Some Alaskans believe that fishing stops when summer ends. The onslaught of cold and frigid weather deters the average fisher. However, the sport of ice fishing allows the passionate angler a year’s worth of fishing. While many people will be interested in spending months in search for the largest fish, many who want to try ice fishing out for the first time can find great options at affordable rates.
In October, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game stocks dozens of lakes with rainbow trout, grayling, landlocked salmon, arctic char and other species. This means fantastic fishing is just minutes away. While many professionals may invest in pricey setups, anglers can get away with simple tools and materials to make the winter ice fishing adventure fun and worth the time.
Mark Bean, Anchorage resident, has been fishing non-stop since last summer. In December he setup at Sand Lake, hoping to enjoy the peace and quiet. “I just enjoy fishing in general, any type,” Bean said.
Catching a trophy-sized fish isn’t far fetched in lakes off the road system. “You are in the city, but you can catch fish upwards of eight pounds,” said Ryan Ragan, spokesman for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game sport fishing division.
If you’re seeking a specific depth, the ADF&G can provide you with depth charts.
If you’re looking for a species with a good fight, Ragan suggests to target northern pike. These fish have a reputation for being aggressive predators, a trait that often times draws them to bait, as they will eat nearly anything in sight worth eating.
Regulations vary on the catch-and-release rule, but Ragan suggests bringing a copy of the latest regulations along for your trip. This ensures you know all the rules and regulations for your particular trip.