Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ice Fishing, a review of the past week.

Looking into the Box-Death Hollow Wilderness, Henry Mts. in background
So it's been a few days since I have been able to get a post on here.  Shortly after the New Year's festivities it was time to settle back in to real life and go back to work for the first time in two weeks...ouch!  What better way to start it off than spending a few days in Provo, Utah for fire training.  Well maybe it wasn't all that fun, but it did get me access to Sportsman's Warehouse for an evening, where I was able to pick up a few jigs to try on the ice, and some new coyote calls.  Now to find time to get out and use them!
Below Posey Lake

Our family was able to get out on a few fishing trips this past week...and I won't even talk about coyote hunting!  It has not went so well so far this year!  The fishing trips were not that much better.  I do have a few photos from our outings, and I will break down our reports, as well as a few others that have been passed on to me.

Monday we were able to get out of the house with the kids and head up to one of our favorite spots close to home, Posey Lake, which is just 15 miles from Escalante.  It's actually really sad to think we can get there this time of year!  After some work of busting a couple of small drifts on the road to the lake, we were able to park at the entrance to the campground.  The last few years it has been impossible to get within 5 miles this time of year, unless by snowmobile.  The trip up was a blast, as we were able to enjoy the winter scenery, the sight of a few sleds whipping by us, and yes, the kids had some good laughs as we tried again and again to bust through the snow!  We made our way onto the ice, which was about 10 to 12 inches thick.  We had some trouble locating the fish right off the bat, they were not where we have had luck on the ice in the past.  After a move down the lake the fish finder started beeping away and we found fish in 3 to 12 feet of water.  Catching them was a different story!  Jigs did little to impress these rainbows and brook trout, maybe we should have taken the powerbait for the kids.  Anyway, we had a great time even though the fishing wasn't the best.  On a plus we were able to break out our new Eskimo ice house, which I will be giving a review on next week.

Dallin at Posey

Dallin and Jackson

Panguitch Lake:

With the Fish Lake ice still being questionable (it sounds like it opened up more last weekend!) we decided to take the opportunity to meet with friends at Panguitch Lake today.  Most reports I have received have told of very slow fishing, a lot of parties going out on the ice and being completely skunked!  I did get an encouraging report from a cousin of mine, so we thought maybe things were looking up.  We were welcomed to the lake by strong north winds and snow flurries, but I figured this would be another good opportunity to give our new ice tent a try...and you know how the old timers always say the fish bite better when it's storming!
We set up initially on the south side of the lake, trying to get away from the crowds on the north side.  The water level is still very low.  Rumors of the temporary dams being removed are false, one was removed, the other is still in place and the gate is still cracked open, preventing the lake from filling yet.  We fished in about 8 feet of water on the south side, where we only had a couple of bites and landed only 1 fish.  Looking around us I only saw 3 other fish caught in that time, so we moved to the northeast corner, just above the dam.  Things didn't improve that much.  Although we had a few more bites we were unable to land a fish!  I'm not sure if my fish finder was having trouble today or what, but we were unable to locate a single fish on it!  It was working great Monday, I really think we just were not into fish all day.

I did receive two reports of fishing last week, one claiming fair fishing, the other claiming very good fishing.  Both groups were fishing in about 10 feet of water, a couple of reels off of the bottom with light colored jigs.  Both groups were also fishing at different locations on the lake, which makes me again think that it really just depends on the day at Panguitch Lake.  After the first of the year it always seems to get very unpredictable for ice fishing, and usually slows greatly around February.

The highlight of our day was being blasted by a couple of pretty impressive snow squalls!  If anything we were able to give the ice house a really good test today, as the women and kids used it most of the day, and the guys were left to suffer out in the wind and snow!  At least I have some good information to share on my review of the ice shelter this coming week.  The kids also got in some good fun sledding down the boat ramps and onto the ice today.  All and all it was a great day spent with good friends and the kids had a great time in the outdoors.  What can be better than that?  That's what it's all about right there!

I hope that I have better reports to come during the next week!  I have a pretty good group of guys getting together Friday to give Fish Lake another try.  Temperatures dropped a good 10 to 15 degrees today, accompanied by strong winds.  Hopefully this little cold spell will be the turn around we need to get the lake covered in safe ice!  Yes sir, Friday the 13th we are going to give it another shot!  We will arrive at the lake near the south end sometime around 7:30 to 8:00 AM.  Consider this your invitation if you are interested in going.