by Richard Niedel (with Larry Scholz, owner of Unc’l Lunkers Bait and Tackle) – Middle Basin resident • MPA board member since 2021 • 50 years on the lake
Moose Pond offers a variety of wonderful recreational activities throughout the year.
While summer season activities — such as swimming, boating, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, fishing and water skiing – are probably more obvious and familiar to most of us, winter on Moose Pond offers a number of recreational opportunities that are equally delightful. Cold-weather activities such as snow shooing, cross country skiing, ice skating, pick-up hockey games, snowmobiling and ice fishing can all be fun and rewarding ways to warm up and cheer up during the cold winter months.
This article is focused on ice fishing
When ice fishing by accessing the lake throughout the winter, it is critical that you take into consideration the thickness of the ice and when it is likely to be safe to walk on. This chart on page 7 is from the Old Farmer’s Almanac that may help you make that determination but, the decision to walk out on the ice is always an important personal one and you should reference all available resources before you make the decision to do so.
Once on the ice you can drill with an ice chisel, hand auger or a power auger up to five holes per person that are 6 to 8 inches in diameter with a trap or jigging rod. If you are on the ice you are legal to fish anywhere and set up a hut. Just like open water fishing, the water belongs to the state and, therefore, as long as you are not trespassing you can fish. You can set up an ice fishing hut but it must have a name on it and needs to be taken down by March 31 or before the ice begins to melt. No permit is required. You can also bring a portable ice fishing tent/hut but they must be taken down each day.
In the upper and lower basins of Moose Pond one will be able to find Bass, Pickerel, Perch, while the Middle basin has Salmon, Trout, Bass, and Perch. Once your holes have been drilled and you have possibly erected an enclosure, you are all set to fish. Just put in your Ice tip-ups also know as traps and ice jigging rods. Worms, shiners, smelt and some favorite lures then need to be attached and wait.
While waiting you may want to feed the human bodies gathered around the fishing holes.
From time to time, you may see motor vehicles out on the lake but, given the obvious danger associated with the extra weight and the potential environmental impact of a leaking or, worse yet, sunken motor vehicle entering Moose Pond the MPA would advocate for the two-footed approach to ice fishing over the four-wheeled version. If your vehicle does break through the ice and goes into the lake you will be subject to both a significant fine and retrieval costs..