The wonders of ice fishing on Cascade Lake in Idaho

The wonders of ice fishing on Cascade Lake in Idaho

Cascade, Idaho — While many anglers hang up their fishing poles when winter arrives and the lakes freeze over, Idaho ice anglers embrace the changing landscape and head to secluded terrain for some of the best ice fishing in the country.

In search of huge perch, KTVB’s Judd Binkley caught up with local fishermen and Cascade Lake fishing guides, Chris Weber and Parker Wheeler, in Cascade, Idaho.

the journey

The frigid forecast didn’t stop Weber and Wheeler from going to the frozen lake seven days a week for two and a half months of cold weather. As temperatures drop, so do their stripes.

The trip begins at the landing pier in the northern part of the frozen lake’s shores, where guides and adventure seekers meet to review the basics, plan the day, and gather the necessary items for a successful ice fishing trip.

When the snowmobiles are finished loading with supplies for the eight-hour chase, the crew then treks through the 12-inch-thick ice to the perfect spot to set up a warm camp, dig an ice hole and drop a line.

“People sometimes We call it “It’s addictive, I will definitely say that,” Weber said. “Cascade Lake is a world-class ice fishing destination.”

Reviewed by Al-Said Travel Company As the best place for ice fishing, Lake Cascade draws anglers from all over the country in search of fish found below the layer of ice and mild conditions above it.

“The weather in Cascade is calm and it’s really sunny. It’s cold all night, so it freezes really well,” Weber noted. “And then during the day, it’s really nice.”

Despite Idaho’s agreeable climate, igloos are still recommended for a long day of fishing.

Inside the insulated huts overlooking the frozen landscape of Cascade Lake, temperatures can reach 70 degrees.

So, Weber recommends finding an area on the ice where fish are visible and frequenting a certain spot every five to 15 minutes, unloading the day’s gear from the snowmobile, and setting up camp.

Once the ice shanties are in place, it’s time to drill an 8-inch hole in the ice that will serve as the angler’s gateway to the aquatic creatures below.

Ice fishermen are equipped with the same tools that have been used for generations. However, it was there some Upgrades have been made and new technology added to the typical ice fishing tackle box.

“You can actually scan about 90 feet and see those fish cruising around,” Weber said of his high-tech sonar. “A lot of these perch will come up off the bottom, and they’ll just swim up there. And, you know, you’re basically enticing them to bite.”

Find perch

“There’s a lot of population coming from the Midwest. 75% of my work as an ice fishing guide comes from the Midwest,” Weber said.

The Midwest is another popular region of the country for ice fishing enthusiasts. The influx of Midwesterners into Idaho can be attributed to Lake Cascade’s reputation for having very large fish. Perch are much larger than those found in the Midwest.

The Great Lakes region is known for producing perch whose maximum size ranges from seven to 10 inches -Big difference compared to Lake Cascade perch which range in size from 15 inches to 16 inches.

“It’s crazy. Some of our biggest perch (in Cascade Lake) are 15 to 16 inches long. This one goes back to 2008,” Weber explained excitedly. “They’re 15-16 years old!”

Yellow perch can be carefully cooked, and fishermen say it tastes better fried. Fish can also be made into taxidermy trophies.

“I got em!”

For Weber and Wheeler, chasing the lake’s highs when temperatures hit their lowest is what life in Idaho and the sport of ice fishing is all about.

“So, this is what we do for eight hours a day, every day. ‘Look at the screen and try to jump the perch,'” Weber said of a day in the life of an ice fishing guide. “We love it.”

“I like to distract myself as much as possible and indulge in ice fishing just to escape. I think it goes back to addiction,” Weber said. “The second the fish bites, then it settles on the hook… those two seconds are the best feeling.”

It’s the feeling when enough patience, a little luck and one quick reaction collide, resulting in a lasting memory A unique experience in Idaho’s backcountry on Cascade Lake.

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