Matt Sell, Fisheries Biologist
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Posted on February 26, 2014 | Permalink
Deep Creek Lake Kid's Ice Fishing Day and Tournament
Location: Deep Creek Lake
This past weekend a group of ice anglers held a kid’s ice fishing fun day and clinic at Deep Creek Lake. Sponsorships from various tackle companies and volunteer time by a group of great ice anglers made the day a success, despite high winds, high pressure cold front conditions, and very smooth/slippery ice. The day started out with donuts, cookies and hot chocolate as well as instruction about ice safety, such as how thick the ice needs to be to be safe, how to avoid bad ice, and what to do if you do fall through. Once that was complete, each kid was given a gear pack that included some ice fishing jigs, a tackle box, spring bobbers, a nice, warm fleece hat, ice picks (to pull yourself out if you fall in), creepers to keep everyone from sliding around on the smooth ice, and a brand new ice fishing rod and reel (plus more). Once safety was covered, the group headed out onto the ice where the kids received instruction on how to use ice fishing sonar, hand and power augers to drill holes, how to setup a tip-up (or fish trap), and various techniques for how to actually catch fish through the ice. The weather conditions for fishing were less than ideal, however, a few kids got to pull some fish through the ice before heading back ashore to cap the day off with hot dogs, chips, and soda.
This was my first year attending this event (which has become an annual event) and it was definitely a good time! I would suggest that anyone who wants to learn about how to ice fish and some basic techniques for catching fish would do well to attend next year’s event! Kids and adults were welcome and everyone learned a lot!
The day after the kids’ event, the adults had an ice fishing “tournament” as a fundraiser to help pay for next year’s kid’s day. Basically everyone gave a little money and the prizes given were braggin’ rights for the biggest Yellow Perch and biggest Bluegill - and with this group of anglers, those are serious braggin’ rights! Once again, less than ideal conditions kept many fish from being pulled through the ice, but folks did manage a nice creel of 9-10” bluegills and 9-13” yellow perch, and even a nice walleye! If you want to test your ice fishing prowess against some excellent ice anglers, come on now next year to test your mettle and help support the kid’s event!