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North Park Ice Fishing Report
Lake John Resort
Ice Fishing Report


As I write this, there are still 2 weeks before the first day of winter. With 10 inches of ice on area lakes, sub-zero temperatures, and the new shovels already showing wear, you would think the first day of winter was at least 2 weeks ago. Such is life in North Park - such is ice fishing.

Normally, during this time of the season, hand augers are still being used by fishermen who want to save weight and room in the ice fishing sled. However this season, power augers have already been a main staple since the start of December. I haven't seen any vehicles of any kind on the lake surfaces, but I'm sure it won't be long before ATV's and snowmobiles start leaving their tracks - just no one wants to be first. Roads around sage brush lakes are presently in good shape, however periodic snow is expected all this week which could change conditions rapidly. I don't know of any unsafe ice except for the inlet area at Lake John. The water has been off for only a short time and the forming ice will need to catch up.

All the regulars and familiar faces have been out ice fishing, with good success for those that know the waters. One of the great things about fishing North Park is that if one lake doesn't produce on a given day, another always will. Local angler Joe Rudy reports a fast bite for good fish on South Delaney, while some of the "Carhartt Boys" landed some real beauties on East and North. Moving over to Lake John, "the boys" landed some 20 - 22 inchers and were given the slip by a couple real "hogs". Local angler Gary Arnold, "Schoolteacher Mike", and I had a decent day on Lake John, missing a few and landing four in the 4 - 5 pound range. I did not get a report on Cowdrey Lake or Seymour, but the fishing should be good on both.

There doesn't seem to be any one secret to catching these fish except trying different things in different places. Even where legal, none of the above fish were caught on bait. Tube jigs, marabou jigs, Rat Finkee's and flies accounted for most. Ice fishing knowledge took the rest. Start out in 8 - 10 foot of water. Stay mobile. Try to find the edge of weed beds. Don't hesitate to go shallow, even 3 to 5 foot. Or move out to 15. If you have the ability to see the fish, either through an ice hut or by electronics, watch their pattern. If you don't see fish - move.

Bill Willcox

Lake John Resort