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North Park Fishing Report Dec 15

Bill Willcox Lake John Resort
Just a short article this week Ďcause not a whole lot of new stuff going on. I didnít personally get a chance to drop a line through the ice this week, but I talked to many who did. At this point of the season, things are pretty much at an even pace when compared to the average year. Depending on the location and which body of water you are fishing, information on ice thickness varies from 7 to 10 inches. I heard of a 6 and a 12, but since weíre talking averages, weíll throw out the high and the low. I have not been informed of any weak spots lately, at least not on John, Cowdrey or any of the 3 Dís, but that really doesnít mean much. This is ice fishing and you must be constantly cautious. Snow levels on area lake surfaces fluctuate from near nothing to several inches. The majority is fairly hard packed or down right slick, so creepers are a good idea. Typical for this locale, winds have been unpredictable and fairly intense at times. Blowing snow can defy travel and generate drifts on secondary routes around some lakes so donít test your bravery. County road 7, coming into Lake John from the north, (Cowdrey), is now closed for the season. Local road crews have all other main thoroughfares presently in good shape to and from regional reservoirs.

The catching continues steady on Lake John, Cowdrey Lake and all three Delaneys. I didnít hear of any whoppers this week, but that doesnít mean there werenít any. Action is consistent on Lake John and Cowdrey, where bait is allowed. (but no minnows!) Just about any jig or lure will produce a fish encounter, especially when tipped with a small piece of meat or attractant. This early in the season, the quarry isnít really being too picky, but a meal or wax worm, piece of crawler, egg, or dab of Power Bait will definitely enhance the bite. Some days can have a very light bite that will test your awareness and reflexes, so be patient and pay attention.

Over on the Dís, (no baits here fellow fishermen), the South Lake yielded good wrangling for one of my cabin customers over a two-day period, for both Rainbows and Cutts in the 16 to 20 inch category. 2" white Minnow Tubes helped him nab better than a dozen in about 8 feet of water on the south end. And although smallish, the East Lake is pumping out good numbers of rainbows on a variety of temptations. Slightly weighted flies, such as Damsels and Midges, always work well for my mentors Schoolteacher Mike and Gary Arnold. The Carhartt Boys continually do very well with plastic jigs such as Tiny Worms and Teaser Tails. Location can vary, but the west pull-off and boat ramp area along the south side are primo in 6 to 10 feet of water. A great place to take the kids and family for lessons in handling, (or not), and catch and release. Early morning is the best time to jig 2" Minnow Tubes on North Delaney. White and Crawdad colors are producing but try a chartreuse and dark green as well. You can also go big with standard white tube jigs up to 3 and a half inches. In addition, it never hurts to try a Kastmaster or Jigging Rapala on this impoundment, or to go small with a plain old Rat Finkee. I like fairly skinny water on this lake, definitely inside of 10 feet, with the west shore, dam area, boat ramp and Pelican Point being go-to spots. Be sure you are familiar with all regulations, possession and slot limits for these lakes.

If I donít get another chance to wish you a Happy Holiday Season before it arrives, hereís to you and yours Ė may you find all the gear a sportsperson thinks they must have under your tree this year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Bill and Tish @ Lake John Resort.
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