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North Park Ice Fishing Report

Bill Willcox, Lake John Resort
North Park Ice Fishing Report

01, December, 2013

The ice fishing season and the Thanksgiving holiday usually go hand-in-hand here in North Park, and this year was no exception. This past week held lows near single digits with little wind, which is the key to making a good first lid. Even though daytime temps were pleasant, the ice won out and is now fishable on a few key impoundments ó still using caution and common sense of course.

On Lake John, Cowdrey Lake and the Delaneys, ice thickness may still vary. Iím hearing reports of 3 to 7 inches depending on fisherman and/or location. On Lake John, (the only lake that I have personally fished so far through the ice), the current average is 4 to 6 inches, however there are weak spots near the North and the West Points that I know of, possibly more. The other reservoirs may have some shaky areas also, so beware.

As far as the catching is concerned, reports are positive and encouraging on all these lakes. I can tell you first hand that John is putting out some good numbers with good sizes mixed in. A four fish limit of 16 to 17 inch fish doesnít take long, and youíll have fun releasing several of the smaller ones getting there. Any small jig with some kind of meat will do, with most cold footers using a meal or wax worm, or a piece of crawler. Location and depth is presently not as important ó we caught fish of all sizes in depths from 6 to 14 feet. At this time the lakes have very little surface snow and are extremely slick, so make sure to wear creepers on your boots (aka ice spikes). Also, some of the newer ice is crystal clear. Tread lightly and keep noise and movement to a minimum to not spook the fish. Thisíll become somewhat less critical as the ice thickens and the snow accumulates on lake surfaces.

Reports from the Delaney Butte Lakes have been very good as well. Local angler Gary Arnold reports excellent numbers of smaller fish from East Delaney with a couple of "good keepers" mixed in. Another good customer and avid ice fisherman, Randy Schwartz, describes good numbers of "big" fish from North Delaney, however conveys caution on the new ice. (The ice on North was the last to form.) I have also received word of a huge fish from Cowdrey Lake. Iím sure confirmation isnít far behind.

You have heard the old saying that, "First ice is best ice," and for North Park, that is holding true right now. We may be in for some weather changes this coming week, so a phone call may be worth it. We have all our ice fishing tackle out on the shelves and a fresh supply of bait ready to start your season. Open every day but Tuesdays and holidays, so just stop in, call us at 970-723-3226, or go to Please be careful and use good sense, and come back again.

Bill Willcox

Lake John Resort
Operation Game Thief
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