By Tim Moore
Well, that was without a doubt the most difficult ice fishing season of my life. Constantly fluctuating temperatures made for constantly changing ice conditions. Every time we verified the ice thickness in an area it got warm and/or rained, and we were back to square one. I love ice fishing, but after this winter I’m glad it’s over. So, a short ice fishing season means early spring fishing. If you have never caught a spring shallow-water pike during, or just after the spawn, you might want to try it. It is considered addicting by most kayak anglers who have done it. Pike will be the focus of this forecast, and our fishing for the month of April.
Pike spawn in the spring, sometimes under the ice, so timing is crucial. That’s why we offer early spring pike trips. If you arrive at the launch and see ice floating in the middle of the lake, then you have timed your trip correctly. Not that the pike won’t bite later in the spring, but the big females will not bite very well for a period after they spawn. Another thing our clients love about the early spring bite is that there is no point in getting to the water at the crack of dawn. The big fish don’t make their way in from deeper water until the sun has had a chance to warm the shallow water. Most of our trips begin at 9 AM and 2 PM.
Large spinners like the Juice Mini 8 Halo and the new Straightwire Spinnerbait from Bigtooth Tackle will be on deck, as will some 6” paddletail shads and 6” Daddy Mac Lures Viper Series Rainbow Trout and Rainbow Smelt. Pike will spawn in as little as a foot of water, so get your lures as close to shore as possible. Kayaks are the most effective vessels for hunting shallow water pike, because of their low profile. Pike spook easily, so keep yourself as far away from shore as possible.
It’s still too early to predict when we will begin running pike charters in northern NH, so check in to our Facebook page www.Facebook.com/TimMooreOutdoors for updates. After last fall’s successes and not landing a fish under 36” we are already getting inquiries from people needing their fix. Other species that deserve mention are landlocked salmon and lake trout, both of which open on April 1. With lots of open water available, you can bet there will be a lot of activity.
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.