Eastern Region – Ice Conditions

December 30

Eastern Region


Last week the ice was four to five inches thick at the north end and five to nine inches at the south end.  It should have gained thickness over the past week and anglers report good fishing for 15 to 18 inch rainbows on night crawlers. With variable ice thickness atv’s and snowmobiles should stay off the ice.   A few anglers also appeared to be doing well using PowerBait.  Soft plastic jigs tipped with a worm should also be effective. Anglers, please note that NDOW has placed radio tags in several Northern Pike.  These pike will have an orange floy tag near their dorsal fin and a small antenna (~ 7 inches long) coming from their stomach.  Please return these fish to the water for research purposes.  All other pike should be humanely dispatched. 



At last check the road into the lake hadn’t been plowed so it is 4WD only into the lake.  Throw in a set of chains and a shovel so that your fishing trip doesn’t get cut short by getting stuck on the way in.  Expect four to seven inches of ice here but be sure to drill test holes before venturing too far onto the ice.  The usual nightcrawlers or PowerBait should work here as well as dark colored soft plastic jigs tipped with a worm.  



On Thursday, December 30, the lake was ice covered with unsafe ice.  This lake is in limbo between unsafe ice with no open water for fishing.  It may be a few weeks yet before there is safe ice here depending upon what the weather does.



As of Thursday, December 30, Wildhorse was completely covered in ice ranging from 4 to 8 inches, though there are some problem areas.  There are slush pockets as well as layered ice.  Layered ice is where there is a base layer of ice, a layer of water and then another thinner layer of ice on top which is often broken through getting feet wet. In areas close to shore it is safe for ice fishing, but at this time it is NOT safe for atv’s and snowmobiles.  There is snow on the ice, but due to the wind it is variable thicknesses with some areas almost clear of snow while others have some drifting.  The State Park Campground is open on a first come first served basis, though nighttime temperatures are expected to be in single digits on Saturday night and then warming up to around freezing early next week.  Reports of anglers doing well on trout, but no reports on perch.  Biologists expect good fishing through the ice this winter for both trout and perch.

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