All was calm, fish were being caught, when all of a sudden the ice proceeded to drop, shift, and then grind for about 20 seconds.  We clearly moved horizontally several inches, as the ice was visibly ground against and piled onto the shoreline.  What's more, the vexilars among the group indicated that we'd dropped about 6-8" down; what had been about 40 fow turned into 39 or so feet.  Err on the side of caution if you head up this way!
Title: Re: koocanusa
Post by: missoulafish on Feb 10, 2019, 11:51 PM
(https://i.postimg.cc/gj5pNFdm/F84381-BF-B271-430-B-AA84-824862-DD5237.gif) (https://postimages.org/)
Title: Re: koocanusa
Post by: wingnutty on Feb 11, 2019, 10:09 PM
A group of us went out from the Murray Springs access and fished out over 40 feet of water or so.  Be extremely careful if you venture up here.  There was about 2.5-3" where we set up, but there were soft spots around us where we punched through with an ax on the first strike...definitely bring the spud bar and test your way out.  By the end of the week, I would bet that everything from Rexford north to the border will be locked up; it capped all the way across the lake last night and should only get better!

Also, I had my first "butt-pucker" moment on the ice.  All was calm, fish were being caught, when all of a sudden the ice proceeded to drop, shift, and then grind for about 20 seconds.  We clearly moved horizontally several inches, as the ice was visibly ground against and piled onto the shoreline.  What's more, the vexilars among the group indicated that we'd dropped about 6-8" down; what had been about 40 fow turned into 39 or so feet.  Err on the side of caution if you head up this way!

I'll be honest, I puckered here: "2.5-3" where we set up, but there were soft spots around us where we punched through with an ax on the first strike".   :o

You are a brave man fishing on that ice over that body of water :o :o :o

Title: Re: koocanusa
Post by: hoofer on Feb 12, 2019, 02:31 AM
brave ? or something else.
Title: Re: koocanusa
Post by: Taxitanner on Feb 12, 2019, 10:45 AM
My vote is something else...
Title: Re: koocanusa
Post by: RuralMT on Feb 12, 2019, 03:59 PM
There's no way I would have ventured onto the ice alone, but when two individuals with a combined 60+ years of fishing the reservoir asked me if I wanted to catch a 10 lb fish through the ice, I opted to trust them.  Numerous precautions were naturally taken: a pickup with a change of clothes within a stone's throw away (on shore of course), ice picks around necks, throw ropes handy, and the ice was tested every other step.  Result? Fast and furious action producing 12 fish over 5 lbs, at one point a triple (all 3 of us hooked up) one of which had to be unhooked through the ice because his head wouldn't fit through the hole. 

Am I glad I took the risk? You betcha.  According to my cohorts, the first on Koocanusa's ice have the best success and action tapers off precipitously the longer it is capped.  What's more, in all likelihood, we might not get another opportunity to fish it this winter, as the 12" of snow will destroy what little ice it had.  No doubt it was risky, but if you're questioning my intelligence, by all means let's play.   ;)
Title: Re: koocanusa
Post by: missoulafish on Feb 12, 2019, 04:02 PM
you had your bases covered:)
Title: Re: koocanusa
Post by: RuralMT on Feb 12, 2019, 04:05 PM
Quote
you had your bases covered:)

Only other precaution I can think of would be some sort of discreet life vest.  I know they make small, less cumbersome vests for rafters but haven't seen any reference to ice fishermen using them.
Title: Re: koocanusa
Post by: hoofer on Feb 12, 2019, 05:26 PM
There's no way I would have ventured onto the ice alone, but when two individuals with a combined 60+ years of fishing the reservoir asked me if I wanted to catch a 10 lb fish through the ice, I opted to trust them.  Numerous precautions were naturally taken: a pickup with a change of clothes within a stone's throw away (on shore of course), ice picks around necks, throw ropes handy, and the ice was tested every other step.  Result? Fast and furious action producing 12 fish over 5 lbs, at one point a triple (all 3 of us hooked up) one of which had to be unhooked through the ice because his head wouldn't fit through the hole. 

Am I glad I took the risk? You betcha.  According to my cohorts, the first on Koocanusa's ice have the best success and action tapers off precipitously the longer it is capped.  What's more, in all likelihood, we might not get another opportunity to fish it this winter, as the 12" of snow will destroy what little ice it had.  No doubt it was risky, but if you're questioning my intelligence, by all means let's play.   ;)
not  questing your intelligence. i am glad it worked out well.for me it would not be worth the the risk.
Title: Re: koocanusa
Post by: Born Late on Feb 12, 2019, 06:02 PM
Only other precaution I can think of would be some sort of discreet life vest.  I know they make small, less cumbersome vests for rafters but haven't seen any reference to ice fishermen using them.

Iím not much of a risk taker but I alway carry a life vest (in addition to a rescue rope) in my sled or flip, and do wear one on early ice or if walking in the dark. Itís way less cumbersome for the walker than those portable sweat lodges known as flotation bibs/coats.
Title: Re: koocanusa
Post by: wingnutty on Feb 12, 2019, 06:37 PM
Good deal.  Glad you played it as safe as possible and had a good outing