February 24, 2013

Get on the ice while you can

There’s no telling what Mother Nature has in store for us during this last month of winter. But one thing an ice angler knows for sure is that time is running out.

Sure, there’s still ice on many lakes and there will be for some time. Several lakes in the North Country had 12 inches of ice, or more, going into this week. But there are others with less. I hope things hang on for next weekend’s tournaments on Lake Colby and Schroon Lake.

Last weekend I fished the popular Chinga-Classic on Lake George, where there is also a two-day tournament that continues today in Hague.

On the first day of the tournament I sought out a “hidden” spot where I’d successfully taken a few lake trout just days prior. I figured I could avoid the crowds here by being away from a popular launch site near the tournament headquarters in Pilot Knob. The fishing in this spot was limited due to thin ice, but I had a spot all picked out and left home well before dawn.

But when I got to my “hidden” spot there were already dozens of vehicles there and another angler was already set up where I had planned to rig my tip-ups. I was pinned in pretty tight for most of the day and the action was slow.

The next day I joined a crew of buddies in closer to the headquarters. It was a windy day and we had 30 tip-ups out but only caught a handful of lakers and nothing that would compete for a prize. But, we had a good time and, like so many other anglers this year, we just enjoyed being on a lake that never froze over last year. Besides, the tournament was for a great cause.

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