12/29/12: Highland Lake, Andover
Conditions: cloudy, occasional light snowfall, calm 20s
Equipment: ice fishing gear
Back to Highland Lake, for my first outing of the year on the ice. This little lake has good early season ice fishing – it can be more challenging later. The lake get stocked with some broodstock trout, and it can be a lot of fun coaxing those fish into range with a baited jigging rod. Ice was about 3″ when I visited, so I used considerable care getting around. I always test early ice every 10 feet or so with the chisel. If I can cut through in a couple of strokes… I’m outta there! I also recommend, for safety’s sake, that you don’t go alone. Ice fishing is more fun with company anyways.
Brook and rainbow trout are often shallow and are spooked easily by tipups. If I do get a grab and drop on a tipup, I’ll immediately work that spot with the jigging rod with good results. This kind of fishing is fun, because you often get to see the take. Better yet, there is the occasion that you wind up standing there with your heart pounding while a good sized fish swoops in, grabs, drops, grabs, drops and then takes off with the bait. Good stuff!
Hoping to still get an open water kayak trip in on the southern end of the state, but I’m thinking the weather has other ideas. Several nights with single-digit temps are in the forecast. The good side of that… maybe the big lakes will start to freeze over. Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam are wide open.