Fishing Time: Pineview- 8:00 to 11:30 pm, Willard Bay- 12:30 to 3:30 pm
Weather: clear, no wind, T-40s
Moon Phase: 98% Moon
Location: Pineview/Willard Bay
Best Baits: Small spoons tipped with meal worm
Who Went: Bobber John, Me
The recent urge to ice fish has been strong, but the warm weather has made it tough to find a lake that’s capped with any ice. Bobber John and I had this epic plan to catch a Tiger Musky through the ice at Pineview Reservoir this winter. This isn’t a new idea, but one that has been revisited many times by me and my buddies, but has yet to produce a musky. I’ve seen photos and heard the stories of it actually happening, but it’s usually a fisherman that lucks into one while ice fishing for perch. Either way, Bobber John and I decided that we would take a chance knowing the odds were against us.
We were pleasantly surprised on arrival as the entire lake was capped with what looked to be safe ice. After a quick check with the ice bar we began our hike on 4 to 5 inches of ice around the point towards the narrows. We set up shop in 15 feet of water where we dropped a couple tip ups down with an anchovy attached. Then we proceeded to deeper water to try our luck for perch and crappie.
The tip ups never budged the entire morning (surprise) and the perch were even hard to find. Usually you can’t keep the little perch and crappie off at Pineview, but not today. We didn’t last long before our impatient fishing minds began wandering and thinking about somewhere else to go.
We finally made a decision and packed up our gear and headed down the canyon. We ended up going to Willard Bay to see if we could drag a wiper onto the ice (why do we punish ourselves). Once we were at the lake we quickly realized it had not been frozen very long. There were only a couple holes drilled in the marina and the ice outside of the marina was 3-inches of crystal clear ice. It felt like we were walking on water as we made our way out onto the main body of water. We followed the GPS on my fish finder until we were sitting over a hump that treated us well the previous year fishing from my boat.
The fish finder immediately started showing fish on the bottom, but getting them to bite was a different story. I finally hooked into the mystery fish only to find out it was a big fat 11-inch perch. The bite never did turn on much, but they were nice perch to say the least. It was pretty cool being one of the first ones on the ice at Willard Bay, and the chunky perch made the day a success.