Tom O'Connell, Fisheries Service Director
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Posted on January 28, 2014 | Permalink
Never Too Cold to Fish!
Location: Deep Creek Lake
January 19, 2014 - As the Martin Luther King holiday weekend approached the weather forecast for an ice fishing trip with my son, Tommy, to Deep Creek Lake looked less than ideal. However, the annual ice fishing tradition that we began in 2013 was going to continue regardless. On our drive westward Sunday morning, my friend and colleague, Matt Sell was already on the lake fishing with Alan Heft and his son Andrew. Periodic text messages reported a few Yellow Perch with snow showers and heavy winds – in his words, ‘blizzard conditions’.
We met them on the lake around noon, and were fortunate that all of the ice holes had been drilled and there was a shanty to escape the sustained winds of 25+ mph with gusts to 40 mph. Several tip ups with minnows were set around the shanty in water depths between 14 and 19 feet. While we waited for a bite on the tip ups, we fished the holes inside the shanty with small jigs (Swedish pimple, friska, circade – all gold in color) tipped with maggots or minnow heads). The snow and wind were so strong that the tip holes quickly became snow covered, and it was not long before we focused solely on jigging.
Fishing was slow but we managed to bring home a dozen of Yellow Perch, several between 12 and 13.5 inches. Attached is a photo of a few of the Yellow Perch we caught, and of a nice Walleye that Matt caught the evening before we arrived. One thing for sure, it was a fishing trip that will be a life long memory for Tommy and I. Something that would not have happened if we were home watching television. Ice was 8-inches thick and will only be thicker with the 10-day forecast. So, find a day or two, head west and catch some jumbo perch from western Maryland.