We fished there a few weeks ago, plus I get the weekly Walden paper which has a fishing report there. We caught mainly 12-14" fish and saw bigger ones but they were a little lethargic on the bite. The weekly report showed similar results last week with smaller ones on the bite and a few bigger ones occasionally taken. We saw several suckers near the bottom throughout the day while in our hut and I am a little discouraged it looks like they may be thick in there again. Too bad the DOW does not put more browns in there to keep the minnows in check, but they claim they eat too many fingerlings they stock so it is a no win situation.
thanks for the report. Is the access in there pretty easy. I don't have snow or mud tires on my truck so I don't want to get stuck. Also where on the lake were you? FOW you were in and type of lures used?
We fished in 10 FOW on the North end of the lake and used rat finks in orange/white/pink. White was probably the best color that day. I saw in last weeks paper there is quite a bit of snow on the lake so if you plan on driving on the ice be careful as a few people have gotten stuck. Usually they keep the road open around the west side. We usually park and walk to where we fish, been stuck before and it is no fun.
The DOW should dump a few Tiger Musky in there! From what I have read, Big Creek Lakes had a bad Sucker problem, then they put Tiger Musky in to control it. As far as I know it has improved the balance of that fishery. Then again, Lake John has a knack for winter kill every so often.
There is no chance they will put tiger muskies in there as they would also eat too many trout. North Delaney down the road which holds mainly browns has no sucker problems that I know of. I have never seen one ice fishing ever there, but I have seen a few in the South lake which has very few browns. I would be curious to know what the % biomass of trout to suckers in Lake John is now as I bet it is a lot more than people think. Seeing 6 on one trip a few weeks ago was too many for me.
are you sure that you didnt see the same suckers more than once, we have fished south before and had them come in a couple of times to check out our lures, how many suckers have you ever caught up there? i've caught them at wolford before but never at the delaney's or lake john or cowdrey
We moved around so I doubt they were the same ones. Over the past several years I have seen very few caught there and I used to not think there was any until I saw them ice fishing a time or two. It would be interesting to ask the DOW how many they catch in their net samples each year. I know years ago it was quite a few.
I know for a fact that the suckers are back at John. We caught 2 of them ice fishing 2 years ago-made me sick to see them back! In summer, we fly fish almost exclusively at John, so no problem then. They seem to reproduce rapidly there, unfortunately. Fishing didn't seem to be as good in '05, maybe because of the suckers. I too would be interested in hearing from DOW about what they know about numbers.
If I was to take a guess why people don't catch many out of there in the summer or at all, they are mainly bottom feeders and in the summer it is so mossy any bait that does not float gets lost in the weeds easily. They mainly are caught on worms and using worms on the bottom during the summer there is fruitless cause of the moss. We mainly troll so it doesn't affect us, but I have seen one or two bait fishermen catch them on marshmallows which was a surprise. Maybe they could even try putting a few splake in there like Antero in the past for minnow control possibly. It is sad as they either poison it off or it winter kills then in about 3-5 years later they are back again and it is the same old cycle all the time.
the fishing is slow at pretty much all the lakes up there this year, i'm pretty sure the suckers have nothing to do with it. some people seem to always catch fish. maybe the fish just require a different approach this year.
There has been snow on the ice on all those lakes this year, so I suspect they are getting into a little dissolved oxygen problem. I didn't take my 02 meter last weekend. North Delaney was fairly slow - I only had about a dozen hits from 6:30 to noon, all but one from smallish rainbows. Only saw two browns the whole time, but probably 30 rainbows.
Then we moved over to the South lake and it was pretty hot all afternoon. My partrner and I were getting a hit every 5-10 minutes, sometimes faster, and almost every fish we saw hit. We pulled it away from everything that we didn't think would be at least an hour prize fish, but the action was very fast.
All those lakes are temperamental, though, Lake John included. Especially so as the oxygen drops and the fish move up higher in the water column to get more oxygen. They can be downright lethargic.
Suckers would compete with trout for food especially if there is a large number of them, it would diminish the quality of the fishing as trout would not reach their true potential for size. Years ago the DOW had estimates of 50% suckers in there and if it is getting to these levels again they really need to try another fix. The gravel filter on the inlet they installed to stop minnows from entering the lake must not be working as they had thought earlier.
Nope, they figured out that the gravel filter minimized sucker invasion, but apparently didn't eliminate it altogether. Might be time for the locals and the DOW to organize another big sucker netting extravaganza when they spawn down by the inlet in May.
i did actually see some fish at south delaney last sunday cruising around right under the ice, along with the muskrats that keep coming up in the holes. still saw lots of fish action along the bottom though.