North Park Ice Fishing Report 3/29/09
Lake John Resort
Presently, accurate reporting can be quite challenging because this is the time of year when surface conditions on any given lake here in North Park can change quite rapidly, even when these impoundments are in close proximity. A case in point would be that in my previous report, all three Delaney Lakes had at least some fishable open water. Now, after my scouting mission this morning, East Delaney is one quarter open, North is opening quickly along the dam and west shoreline, (both of these have much more open water than a week ago), and South has frozen back up again. And even though the ice is trying to make a hasty exit on the trio, there were still groups of ice fishermen on each.
Currently there is no open water on Lake John, except for the very north end bays, which are not really fishable during any time of year. Ice remains about a foot thick after last week's weather, with several groups still fishing the hard water. The report from Cowdrey Lake is that the west shoreline is beginning to open and the ice is getting "mushy". Except for the east side of John, roads to and around area lakes are open and in decent condition.
Although I didn't have a chance to ice fish this past week, late season cold footers should stick to shallow water. Stay inside of 10 feet, with 5 - 7 probably best. Dark colored minnow imitations like tube and maribou jigs will work well at John. Jig a Kastmaster in gold or silver and also try a Rat Finkee with a meal or wax worm, or a single salmon egg attached. Over at the Delaneys, where no baits of any kind are allowed, small flies such as midges and egg patterns, naked Finkee's, Kastmasters and dark maribou jigs should hook fish.
Depending on wind, early morning open water fishermen may find skim ice on the D's and have to wait until the day's melting process takes it's toll. With conditions changing rapidly, ice fishermen need to practice caution on all lakes the same as they would during first ice. No transportation other than foot travel is advised. If you use common sense, you can be one of few fishermen to take advantage of conditions that don't happen very often. Ice fishing and fly fishing the same lake in the same day. Only in North Park!