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Mark Knapp

Ice fishing begins

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Finally got enough ice to fish safely. There's eight inches of ice, and believe it or not, people were driving on it. Not me.

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Here's the environment. Quartz Lake in interior Alaska. It's ten below zero.

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My Cabela's pop-up fishing shelter. It's insulated and heats really easily with a propane heater.

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In ten minutes, we had the first fish. The rainbows are pretty in this lake.

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Along with the rainbows, we have stocked kings, silvers and char. Here's a king.

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My buddy Dave with one of our nicest rainbows of the trip.

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This is the nicest one we caught on this trip, a 22 incher.

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We had planned to just eat, fish and sleep the whole three days, no cooking and no washing dishes. Everything's frozen so the water system in the RV wasn't going to work. Like all things mechanical, nothing was working in the cold. The microwave oven and the propane oven didn't want to work in my new-used 1991 class "C" mobile ice fishing headquarters either. We didn't even bring frying pans because we were just going to eat frozen sandwiches and chips. We ended up using a snow shovel to heat up the breakfast sandwiches.

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We caught about fifty fish in the three days and kept three of the biggest rainbows to eat, 20 to 22 inches long.

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Dave and I had a great time and can't wait to go again, next time with more winterization on the motor home and a bigger generator so the microwave will work.

I almost forgot to mention the highlight of the trip was the thirty inch rainbow I watched bite my jig, I had him on for just a fraction of a second and then he spit the hook.

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I just hope we get ice this year in PA. You guys certainly had a great time. Thanks for taking the time to post the pictures. I really enjoy them.

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Man, the ice was like 5 feet thick last year. Maybe it will get thicker.

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15 minutes ago, TIER said:

Man, the ice was like 5 feet thick last year. Maybe it will get thicker.

It will.

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Curious...is it easier to catch fish outa that lake ice fishing rather than regular tackle in the summer?

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20 minutes ago, denduke said:

Curious...is it easier to catch fish outa that lake ice fishing rather than regular tackle in the summer?

There's good days and bad days but generally the conventional fishing in the summer is usually pretty good. We can catch 20 to fifty fish a day. The fly fishing can be real good too.

Thanks all.

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Thanks for the post Mark got to light a fire under my butt and get my smitty sled built. We won't have safe ice here for a while yet but time goes by quickly. Propane systems suffer in cold temps / weather I carry a white gas stove in the RV belly to cook outside and have cooked inside with separate propane bottle with a portable stove. 8" of ice before Thanksgiving, when is ice out ? LOL good thing you didn't have plastic snow shovel! Nice trip, Dave looks happy. 

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4 hours ago, cphubert said:

Thanks for the post Mark got to light a fire under my butt and get my smitty sled built. We won't have safe ice here for a while yet but time goes by quickly. Propane systems suffer in cold temps / weather I carry a white gas stove in the RV belly to cook outside and have cooked inside with separate propane bottle with a portable stove. 8" of ice before Thanksgiving, when is ice out ? LOL good thing you didn't have plastic snow shovel! Nice trip, Dave looks happy. 

Funny thing was, the stove top worked and the propane heater, and fridge worked fine. We even used the propane oven the evening before, it just wouldn't work for breakfast. Another good reason to carry a metal snow shovel. We'll have all those problems fixed before the next trip. Of course, it'll be colder then.

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3 hours ago, Upstate said:

Mark,  Are those stocked fish? Looks like a great time. Thanks for sharing.

Yep, they are all stocked fish. It was a pike and burbot lake naturally then they took them all out and put in trout and salmon. It's been a huge success for a department that doesn't get to enjoy many successes.

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Just now, Mark Knapp said:

Yep, they are all stocked fish. It was a pike and burbot lake naturally then they took them all out and put in trout and salmon. It's been a huge success for a department that doesn't get to enjoy many successes.

cool, what type of the salmon? is the lake land locked?

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33 minutes ago, Upstate said:

cool, what type of the salmon? is the lake land locked?

Just found it on a map. I see that it is land locked. Almost drove by it when I drove the Alaska highway many moons ago . Hung a left before I got there and headed to Anchorage

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2 hours ago, Upstate said:

cool, what type of the salmon? is the lake land locked?

Those are Kings (Chinooks) and silvers (Coho). We also have char and the rainbows.

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