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for the belief that ice fishing is the best when the ice is new? I've heard the statement made many times but have never heard the reason why that may be so. The water temp can't be much different from the start of ice season to a month later...does it have to do with the gradual disappearance of the food supply -- and it sends the fish into a feeding frenzy? Is it related to the absence of fisherman and noise for so long?
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In my experience, you can think of early ice like the Spring...the fish are putting on a feed bag to get ready for winter. The "doldrums" of winter are like the "doldrums" of summer where the fish get lethargic based on water temperature. Early ice out also triggers the feeding (to make up for winter losses and to get ready for spawning).

That's just my experience/thoughts.
 

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I catch fish regularly all ice season. I've never been skunked on the ice. Ever.

I've never heard that said, but I could see how it would make sense. But like I said, I've never experienced it.
 

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i dont usually do worth a crap at first ice, especially when it is that clear see thru ice, but i usually fish shallow so im sure the fish are spooky when they can see ya. it usually takes a little bit of a snow covering or cloudy ice to pick up the action for me early... i still go early tho if for any reason to get the cobwebs dusted off and get my game face on...
 

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OURAY's got it. All about dissolved oxygen. The longer the lid is on and the more snow cover the less oxy as the plants die off (also referred to as pressure).

The extreme side of pressure results in winter kill.
 

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clint walker said:
I agree, oxygen! and other things. Seems the fish don't really have much of any pressure for a few weeks while the ice is forming. First ice can be some great fishing! Also, the fish have plenty of oxygen and are energetic. Towards the end of ice season in places like Antero, the o2 level gets so low that they really don't exert much energy. Places like 11mile have a good oxygen supply throughout the winter so those fish are active the entire season.
They wouldn't be drunk all the time if you'd stop spilling your busch lights down the hole.
 

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It's a blast to fish through 6" of glass clear ice. Especially when you see the fish shooting up under the ice just before you land them - like when you get the belly flash at the boat.

We also have done this within sight of open water at Granby a few times. And the fishing was excellent.

Antero is a rare exception. When the ice is the way it was this past winter, the fishing never really got bad, and the dissolved oxygen was actually highest on record. Also, there was little to no snow on the ice. Unlike in '08 when they had feet upon feet of snow blocking out the sunlight. That's what really caused the dissolved oxygen crash and subsequent winterkill.

Oh, all in all, it's because we want to go catch all the fish first - you know how that is! :D
 
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