Now that we have come into the meat of winter and the ice has frozen to 8+ inches, the diehard ice fishing junkies are out in full swing reeling in the spoils of their efforts. It takes a special person to get up early in the morning (with sometimes negative temperatures) and go drill ten or so holes in the ice to prepare for some excellent fishing. Being from Virginia, I do not have a lot of experience on the ice…until today, when I went to check out some locals who had just set up their tip-ups over their fishing holes. As I gingerly stepped on the ice it felt firm under my feet, which gave me the courage to walk out to the fishermen. While talking to one of the gentleman, I heard a thunderous crack under my feet that shot like a laser beam toward the shoreline and sent a chill up my spine. I was sure I was going through the ice! The fisherman kinda chuckled a bit and reassured me that it was absolutely safe on the ice considering its current thickness. It’s so quiet on the lake you can hear the ice shifting, snapping and popping almost like it has a life of its own. In no time, the flags on the tip-ups are popping in the air signaling that there’s a fish-on. Yellow perch are the catch of the day, although walleye and some trout can be caught as well. On your next visit to Deep Creek Lake take some time to walk out on the ice and check in with some of the locals who are on their frozen paradise. Maybe you’ll be inspired to become a ice fishing junkie yourself!
Fish Kill Results Deep Creek Lake. Well, there have been a lot of people locally concerned about the recent fish kill here on Deep Creek Lake, and rightfully so. There have been many different stories about the cause of the kill and the health of the lake. I spend a lot of time in the lake and have never been given any signs that the lake is polluted or contaminated in any way, shape or form. I have been waiting to hear facts about the fish kill before raising any concerns or judgments.
Thankfully, it looks like the scientists have found the culprit to be the recent hot weather that we’ve been experiencing this summer. The Maryland State Department of the Environment said Thursday that high air temperatures this month warmed the lake’s surface and created ideal conditions for an infestation of parasitic microorganisms that affect the gills of certain cold-water fish.
The agency said the fish kill is affecting mainly cold-water species such as yellow perch, walleye, smallmouth bass and northern pike.
Environmental regulators and the state Department of Natural Resources are still collecting and analyzing water and fish samples.
I have heard a lot of chatter from people on the East Coast and a lot of the country who are voicing their desires for springtime to blossom tomorrow (if possible!) with the wave of a magic wand. Here in Deep Creek Lake we had 36 to 40 inches this past weekend with another 20 inches coming in the next couple of days. My love for winter activities segregates me to a different perception of cold snowy winters, and I could tell by the sea of smiles I encountered this weekend that I am not alone. The amount of snow we are receiving here in Deep Creek Lake and the quality of powder that we have seen makes it all too difficult to throw in the towel for the winter season. I know there are some “powder junkies” like myself that look at a big winter snow storm in the same light as a surfer sees a hurricane and its potential for bringing a large clean swell or in our case, some fresh powder.
You won’t be disappointed if you make it to Garrett County from your hometowns this weekend (some of who are still digging out from the last storm last weekend). Rest assured that the roads here are masterfully manicured and most of all safe to bring your family for a visit. I see the snow starting to fall this morning and I’m already getting excited about getting a couple of quick powder runs in tomorrow morning before work. Be one of the many who get out of the gates early and come chase the fresh snow during our self proclaimed “powder hour” and make sure you get your fill of fun before spring does officially take over.
For all of you who come to Deep Creek Lake, Maryland to enjoy boating, slalom skiing, wakeboarding, hiking, snow skiing, snowboarding and a wealth of other great activities, I hope you are not missing out on some spectacular fishing opportunities. Fishing Deep Creek Lake is something that sometimes gets overlooked by people coming in from out of town because they get lost in the vast amount of things to do during the day.
Take my advice and slow down. Get up before the crack of dawn and get out on the lake with a pale full of golden shiners in some secluded little cove near the dam and get ready to wear out your wrist reeling in 14+ species of fish. All your favorites are here such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, black crappie, yellow perch, bluegill and many other species. Start your day enjoying the peaceful calm that Deep Creek offers every morning and fill up your cooler with lunch for the family.
Not a morning person? Wait for the last wakeboard boat to dock at dusk and load up your fishing tackle for a night fishing trip by the moonlight. Night fishing at Deep Creek Lake can be very, very, productive. Nothing more relaxing than anchoring up over your favorite point, throwing out a line, and waiting for a bite as the moon glows across the water illuminating your bobber. Recommended…