It’s no secret that the long, dark and cold winter months in Alaska can be a serious downer, particularly for all of us who just love to be out there on the open water, casting flies, our favorite spinners or spoons, or dropping jigs for the many species that swim these northern waters. But when things freeze over…nada, zip, zilch.
There is still plenty of angling to be had in Alaska come this time of year, though you may be drilling a dozen ice holes rather than nailing a 60-foot cast.
So, if a trip to warmer climes isn’t in your cards this year, or even if it is, consider one of these logistically worry-free day-trips, guaranteed to sate your fishing appetite for at less one more day.
1. Ice-fishing the Big Three: Fairbanks offers a ton of activities for the winter traveler (see Pudge Kleinkauf’s upcoming feature in the January 2015 print edition for a few ideas), and fishing the hardwater is one of the prime attractions. Visit our Fairbanks page for a full list of options, but pay careful attention to the Big Three: Harding, Quartz and Birch lakes, each a location where fabulous winter fishing is combined with true trophy potential.
2. Auger Anchorage: The lakes of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and those of the Kenai Peninsula have much to offer the winter angler, but if you live in Alaska’s largest city, there is plenty of fishing to be had just outside your front door. Ideal for beginners looking to get into the sport, families and anyone with a spare afternoon, hit one of Anchorage’s many stocked lakes and enjoy the respite from your daily grind. There is more info on the lakes here: http://www.aswcd.org/AnchorageLakesFishSpecies.pdf and ice-fishing specific information here: https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static-sf/Region2/pdfpubs/icefish.pdf.
3. Okay, not all of these require a day on the ice; if you’ve got the time and an airline ticket to Kodiak (check for special deals thus time of year), why not take a quick flight and sample the open waters for feeder kings, present year-round, and Kodiak’s stable of bottomfish? Whether summer or winter, Kodiak Combos (www.kodiakcombos.com) is one of our favorite outfits for a day charter.