Hook, Line & Sinker: January 1, 2014

It’s hard to believe that January is upon us, the beginning of the New Year of 2014! Perhaps because of the later date of Thanksgiving this year, resulting in one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the holidays seemed to have rushed upon us and raced on by. And so far, with the exception of one unusually warm December weekend, it appears that we can enjoy a good winter and all the great sports that go along with snow, ice and cold weather.
Good news for ice fishers; Tom Phillips of Pepacton Bait & Tackle is sponsoring an ice fishing contest later this month. Tom will be awarding prizes for the biggest fish caught. You can stop by his store on Route 28 in Arkville to register and pick up any equipment you might need – from hand augurs to power augurs, tip-ups, ladles, jigging rods, jigs, lines, and bait.

Can rent equipment
In order to promote the sport, and for those who have never ice fished, you can rent all the equipment you might need on a daily basis - his rental setup includes five tip-ups, two jigging rods, a hand auger, a ladle and a bait bucket (bait and hooks are sold separately.) What a great way to start out in the sport! For more information, call Tom at 845 750-5061.
General statewide regulations for ice fishing include: Pickerel – minimum size limit of 15 inches, you may keep up to five per day; Yellow Perch – any size may be kept, up to 50 per day; Sunfish – Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Red Breast sunfish – also any size, up to 50 per day.
Check the fishing regulations for special regulations or other species.
If you’d like to catch trout through the ice, there are a number of opportunities available; however, be sure to check the fishing guide, as special regulations apply to some of these destinations:
Mongaup Pond – ice fishing is permitted, and up to five trout of any size may be taken each day – however, the use or possession of baitfish at Mongaup Pond is prohibited. Ice fishers must use artificial lures only.
Lake Huntington, Loch Sheldrake – in Sullivan County – ice fishing is permitted; up to five trout of any size may be taken.
White Lake – also in Sullivan County, ice fishing permitted, up to five trout of any size may be taken. There are often ice fishing contests held at White Lake.

Delaware County fishing
In Delaware County, you can fish for trout in the following two locations: Big Pond and Little Pond. Ice fishing is permitted; three trout per day may be taken, minimum size limit is 15 inches.
General ice fishing regulations state that wherever ice fishing is permitted, not more than three hand lines and five tip-ups may be used, except as noted in Border Waters, Lake Champlain, and Special Regulations by county. No tip-up may be used that has more than five lures or baits or a combination of both, or has more than 15 hook points in any combination of single, double or treble hooks. The ice fisher must be present whenever the lines of the rods or tip-ups are in the water; and all tip-ups must be clearly marked with the name and address of the operator.
Be sure that the ice is thick enough before embarking on your trip (a minimum of three to four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers on foot) dress warmly, bring along a thermos of hot cocoa and have fun!