By Tim Moore:
Happy New Year! We are looking forward to a busy ice fishing season that will begin with many in-store and shows throughout New England. Visit the events page of our website, www.TimMooreOutdoors.com/events.html for a list of our in-store and show appearances this month. Although we are a bit behind schedule, many higher elevation lakes and ponds should now have fishable ice. The larger lakes and ponds will freeze soon enough, don’t get discouraged.
Many species will be feeding aggressively during this early ice period. Look for panfish such as bluegill and crappie to transition between basins early, and weeds during the mid-day period, and then back to the basins later in the day. The new tungsten Dropkick jig from Clam Pro Tackle tipped with the Makiplastic of your choice should do the trick, but make sure you have a few Salmo Chubby Darters for when the panfish are feeding on live bait.
Lake trout will be found in much of the water column, but focusing on humps and drop-offs in 30-40 feet of water will almost always yield fish. Lakers will cruise on and off the humps all day looking for baitfish. We have great luck with my signature series Whisperer from Daddy Mac Lures. A white whisperer on a ¼ ounce red jig head is deadly. Not far behind are Berkley Powertubes and bucktail jigs with a bit of sucker belly meat. Mobility is key when laker fishing. Don’t anchor yourself to one area or don’t spend too much time on a fish that doesn’t want to bite.
January white perch fishing is usually off the hook, pun intended. Expect to catch good numbers all month if you know where to look. Early and late in the day you will find whites in basins around 30 feet deep. Just like lake fishing, mobility will be key. You may need to drill lots of holes and return to old holes several times a day to stay on consistent numbers. A white Epoxy Drop or Blade Spoon (1/16 or 1/8 ounce) from Clam Pro Tackle tipped with spikes or a small piece of worm should get the perch fired up. Once they go off (trust me, you’ll know when they go off) they will eat anything that moves and you shouldn’t need to use bait.
We have lots of availability for ice fishing charters, but don’t wait too long because we are booking faster than ever before. With the addition of another guide and a new Arctic Cat Bearcat snowmobile, this is certain to be a banner ice fishing season. Also, check out our New England Ice Fishing Academy website, at www.NEIceFishingAcademy.com to sign up for one of our species-specific ice fishing classes.
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. Visit www.TimMooreOutdoors.com.