Each year at this time the ice fishing slows down as we get a little closer to spring. That doe not mean you can't catch any fish, however what it does mean is you will have to work a little harder to catch your fish.
I did manage to get out on Kenai Lake on three occasions in the past few weeks. My first trip I went with Ted Knight and we caught 29 Lake trout while fishing in about 25 feet of water. My second trip we were fishing in the same spot and my son Travis and Ted Knight and I caught 32 Lake trout and two Rainbow trout.
Lae season fishing is tough fishing and if I was going to offer anyone advice, the main thing you need to do is watch your line, not wait till you feel the bite on your pole. Sometimes all you will see is your line move slightly and if you miss that you're probably baitless. The second thing is to jig nearly constantly, the more the better. Anything you can do to get the attention of these sluggish, slow moving fish is step number one in enticing them to bite. If you're not blessed with a whole lot of patience then late season ice fishing is probably not for you.
On my third trip to the Lake I realized as we were on our way that I had forgotten my wallet which meant no fishing license with me! Guess who was our first visitor on the ice that day? Yes, Mr. warden and his name was Trooper Thomas Lowy from Seward. He was very pleasant and issued me a ticket for fishing without a license, with a fine of $210.00 As soon as I got back home and caught up with my fishing license my wife faxed a copy and my ticket was thrown away.
Whenever you get a chance to get out and get some fish please think of the elderly in your neighborhood or your church. These senior citizens often times don't have the opportunity to get any fresh fish, especially in the wintertime, and greatly appreciate your sharing your catch with them.
Steve and Heidi Dambacher with Lake trout from Kenai Lake
Even though my family and I had several meals of fresh Lake trout we were still able to take several fish to church and give them away. Ted Knight took several fillets to Ray Harker in Soldotna who suffered some frostbite earlier while ice fishing at Skilak Lake. It gives me great joy in being able to share with others what God has provided for us. I enjoy this part as much as catching these fish in the first place.
One fellow from church, Fred Maier sent home an antique steel that came from his family who were butchers in Germany! It has been in the Maier family for over 100 years and Fred wanted me to have it, simply because we shared a few packages of fish and meat with him throughout the last few years. As I told Fred I feel almost too honored to accept such a special gift. I see the need to have a display case built in my butcher shop for such a special gift.
Another guy, Carl Tauriainen called and thanked me for the fish. Carl has given me several nice meals of Cod in the past year and I was merely trying to repay him for his acts of kindness. Russ and Donna Hoyt went to the bother to send me a thank you card at home for getting some Lake trout! I almost feel guilty accepting all these thank yous and gifts for doing what all of us should each day normally. If any of you see either Billy or Rosie Spiers out there tell them Big John still has their Lake trout fillets waiting in his freezer.
Don't give away fish or game just so you don't have to clean or process it. Don't make your gift a burden to our elderly. If you're too tired to do it yourself, give me a call and I will do it for you. The real gift is a package of fish or meat ready to eat.
See You Next Week!
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