Fishing: Ice fishing appeals to all ages

Hello felllow anglers.

This time of year, many of us put away the gear, awaiting the warm spring months to go angling again.

By this time many are tired of shoveling snow and watching fishing re-runs of a warmer climate somewhere in the southern states where big bass are plentiful.

But there is a clan of anglers in the midwest that live for this time of year.

It's their time to get out and ice fish. Although anglers in the Sierra have only recently picked up on this sport, it has truly grown over the last 15 years.

In fact it was 14 years ago that I invited any agler to an ice fishing get-together at Red Lake and only three people showed up.

But it was a truly great experience. A man brought his grandson out to give it a try and they were truely hooked.

The man told me a few years later that it brought them closer together and they fish together now whenever they can.

Ice fishing is for all people, young and not so young. On our last get together there were three ladies fishing and drilling holes and, may I add, catching fish. Last year there were 48 anglers that attended the annual get-together, and this year, because of weather, we had 29 anglers fishing.

Anglers range in ages from 8 to 88. In fact a first-time angler, Jonathan Guy from Minden, caught his limit before anyone else in the party.

There are no fancy rigs or equipment needed for this sport.

If you fished Alpine County lakes and rivers in the summer months, then you are all set for ice fishing.

This is a basic list of items I take when going ice fishing: a sled or a five gallon bucket to carry my gear, an auger to drill a hole, a plastic snow shovel to clear the hole, a ladle or ice scoop to clear the hole, a folding chair to sit or you can use your bucket to sit on, bring a plastic zip lock bag to carry your tackle - no need for a bulky tacle box - and in the bag would be hooks small pinchie weights and a couple of jigs. You can use your regular pole or you can purchase a small ice fishing pole. You'll need sunglasses and sunscreen with at least 45 spf and night crawlers or meal worms are always a favorite.

Now just sit down, face your fishing partner and enjoy.

As for the auger, you can purchase one from your local sporting goods dealer. My advice is to try ice fishing before you spend the money on something you may not enjoy. I have never been to a lake where an angler would not loan his or her auger, or just drill you a couple of holes to get started. Ice fishing is a great way to get out enjoy the winter months, not only do you get enjoyment but a little exercise comes with it.

In our area we have many lakes on which we can ice fish. Caples Lake has rainbow brown and brook trout as well as big mackinaw trout, Red Lake offers mostly brook trout with an occasional cutthroat, Blue Lakes has rainbow trout and is only accesable by snowmobile, Frenchmans Lake offers larger rainbow trout in the 12- to 18-inch class.

If you truly love the sport of fishing you have to go all the way and try ice fishing. If you get the hankering to try it one weekend, call the Naw line at 267-9722 to see if I'll will be on the lake. If so, I would be happy to drill you a hole to get you started.

Good fishing and tight lines.

-- Doug Busey is The Record-Courier's fishing columnist. He can be reached at 267-9722 and is planning to be out on Red Lake on Sunday.n Doug Busey is The Record-Courier's fishing columnist. He can be reached at 267-9722 and is planning to be out on Red Lake on Sunday.


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