November is usually the month we start ice fishing on Mat-Su Valley Lakes north of Anchorage and near Palmer and Wasilla. Fishing is often dependent upon when the ice becomes thick enough for safe fishing.
November 20, 2020 — I guided a young couple on their first ice fishing trip today. Each of them caught and released several rainbow trout, and in addition they also kept 5 trout for dinner. All of the fish were caught while fishing with Pautzke’s Balls O’ Fire salmon eggs in shallow water along the edge of the lake. During the trip we saw one bald eagle fly by and check out what were doing. I checked the ice before venturing out too far from shore and it looked to be about 5 inches thick. During the trip we also saw one additional group of anglers out on the lake and catching fish as well.
November 29, 2020 — I guided a pleasant group of two men and two 16 year-olds. Each of them caught rainbow trout in the 10 – 14 inch range — most of which they released. In addition the group also caught several smaller landlocked salmon — all of which they released. All of the fish were caught on Pautzke’s Balls O’Fire salmon eggs fished near the lake bottom. During the trip we saw several bald eagles both flying over the lake and perched in trees along the shoreline. We fished in 5 different locations on the same lake, and caught fish from 4 of those locations. I selected this particular lake because the group was interested in catching some Arctic Char, and I’d guided several groups to those fish on this lake in the past — but today my guest did not ice a single char even though we tried several different locations on the lake. The ice seemed to be about a foot thick and very solid. We also saw a couple other groups of people ice fishing while we were out.