North Park Ice Fishing Report 12/26/11
Bill Willcox, Lake John Resorts
Santa Claus has fairly easy choices when he makes his deliveries to North Parkers. Given the number of sportsmen and women in the area, and the fact that hunters and fishermen are so easy to get presents for, he can cover this entire county in no time flat. Not only that, but he told me once that he delivers to Steamboat first, so his sleigh is much lighter — easier to get over Buffalo Pass after he's gotten rid of all that heavy electronic gear.
It's pretty neat also to see all the ice fishermen after Christmas trying out their new gifts. Whether it's warm suits or boots, fishing rods, or something as nice as an ice hut or auger, Christmas is a time to upgrade sporting equipment. I think the fish know the difference too. I'm sure they would rather bite on a shiny new lure attached to an Eagle Claw XL2000M fishing outfit with Ultimate Berkley Ice Line (which I might add is smaller in diameter than spider webbing, yet stronger than a truck chain) while being delivered into a nice dark — and warm — 17-man Combo-Condo with the heated floor and see-thru basement, instead of just being flipped onto the bright ice and into the cold snow! I mean really, which would you prefer? The gifts are truly endless for the sportsman, and if you can't catch fish, you'll at least look good doing it.
But you can catch fish without all that because the bite has been that good. On Lake John not much has changed from last week, with a near constant bite for smallish fish, and the occasional wake-up call when a trout the size of a small torpedo decides to "Nascar" your offering. A variety of different jigs and lures are working, with our best action coming from Squirmin' Squirts on Christmas Day. A little scent or worm enhancement helps, but isn't really necessary. Just about anywhere on the Lake will work in about 8 to 12 ft. of water.
East Delaney Butte Lake is the other area hotspot, using 1.5 and 2 inch tube jigs and Minnow Tubes. Again the fish are averaging that large, however, the chance to hook a trophy is ever-present. North and South Delaney are producing some decent fish (see picture), but you'll definitely need more patience. Cowdrey Lake is always worth a try, and has been producing quite well for those willing to move to find the bite.
With snow levels at a minimum at present in North Park, all roads are in great shape and the access to area lakes is as easy as it gets. I haven't seen any full-size vehicles on lake surfaces yet, because I believe no one wants to be first. Ice thickness varies some, on Lake John at least, because I drilled one hole thru 17 inches of ice, and ten feet away another thru 12 inches. Most lakes are running around the one foot mark.