By Tim Moore:
The March madness of ice fishing is one of my favorite months of the year to ice fish. Warm water fish spawn in
early spring. The longer days coupled with re-oxygenated water from snow melt triggers crappie, bluegill, and white perch to feed with a vengeance. Lake trout also take advantage of melting ice by gorging on insects that were frozen into the ice months prior.
Lake Winnipesaukee has been very good to us this winter, with one of the best lake trout bites we have seen in years and some great white perch action. This has been our busiest winter ever and if the ice holds through March we expect some amazing ice fishing. Early mornings and late afternoons usually produce the best white perch catches. A 1/8 ounce white Blade Spoon from Clam Pro Tackle tipped with a piece of worm or spikes will get the job done.
As we progress through the month, the baits we use for lake trout will get smaller and smaller, until we are catching 3-6 pound fish on the Clam Outdoors Epoxy Drop tipped with spikes. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. Through our white perch adventures over the years we have come to find that lakers will gorge themselves on insects released from melting ice and hatches timed by nature to occur just before ice-out. You will still catch fish on a hand-tied bucktail jig, like the ones sold at A.J.’s Bait & Tackle in Meredith, but don’t discount those panfish jigs for good numbers of lakers.
We always have a few days tucked away for last minute clients. You can check our availability on our rates page of our website at www.TimMooreOutdoors.com/rates. For up to date ice thickness reports visit our facebook page at www.Facebook.com/TimMooreOutdoors. It has been an odd year for ice on Lake Winnipesaukee. Ice conditions have been extremely inconsistent and abnormal. The loss of three snowmobilers during the Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby is proof that you can’t assume ice is safe for snowmobile, or even foot, travel. Check as you go, or go with someone who knows, whenever venturing onto lakes such as Winnipesaukee. Temperature, winds, current, and lake depth are all factors in ice formation, and those factors are different every year.
Tim Moore is a full time New Hampshire fishing guide and the owner of Tim Moore Outdoors LLC, offering ice fishing charters, fresh and saltwater kayak fishing charters, and freshwater boat charters. He is a member of the New England Outdoors Writers Association and the producer of Tim Moore Outdoors TV. Visit www.TimMooreOutdoors.com for more information.