Charter captain Josh Teigen was lucky last year when a section of Lake Superior north of Duluth Minnesota froze for the first time since 1996. He was able to get on the ice over very deep water, and didn't’ think he’d be back the next year. Well it happens that frigid temperatures in the region froze that section again for the second straight year. Getting onto ice that doesn't freeze all that often is a risky challenge, so make sure your with a charter captain when you venture out. Each day the ice conditions change due to the current and wind conditions, so just because you got out fine one day, that doesn’t mean that it will be the same the following day, so again, be careful and go with a guide.
We are set up around a mile off of shore, and are in depths that range from 95 - 125 feet. With fish being caught from that depth, it makes for a very long and enjoyable fight; especially when the fish gets near the hole. At times, you’ll coax up a fish all the way from the bottom, and it won’t hit until it’s only 20 feet below you. For that reason, it’s highly recommended that you have an ice locator like a Humminbird, so you know whats going on way down there.
We are using lures that make a commotion, like tubes or the Vibrato, any lure that will get the fishes attention. Once you’ve got their attention, its us to you to get a strike out of them.
Newton Lake in the Snow
Show Date: March 14th & 15th, 2015
Location: Newton Lake, Newton, Illinois
Guide: Matt Bichanich – Uncle Josh Pork Baits – unclejosh.com
Accommodations: The Outdoor Sportsmans Lodge [618-752-5075 | outdoorsportsmanslodge.com]
Do you have an itch to work an open water lure for bass when most of the lakes are frozen where you live? To scratch that itch, you should take a trip to Newton Lake, near Newton Illinois. We did just that for this weeks show with Matt Bichanich of Uncle Josh Pork Baits. We arrived just a day after the area got over 10 inches of snow, so all of the beautiful shorelines that this lake offers were coated in a fresh layer.
Matt is using a swim-bait with a pork trailer, and is pitching it into the fallen trees. These bass are hiding really close to the submerged branches, waiting to ambush baitfish that are in the area - usually shad. Newton Lake is well known for giant large mouth bass, and we do catch a few 5 pound class fish; but we do have to work for them because of the sunny weather during our visit. The best fishing is yet to come, and an overcast day will be the best.
Lake Erie on Ice in March
Show Date: March 21st & 22nd, 2015
Location: Lake Erie, Port Clinton, Ohio
Guide: Charter Captain Mike Patterson [419-308-6925 | mikessportfishing.com]
NOTE: Ice is no longer safe on Lake Erie. Call Mike to inquire about next year.
Ice fishing Lake Erie for walleye is a treat for any angler, which is why we had to come back. Having ice on Lake Erie for any duration of time affords anglers a shot at a record walleye, and almost guarantees a personal best. When our guide Mike Patterson told us there was still fishable ice in March, we make the last-minute decision to come back for a second trip.
It was well worth it, with a few people in our group catching monster fish, and everybody enjoying beautiful weather for the day and a half that we were there.