NH Fishing Log: March trips and “bluebird day” ice fishing

3/18/14 Winnisquam, Sanbornton
Conditions: mostly clear, lt breeze, 20s
Equipment: ice fishing gear, tip ups, jigging rods, cusk rigs
Baits: shiners, lake trout jigs
Returned after work to pick up the cusk lines. Had one small cusk, not enough to harvest, so I released the fish in good shape. Also released a small lake trout that had picked up one of the other lines and fortunately was barely hooked – might have even picked up the line on the way up by the way it behaved. Winnisquam again dazzled at sunset. I was again completely alone in the evening quiet.

3/18/14 Winnisquam, Sanbornton
Conditions: mostly clear, calm, 20s to near 30
Equipment: ice fishing gear, tip ups, jigging rods, cusk rigs
Baits: shiners, lake trout jigs
I’ve had little time to go after cusk this season, so I stopped by Winnisquam in the evening to set out my cusk lines and do a little jigging for lake trout. Though I saw no fish, my outing was one of the quietest of the year. No sound but the breeze across the lake. No snow machines or other folks out, cottages quiet, just me and a very beautiful viewshed: Winnisquam at sunset with the Belknap mountains in the background.


3/15/14 Head’s Pond, Hooksett
Conditions: mostly sunny, breezy, upper 30s
Equipment: ice fishing gear, tip ups, jigging rods
Baits: shiners
Brought the wife back to this neat little spot off a rail trail in Hooksett that is nice for cross country skiing. Being that it was a mild day, we had a nice picnic on the ice. I caught an enthusiastic largemouth bass. Fun outing.

3/9/14 Head’s Pond, Hooksett
Conditions: sun & clouds, breezy, 30s
Equipment: ice fishing gear, tip ups, jigging rods
Baits: shiners, dillies
After passing this spot a gajillion times over the years, I decided to take a little time to explore.


3/8/14 Winnipesaukee, Alton
Conditions: mostly sunny, lt breeze, 30s to near 40
Equipment: ice fishing gear, tip ups, jigging rods
Baits: shiners, dillies, lake trout jigs
This was no small outing. I packed up all my ice fishing gear on a beautiful March day and headed to Alton Bay at bottom of Lake Winnipesaukee. The goal: take the jet sled and cross country ski up to a favorite summer fishing spot at Black Point. This is about 4 miles up, where the bay opens into the bigger part of Winnipesaukee. I was sure of two things: the view would be spectacular and there would be good steep structure for lake trout. To be honest, the trip was bit enthusiastic (file under: mind writing checks the body can’t cash) but I had a great time. Airplanes landed and took off from the bobhouse city by the Alton bandstand, which sits in the middle of the bay. One plane had a mishap that morning – no one was hurt – the plane was in crooked repose by the bandstand making the bay look all that much more like a wild winter outpost. The occasional snowmobiler buzzed past. Pickups and SUVs chugged over two-foot thick ice. I saw a classic snow buggy, made from what appeared be a Model T era truck.

Eventually, by grinding along, I made it to Black Point. The view was worth the trip, as I’d suspected: the Whites in the distant north framed a yawning expanse of ice. A Jeep, just a speck in the distance, drove towards Moose Island over 100+ foots deeps. With only an ice chisel, I knew I’d have more work to do. 15 minutes of hammering away, laying on the ice to reach and scoop chunks out… 26″ of hard lake ice finally allowed me access. Water rushed into the space I’d labored over. I rested, then dug another, set tip ups and had lunch in blazing day-at-the-beach-like sunshine. Later, a hard fighting little laker gave me some fun for my effort. I released the fish and headed back, sunset framing Mount Major an orange, ethereal glow.

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