By Tim Moore
Punxsutawney who? It appears that winter has finally decided to arrive, despite the groundhog’s blurry-eyed prediction. We recently received a report that as of this writing, Lake Winnipesaukee has gained about 15% more ice in the past week. We are presently on the beginning of a cold front that will bring some negative temperatures to the lakes region of New Hampshire. This will help us gain some much needed ice, which will allow us to get to some quality fishing areas. By the time you read this we should be hitting on all cylinders, as late ice formation has kept us pinned to a few small areas.
March is the best time to catch trophy white perch on Lake Winnipesaukee. As the sun gets higher in the sky, we see warmer daytime temps. Warmer temps create runoff as well as occasional rain, which oxygenates the water and invigorates the white perch. The white perch know that the spawn is approaching and will feed aggressively to bulk up. They often become more numerous, and larger as we progress through the month. This time of year we target basins around 30’ deep with white Epoxy Drop jigs and silver tiger Blade Spoons (both from Clam Outdoors) tipped with spikes or a tiny piece of worm.
Lake trout also change their feeding habits as March progresses. Melting snow and ice releases many insects that were encapsulated by ice formation.
The release of these insects and larva trigger lake trout to feed on smaller meals. You would be shocked to see how many lake trout we catch through the ice in March using Drop jigs from Clam Outdoors tipped with spikes or worm. In either case (white perch or lake trout) you only need enough bait to hide the hook. Many anglers use too much bait, which gives that perch something to get a hold of and pull your bait off without getting the hook.
March is my favorite time of year to fish. It could be 90 degrees in July, and I’m thinking about March white perch fishing. We don’t always get into giant schools of perch, but if it’s going to happen, this is your best shot at it. We have limited availability, but if you want a chance at some of the best ice fishing of the year you should definitely inquire about booking a trip with us.
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.