By Tim Moore
In like a lion, out like a lamb? Not this year. Ice has been slow to form, but it’s finally here. There is no shortage of small warmwater ponds that are safe to fish for crappie, bluegill, or white perch, but the big lakes are way behind this year. While there are areas of Lake Winnipesaukee that can be ice fished, use extreme caution as warm weather and windy conditions have slowed the formation of ice in many open areas. The areas that froze first continued to build ice, while areas that froze later will be considerably thinner. Check as you go whenever you venture into an area you haven’t yet been this year.
That said, there is a ton of great fishing to be had. One advantage to late ice is higher oxygen content in the water. A thinner ice cover also allows weeds to stay green longer. Higher oxygen will make the fish more active than they will be once the oxygen begins to deplete. Take advantage of this for crappie and bluegill fishing. Find the weeds and you’ll find the fish. In clear water bodies, try a white epoxy drop from Clam Pro Tackle tipped with Makiplastics or spikes.
Lake trout should also be more aggressive due to higher oxygen content. We will be taking advantage of the higher-than-normal activity levels with a more aggressive approach. A Vexilar flasher will be key for determining the activity level and response of the lake trout. A blue ½-ounce Elite Ice or 1.4 Elite from Daddy Mac Lures is a favorite of ours. Rip it up through the water column and let it free fall. If you see a lake trout chase your jig, don’t stop jigging or they will almost always swim away. You can also slowly reel the jig away from the fish. Whatever you do, make them chase it. Nothing sticks around when a lake trout chases it, so don’t stop moving your lure when they come after it.
Even with the late start we have a lot of trips booked, but we still have some availability. If you want to get in on some of the great lake trout and world-class white perch fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee, send us an email to info@TimMooreOutdoors.com and we will get you set up. Stay safe out there!
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.