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North Park Ice Fishing Report 3/1/09
Bill Willcox Lake John Resort
Whether out of courtesy or experience, when a nearby ice angler hooks a fish, especially a big fish, fellow anglers remove their line or lines from the water to take away any interference and keep lines from tangling. However, while fishing this past Saturday on Lake John, local fisherman Gary Arnold and his daughter Beth had no way of knowing that the nearly simultaneous strikes that they both received came from the same big fish that another local angler, Dick Snavely, was fighting within the confines of his ice hut some 40 feet away. Well, unbeknownst to Dick at the time, his 4 pound test line finally gave way to Gary's 6
pound test, and Beth opened her bail to let her father bring the fish in close. After the 7 to 8 minutes of a heck of a battle that he lost, Dick came out of his ice hut to see Gary fighting a good fish, and in a gesture of good sportsmanship, helped Gary land the 6 pounder - only to find his own unique jig in its mouth. It took three of them, but Gary, Beth, and Dick had tag-teamed one nice fish. Now that's teamwork!

Now I can't say that this will happen to you, or that you are going to catch a 6 pound fish, but I can tell you that in the 12 years that I have owned the Resort, I have never seen so many big fish come out of Lake John. What I can tell you is that the Wednesday before this fiasco took place, Gary landed an 8 and a quarter pound Rainbow which he was going to have mounted until he had a "much bigger" fish up to the hole that broke him off. Lake John is now big fish country. It is definitely not fast fishing, you have to work at it. You only have one, maybe two chances an hour to hook a fish, but that fish could be a true hog! The winning fish of this year's Lake John / Cowdrey Lake ice fishing contest was bigger than the fish that won the Delaney contest. Guys, that's big time information. Go small, fish shallow, and definitely don't put your rod down. March is usually one of the best ice fishing months of the year in the high country, and this year it
will be here in North Park, at Lake John - I promise. Sorry, Antero Res.

To be honest, I haven't heard how the Delaney Butte Lakes have been fishing, but I'm sure they're holding their own. A pure wall hanger can come from any of this trio, or if you prefer a picture, a release will save you the cost of mounting. With March and melting in the near future these lakes will be seeing action in shallow water - as usual - using artificial eggs, crawdad imitations, and minnow look-a-likes. If you have the patience, go small with flies in the scud and nymph patterns.

It's still winter up here with vehicles driving out on 20 plus inches of ice. I can't tell you how much longer we'll be doing that, but I'll keep you informed. Most roads around lake are passable, however that can change daily. I'm sorry, but I have to go now because there is an hour left of daylight and local Solunar Tables tell me it's time to try to catch that "hog".