*THIS BLOG WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED 11/25/2013*
Here we go! Another ice season started for many of us. Right in our own back yard we have access to some close, safe, early ice. With a little work and some good planning you might want to look at the Fall River area. There are a couple of great lakes that offer some pretty good action. What is nice about these lakes is you probably will not find another person up there. There is nothing better than putting the first holes on a clear mountain lake.
Anglers will find some beautiful Cutbows and Brookies and on the upper lakes you will find a good supply of active Splake. These little guys can be very stealthy.
The best way to approach these lakes is to travel very lite. Give your self enough time to get in and out and always fish with a friend. Always, anytime when you are on the trail let someone now where you are. Winter is an entirely different game out there. Be smart and take your time.
All of these high lakes will offer clear water challenges. Fish the edges with small tubes and shad patterns.
Simple rule for the clear lakes, fish brighter colors on brighter days and go dark on overcast days. Down size your line and don't be afraid to tie in a piece of strong tippet material.
For the Splake go deep and stay suspended. Be patient as these fish will cruise the entire water column. Lake Fork Tackle makes a very good assortment of baby shad. Have a good assortment of colors on hand and tip them with fresh raw shrimp. As always keep your ice fishing jigs in a small ziplock baggie with your shrimp.
Lets look at some other choices besides Fall River. Loch Lomond and Caroline, are the higher lakes that have Splake in them. The road has snow right now so you will need snow shoes on some parts of the trails. Anglers will find deep clear water. Concentrate on the deep cliffs fifty to eighty feet. White tubes or the tiny shad patterns with shrimp will do the trick. 1/4 oz jig heads will do just fine. The fish will range in size from thirteen to eighteen inches. There are some big fish in these lakes, put the time in and you will catch them.
Catching early ice is a fun thing to experience.
Have fun and be safe.Chinns LakeFall River ReservoirLoch LomondLake CarolineUSFS: Fall River Reservoir & Chinns Lake