ESSEX, VT — Super bowl Sunday is over and you’re looking for something to do? The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department reports that ice fishing in Vermont is heating up. Ice conditions have improved, and some memorable fish have been caught in recent weeks.
“We just keep hearing great reports of nice catches of everything from pike to perch,” said State Fisheries Biologist Bernie Pientka. “A monster northern pike weighing 22.53 lbs with a length of 41.5 inches and girth of 21 inches was caught in Lake Champlain, and anglers are catching many pike over 10 lbs.”
On February 2nd, Lance Champney of Milton, Vermont caught a 10.32 lb., 32.75 inches long Atlantic salmon through the ice on the Inland Sea portion of Lake Champlain.
“This large salmon is another example of the success of the lamprey control program on Lake Champlain,” said Pientka. Champney agrees. “I’ve been fishing Lake Champlain since I can remember,” he said. “The past couple of years are among the best I’ve ever seen out here.”
“We also can’t forget that in 2010 a Vermont State Record walleye weighing 14.55 lbs. was caught this time of the year,” added Pientka. “Lake Champlain anglers are having great success this winter.”
Keep track of those large fish by taking photos and measuring their length, and be sure to submit them to the Vermont Master Angler Program. The Program recognizes the achievements of anglers who catch trophy-sized fish from Vermont waters and celebrates the fish’s accomplishment in surviving and growing to such an exceptional size.
Vermont’s Master Angler program is a length-based program that sets “trophy sized” benchmarks for 33 eligible fish species. While these big fish are a challenge to catch, they are attainable for anglers that develop the necessary knowledge and skills.
Don’t let the season pass you by, head out onto the ice and enjoy some great fishing. You can buy your Vermont fishing license on line at http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/buylicense.cfm and locate bait dealers at http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/Fish_baitdealers.cfm.