December 2015: Tim Moore Outdoors

By Tim Moore:

Things are definitely winding down…for now. Many of the smaller water bodies around New Hampshire will have a skim of ice making it difficult or impossible to fish. If you can handle the weather and time your trips right, you can still get into some quality open water fishing or wait a few weeks and get in on some of the insane early ice trout action that takes place every year.

The afternoon sun will draw northern pike into shallow water. They will feed first before sunning themselves. If you’re there when the fish first arrive, you will find some great action for big fish. Once they finish feeding they will ignore much of what you throw at them, but not everything. I’ve seen plenty of northern react to the vibration and flash of a Bigtooth Tackle juice bucktail even when they aren’t hungry. The trick is to sneak in close and cast well beyond the fish without being detected. This makes being a kayak guide a huge benefit for me. I often stand in my Predator kayak and use my paddle as a push pole to glide in undetected and glass for sunning fish. Once spotted, me or my client(s) can strategically cast beyond the fish and hope for a massive explosion as the lure buzzes past the giant log-like creature.

One of Tim’s happy clients with a big late-season northern pike caught on a Bigtooth Tackle Juice Mini 8 bucktail.

There should also be some fishable ice toward the end of the month on the higher-elevation ponds. NH has a list of trout ponds with no closed season. Many of these ponds are stocked for ice anglers, and many of the fish caught are NH trophy class fish. These trout will be cruising shallow sandy bottoms, especially near slow moving inlets that might wash food into the lake, or attract small bait fish. There might only be a couple of inches of ice, so wear tall rubber boots or hip waders, and keep safety first. Always check the ice thickness and water depth as you go. Keep noises to a minimum so you don’t spook the fish. I use a 1/8 ounce white Blade Spoon and white Maki Minnow from Clam Outdoors. Drop it down and watch closely because when the trout commits, it can happen fast. We hope to begin guiding ice fishing trips for early season brook and brown trout around December 20th and will be running full speed on Lake Winnipesaukee on January 1st. Ice fishing trips make great Christmas gifts. We at Tim Moore Outdoors would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. The 2015 year was our busiest year ever, so thank you!

FORECAST BY: Tim Moore is a nationally recognized professional angler and a licensed NH hunting and fishing guide. He is 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.