Ice fishermen may get one more chance
Written by Post-Tribune   
Saturday, 25 February 2006 10:56

Perhaps next week will be the last hurrah for ice fishermen for the 2005-06 season. Temperatures are not expected to rise above the freezing mark through at least the middle of next week. That, in turn, should allow for safe travel on what was estimated to be four inches of ice on LaPorte Lakes on Wednesday, Steve Hardwicke of Kasst Bait & Tackle in LaPorte said.

Perhaps next week will be the last hurrah for ice fishermen for the 2005-06 season. Temperatures are not expected to rise above the freezing mark through at least the middle of next week. That, in turn, should allow for safe travel on what was estimated to be four inches of ice on LaPorte Lakes on Wednesday, Steve Hardwicke of Kasst Bait & Tackle in LaPorte said.

"The ice is clear and solid," Hardwicke said. "While the clear ice can make tough fishing for bluegill, perch and bass fishing has been pretty good."

Snow-covered or cloudy ice is a boon for bluegill fishermen who tend to jig in shallow water. But clear-ice conditions tend to spook ’gills, which notice movement above the hardwater surface. Perch do not seem to be as easily spooked, Hardwicke said.

"Perch action has been good, with the edges of channels and drop-offs on Pine and Stone Lakes producing some nice catches in the seven- to 10-inch range on small minnows," he said. "It’s just a matter of getting out, drilling some holes and locating schools."

Bass and northern pike are fished with tip-up outfits for ice-fishing. Therefore a fishermen can place out his tip-ups, move away from them so as to not the scare fish and wait for a flag to pop up signaling a "run." Then they can head back over to the tip-up and set the hook. Just remember to wear ice-cleats on clear ice. A fall on the ice can be painful, especially if one is on the run.

When weather permits, boat fishermen are picking up coho salmon from the Gary Lighthouse east to around the mouth of Burns Ditch. Anglers at the public access site at the Port of Indiana are picking up a mixed bag of coho, brown and steelhead trout. Shore fishermen along Trail Creek in Michigan City also are finding a variation of salmon and trout in their creels.

Area tributaries have remained open and the water clarity has improved. Spawn, waxworms and night crawlers being used by fishermen plying the banks of Salt Creek, Trail Creek and the east branch of the Little Calumet River.

 
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