or should I say...
from one extreme to the other!

Saturday was good, not great.  We cleaned 53 keeper perch from the west side of St. Albans Bay.
Nothing over ten inches but a couple of good meals.

Sunday was almost a bust, almost a skunk,,,
at least as far as good perch thru the ice goes.

Sunday was in Mallets Bay, wanting to pull yellow perch through the Lake Champlain ice.
First fish on....
This laker, must of been an eight pounder, maybe more.  A great 15 minute battle on 4 pound test Berkley FireLine  Fused Micro Ice Crystal (the best stuff on an ice jigging rod!)
Caught within 2 minutes of fishing, and released for someone else to enjoy.
A couple more small perch, too small to keep including this trophy!

From one extreme to the other.
Just another fun, enjoyable weekend on the ice of Lake Champlain!

Sorry it had to end!

Fish on, fish H8 me.




By Shawn Good, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist.

"I'd like to remind all you pike hunters out there that I'm still looking for help in collecting information I need to understand the age structure and growth rates of Vermont's northern pike populations. I hope people who harvest pike will take the time (very easy to do, and only about a minute per fish) to remove the cleithral bone, record the information (length, date and water), bag it in a sandwich baggie, and stick it in the freezer. This data is very important to us, and will allow us to understand the needs for northern pike management in Vermont.

I would like to ask pike anglers to visit this web page I have set up http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/pike.cfm that provides photo and video instructions on how anglers can collect, record, and submit this data from northern pike they harvest. It is a very simple process that would only take a minute or two at the most per fish you catch and keep.

I greatly appreciate your interest and help, if you are able to. If anyone has any questions on this, feel free to get in touch with me at shawn.good@state.vt.us.  Thanks again."

Fish on, fish H8 me.




Reported by Mike of Dockside Outdoors.

A fisherman (name unknown) recently showed up at Dockside with a beautiful 5.2 pound Landlocked Atlantic Salmon he caught while ice fishing at the cowbanks.
Evidently, he'd been fishing for perch near the bottom when he decided to switch gears and try his hand at Salmon.  He switched baits to a larger Swedish Pimple and fished suspended, 15 feet or so off the bottom when this beautiful Silver fell for his offerings.

Fish on, fish H8 me.


Buzz Hoerr: We are the biggest threat to Lake Champlain

Click to read a great article:
Buzz Hoerr: We are the biggest threat to Lake Champlain

Fish on, fish H8 me.


Just the other day while hanging out at Dockside, my favorite hang-out, bait and tackle supplier, I showed Mike a picture of a "Swedish Pimple" I'd been using while perch fishing through the ice.

"Why did you remove the treble and replace it with the single hook?" he asked

"I hate them" I replied, "they make it too difficult to remove the hook from the fish, and tear up the fish that we want to release..."

Then there's this:

Not Good!
Treble Hooks suck!

Fish on, fish H8 me.




Saturday at the Cow-banks was a slower day fishing than we would have liked.  The fish weren't very active and the quality definitely wasn't there either.
Sunday we moved north, to an area we've only fished in March, when the ice is readily deteriorating and the yellow perch are headed towards spawning grounds, waiting for the water to warm.

it wasn't real hot action, but we found some nicer fish.
We punched holes, waited, and nothing happened.  We moved out deeper, punched holes again and waited.  Then a fish hit...Okay, we'll set up "camp" here.

Schools of fish would come and go.  We'd get steady hits, put a few of them into the bucket, and then wait for the next school of perch to come by.  Sometimes the wait would be a few minutes, sometimes as long as 15 or so.

But...that's okay.  The fishing included catching.  And,,, it included quality time with my wife.  Quiet, except for the radio playing quietly in the background.  Quiet, without anyone else around.  There wasn't another fisherman within a mile of us. 
Nice and quiet.

Cathy did it again...set a new personal best Lake Champlain Yellow Perch record. 

In fact...since we've been together, and keeping  "record" of our catch, she's been on the leader-board, hands down when it comes to pulling big perch thru the ice.

This nice fatty went a solid 12-1/2 inches with a nice plump belly.  I can only imagine what this fish would look like in another couple of months, just prior to spawning.

We stopped fishing with our "limit" of what we're comfortable with to clean.  If we have too many to clean, it becomes a chore and can have a negative effect on the entire experience.  We packed our fish in vacuum bags to be enjoyed another day.  Yummy Lake Champlain Yellow Perch.

Fish on, fish H8 me.




To anyone out there ice fishing... ECHO is looking for a Burbot to exhibit along with Lake trout and Atlantic Landlocked salmon. If you land a burbot, no bigger than 18" or so, or, if you'd like more information, please give them a call at 802-864-1848 x128.
Thanks and good, safe fishing!
Fish on, fish H8 me.




Governor Jim Douglas today joined New York Governor David Paterson to announce the design for the new Lake Champlain Bridge. Design work will begin immediately on the Modified Network Tied Arch Bridge concept, which was the preferred choice for replacement.

I think it's going to be a great looking bridge!
For more information go to https://www.nysdot.gov/lakechamplainbridge/alternatives
Fish on, fish H8 me.


For a complete list of upcoming ice fishing tournaments and derbies, along with tournaments and derbies scheduled during the summer months, visit Lake Champlain Tournaments page of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife website.  Simply type in "Champlain" in the "water body" box and click on "look up derby"!

Fish on, fish H8 me.



Our ten year old Grandson, Justin is beginning to show some real interest in going fishing with us.  The other night he called and asked if he could spend the weekend.  When Cathy mentioned we "may" do some hardwater fishing on Lake Champlain, he was thrilled.

We stopped by Dockside, said hello to Mike and others, then Justin bought his first "scoop" of small fatheads to use as bait, and signed his first "Vermont Baitfish Transportation Receipt". 
Off we go...

I had an idea on where I wanted to fish as I had been on the phone, checking with friends on the ice.  So far, reports weren't good.  It appeared the fishing was slow everywhere.  Not good. I explained to Justin, "if we're out there doing our part, the rest is up to the fish!"

We checked several areas and talked to fisherman coming off the ice.  "No, no fish".  "Very few".  "One yellow perch in an hour".  "Three of us got 10 perch in 5 hours".  "Should have been here yesterday", were the responses I was getting.  Well, in one particular spot, with open water not too far off, the eye's of the "fisherman" that just came off the ice told a different story.  "We're going back to Hill Rd" I told Cathy and Justin, "I don't think that fella we talked to was being truthful".

We ventured out several hundred yards and Justin said his feet and legs were beginning to get cold.  The temperature was in the single digits and we were quartering into a 7 mph breeze from the North. We needed to get the portable shack set up and the heat going.  "Just a little further I explained".

We stopped and got set up.  Justin warmed up and was able to take his heavy coat off once the heater was on and the shack warmed up.  A few quick lessons and it was fish on. From that point on, it was all smiles!  "This is fun" Cathy and I heard over and over as Justin kept pulling yellow perch through the ice.  One after another.  Like a pro! 

We ended up with a nice catch of perch.  We kept the fish larger than 9 inches, had a few in the "pounder" class, a five gallon bucket 1/2 full when the sun fell below the horizon and we headed for the truck.

The jury is still out:  Who caught the most?  Who caught the biggest? I think Justin wins those categories. Who had the most fun, Cathy and I, or Justin?  hmmm...
I don't think any of us will ever forget Justin's first Perch Pulling on the ice of Lake Champlain.

He was again, cold when we got to the truck, but nevertheless, is looking forward to his next adventure, Pulling Perch through the ice on Lake Champlain!  Maybe, just maybe, we can get him out next weekend!  I don't think we'll have to twist his arm!

Fish on, fish H8 me.


Lucky to be Alive!

This isn't Lake Champlain.
This guy is lucky to be alive and MUST be thankful he had his friends there!

Fish on, fish H8 me.




I think the title sums it up nicely.

here's another very cool video.  Thanks to RD Jr for introducing me to this one!
Check out the clarity of the ice.  Perfect ice.  I've never had to opportunity to fish ice as perfect as this!
Oh---the fish is totally cool too, a real monster!

Fish on, fish H8 me.


"Icing" Champlain's Yellow Perch

The last day of 2009 brought me the first day of  fishing the hard water this season.  St. Albans Bay was my choice, as there isn't really a lot of ice on the big lake to speak of but I found 5" on the Bay. I wasn't able to fish on the ice where I initially checked, nor could I fish my second preferred location.  I shuffled out from the boat launch on Hathaway Point, and headed away from everyone else and the noises that go along with a crowd.

The first spot I tried produced  a few yellow perch and fewer "keepers".  I moved a hundred yards or so, drilled and tried again.  Better.  More consistent action and that means more keepers.  I ended the day with 26 "keeper" yellow perch, the largest, a hen, just over 12 inches.  I kept her, but kind of wished I'd of let her go to spawn in the spring.

Friday, the first day of twenty-ten, Cathy joined me.  Cathy and I always try to fish the hard water the first day of each year, kind of a tradition we follow, if...there's enough ice!

We took all our gear; shanty, heater, radio, munchies, the whole enchilada. 
At first we tried a couple holes someone else had graciously drilled for us.  They looked to be spaced just about right should we decide to set the shanty over them.  They produced a few fish, some were keepers but it wasn't enough action to keep us entertained.  We decided to move out further from shore, again, keeping our distance from the crowds.  Here we found more active fish so here is where we stayed.  We'd have schools swim by, we'd pick a few off, and the school would leave.  We'd wait patiently, and another school would swim by, looking for our offerings.

All said and done, the two days resulted in well over a hundred yellow perch pulled through the ice.  We kept a total 75, of which two dozen have already been fried to a delicious golden brown and served with Cathy's "special" mashed potatoes!

Be safe if you venture onto the ice, tell someone where you'll be and how long you expect to stay out.  Take a buddy and don't take chances!

Fish on, fish H8 me.