The Unvarnished Truth About WA Ice Fishing

There is nothing that makes this editor more insane than the mental debate about whether to run ice fishing coverage in the Northwest.

Well, anywhere actually.

When I was the Mid-Atlantic editor at Fishing & Hunting News one fall and winter, things were shaping up fantastically for ice fishing in PA, NY and even NJ, so we ran a mess of hardwater stuff.

When the issue came out a week or so later, the ice was gone, so … I ran an open-water issue.

And of course everything froze back up.


Mind you, that’s in the East, where it’s practically guaranteed to be iced up.

But our coverage last winter in Northwest Sportsman faced a similar melting.

Even so, this November, as I put together my story list for the January issue, I nearly pulled the string on a mess of ice-fishing stuff.

It was f@#king cold on the eastsides of our states.

Then it got snowy.

And then it got serious about raining over here.

And then this a.m. I received an email from my man in Moses Lake, Leroy Ledeboer.

To wit:

Call it “The Season No One Can Count On!”

Historically that’s Washington ice fishing, and this year is shaping up to be a prime example.

Way early, before Thanksgiving, we were getting hard freezes. Moses Lake’s protected bays froze solid.  It looked as if we were only days –  well, maybe a week or two –   from safe ice topping our perch and walleye honey holes.

What did we get instead? First a heavy insulating blanket of fresh snow, then daytime temps in the high 30’s, low 40’s, followed by even warmer weather and ice destroying rains.

This morning, after a steady night of drizzle, we woke to 38 degree temps, with a ‘Pineapple Express predicted to hit early next week.

Okay, late December and early January could quickly turn this thing around, but, again, don’t count on it. We could see a repeat of last January when on some waters shoreline plunkers replaced hard water guys, and unsafe ice turned our  our little lakes into no anglers ponds.

You can stick your ice auger up your a**, Jack Frost!


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