SMOOTH SAILING. The midweek stretch is looking great for those sneak-out fishing trips you’re wanting to get in as the last-ice stretch of the season settles over the region. Bag a few pike on the tip-up in those shallow bays as they make their move or find some hungry walleyes as we approach the new moon. We talk about late ice know how, strategy and more in today’s three things.
(Featured Photo: Trout jigs are tied up and ready to hit the water. Simonson Photo
DAILY CONDITIONS: WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Tue 3/13 – Lucky Day! Hi 36, Lo 7, Winds S@8.
Tomorrow: Wed 3/14 – More melting. Hi 38, Lo 13, Winds L&V.
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Sunrise: 8:00 AM Sunset: 7:46PM
Moonrise: 6:14AM Moonset 3:53PM
Overhead: 11:02AM Underfoot: 12:25PM
Moon Phase: Waning Crescent (13% Full)
EDGE HOUR: 3:30 –4:30PM. Start the evening off right with a moonset bite in today’s Edge Hour.
EXTENDO! You’re probably going to need an extension for your auger, as many anglers report brushing their engine casings up against the ice on area lakes. If you think you can squeak by, make sure to shovel or brush the cone of slush and shavings away before finishing the hole to give you added clearance and maximize the depth of an auger blade without an additional six or 12 inch extension in place.
WATCH THE WATER. With snowpack building in the eastern two-thirds of Montana, it’s important to watch water levels on Missouri River reservoirs, and while not much change is expected in the near term, even minor upticks in outflow or changes in runoff entering each stretch can influence ice safety and shift things around on the surfaces of lakes such as Oahe and Sakakwea. Be safe and know before you go.
WIDE MOUTH. With deep ice being the standard this time of year, a quick tip for getting big fish up the hole comes at the end of each drilling. Yaw and rotate the auger slightly once the hole is drilled to create a widened edge on the bottom of the cylinder, and round the lower lip to help large fish like those 15-to-20-pound prespawn pike come up a bit easier as opposed knocking their nose on a straight cutting.