I have a few lakes I like to fish that are under 50 acres, some as deep as 60'. They tend to drop off very quickly. Any suggestions for fishing something like this through the ice.
Fishing small deep lakes that drop off quickly.
The low oxygen in the deep water is true in the summer, but I don't think it's true for winter. Many fish will go to the deepest water in the lake in the winter, so I believe the oxygen content is more rich in deep water in the winter than it is in the summer. If you're talking about ice fishing a lake like this I'd try the deeper water first. If it's more than 30 feet be careful for what you're fishing for though, because the fish won't survive coming out of deep water. I've found about 30 feet to be the cutoff for this.
I was thinking the same thing, but I really like your minnow canary trick Ulbian... (great post)
Thanks Ulbian, never considered that. The lake I'm looking at is only 37 acres. It has a few side bays at 30'. I think I would target those areas and hope to find suspended fish.
You need to figure out how deep the oxygenated water is. Lakes that deep will only have oxygen levels that will support life to certain depth unless it has current running through it. If it doesn't then my approach is to bring at least an extra dozen minnows and set them on tip ups at different depths. After five minutes check them and if the minnow is dead raise it up five feet and repeat the process until they no longer die after five minutes. It’s a “canary in a cave” concept. Once your lower oxygen depth is established you can go from there. If there is any bottom structure focus a bit of time over the top of it even if that structure is well within the “dead” zone.
Over the years I’ve fished a lake similar to what you describe. It’s only 35 feet deep but within a few weeks you can’t keep minnows alive deeper than 15 feet from the surface. There‘s a lot of discussion about “eliminating water” but most view it in a linear surface acres concept. If you eliminate 30 or so feet of the water volume you’ve narrowed your window down considerably and have brought the odds closer in your favor.