Anyone fishing this year?

Huntermc6

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It's been a trying season this winter. Slow to make us here in the Southwestern hills. I've iced a couple brookies one nice salmon that went about 18" and then some small bass, pickerel and yellow perch. Hoping if the ice stays for a few more weeks around here to get into some March bass fishing, that was always fun and they run like crazy when they grab a shiner as the water temps warm. Next weeks temps won't help though a lot of the places I fish have only managed about 12" of good ice the rest of it is pretty soft weak ice or a hard crust.
 

JDK

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Been a tough winter here also. I've only been a few times. Caught fish each time but it hasn't been stellar. We've also had a somewhat difficult time catching bait. The slush has ranged from tough to brutal.

I was able to fish with my oldest son a few weeks back. Fishing was decent with 15-16 fish iced. What was odd in our minds was all of the fish came from three holes. Weird.
 

Flatlander

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In
Been a tough winter here also. I've only been a few times. Caught fish each time but it hasn't been stellar. We've also had a somewhat difficult time catching bait. The slush has ranged from tough to brutal.

I was able to fish with my oldest son a few weeks back. Fishing was decent with 15-16 fish iced. What was odd in our minds was all of the fish came from three holes. Weird.
Were the hot holes over some type of structure ?
 

NH Hunter

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Been a tough winter here also. I've only been a few times. Caught fish each time but it hasn't been stellar. We've also had a somewhat difficult time catching bait. The slush has ranged from tough to brutal.

I was able to fish with my oldest son a few weeks back. Fishing was decent with 15-16 fish iced. What was odd in our minds was all of the fish came from three holes. Weird.

fish crossing with a sign post??!!
 
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Huntermc6

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Been a tough winter here also. I've only been a few times. Caught fish each time but it hasn't been stellar. We've also had a somewhat difficult time catching bait. The slush has ranged from tough to brutal.

I was able to fish with my oldest son a few weeks back. Fishing was decent with 15-16 fish iced. What was odd in our minds was all of the fish came from three holes. Weird.
We had a terrible time with bait this year too. We only try to trap shiners and last year was the first year we tried it, found a great little pond near a place we hunt that produced some awesome bait last year. Went in this year and discovered that a bait dealer got in there before us with about 12 of the big traps. I think that really screwed our small traps up, we were only pulling 1-2 dozen in each trap. I let them soak anywhere from 36 hours to 4 days and it was all relatively the same every time.

My plan next fall is to start before ice forms and actually suspend the traps between either a milk jug and a weight or a cut off pool noodle and a weight and see if I cant get ahead of it before the season begins. Ive got a few bever bogs picked out that I want to try as well. One I know is posted but I have permission to access the land when I hunt so I shouldnt have any competition on it. Hope it produces.
 

skinner

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went to river last week, 7 old guys that worked in same spot 30/40 years more of a cookout and gab session than fish trip 2 small pickerel and 1 y perch. lot of stories and memories. hope to get together this week and maybe someone will be a serious fisherman and catch a pike. will be good trip as long as cook comes along and venison and potatoes and cookies and such.
 

sneaky_pete000

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I tried some bait trapping this winter, and I guess I need to start doing some homework, because I didn't catch squat.

I tried some deeper pools in brooks that are typically loaded with minnows, and got zero.
I tried a crayfish trap in a spot that held more crayfish in a single bridge hole than I've ever seen in my life.

The brook spot I guess is just too cold for the minnows in the winter, but I can't figure out where they might be catchable in winter. I'm guessing downstream, where it meets a slightly bigger brook? There's a small waterfall along the way that I'd guess acts as a barrier. Do they go upstream until they hit a spring?

The crayfish hole has plenty of slate chunks for structure and there's a spring that flows in right under the bridge all year. But I'm thinking they might not like that in the winter and instead might go to a muddy bottom spot to burrow under something when the water turns cold?

Anyone have any feedback on either of these?
 

Huntermc6

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I tried some bait trapping this winter, and I guess I need to start doing some homework, because I didn't catch squat.

I tried some deeper pools in brooks that are typically loaded with minnows, and got zero.
I tried a crayfish trap in a spot that held more crayfish in a single bridge hole than I've ever seen in my life.

The brook spot I guess is just too cold for the minnows in the winter, but I can't figure out where they might be catchable in winter. I'm guessing downstream, where it meets a slightly bigger brook? There's a small waterfall along the way that I'd guess acts as a barrier. Do they go upstream until they hit a spring?

The crayfish hole has plenty of slate chunks for structure and there's a spring that flows in right under the bridge all year. But I'm thinking they might not like that in the winter and instead might go to a muddy bottom spot to burrow under something when the water turns cold?

Anyone have any feedback on either of these?

I can't comment on the crayfish bait trapping because I have never done it and never accidently caught any. As far as minnow trapping goes there are tons of threads on the Iceshanty forum that talk about bait trapping and that is where I got most of my info from. The basics are find small to medium sized ponds, preferably ones that are made by beavers or manmade fire/retention ponds that don't have a lot of predator fish in them. Set multiple traps in and around the weed lines or near structure if you can find them so the trap is near some cover. Check it every 1-2 days to begin with and move it around until you find the bait fish, they tend to hold up in different areas every year. If you hit the jackpot on a pond and it's loaded with bait it won't matter where you put the trap or so I have been told. I have used bread and dog food for bait and it seems to work fine. I also suspend my traps about half to 2/3 the way to the bottom and haven't set any in water that is deeper than 6'.

I would suggest Gee's Minnow Traps, the company is based out of New York and all their traps are made here in the US, their quality can't be beat and the traps confirm to almost all of the laws set in place in any of the New England states and NY, Pennsylvania among others I'm sure. If you call or email the company you will get the owner on the phone more than likely and he is a super nice guy. I also have just had more luck with the Gee's traps than I have with any other,

As for trapping in brooks and rivers, I have had almost no luck in brooks. My father used to trap in a river around here 30 years ago and I have read this elsewhere as well but trap on bigger water such as rivers and skip the brooks. Try to find the slow water where there isn't a lot of current but enough depth to get the trap between any ice and the bottom of the river preferably off the very bottom. Face the trap in line with the direction of the current. I don't know why exactly but if I put traps right on the bottom of the body of water I get way more tadpoles, frogs and hornpout and less shiners/minnows.

Just my .02 cents
 




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