Alaskan Spring Ice Fishing – Fun on the Ice During Warmer Weather
Alaskan spring ice fishing is not my favorite type of ice fishing, but its also very productive in terms of success on the hardwater. Long hours of daylight, warm afternoons, and of course great company…my wife! Alyssa was jigging a large marabou jig when she scored on the Char pictured below. We were trying to target our fish at about 22-25 feet of water. This time of year with more sunlight, the oxygen content in the water is increasing, which allows some of the bigger predatory fish to move into deeper water and be more aggressive. I’m calling this deeper water only because during the normal winter fishing season, ‘deep water’ is only about 8-9 feet.
This Burbot was about the average size for the day. That rod is 36” long, so the average was about 27”-28” and our largest was 31”. This one also struck a marabou jig in about 25 feet of water. The difference between jigging for the Char and the Burbot when doing some Alaskan spring ice fishing is only a couple feet in depth. When we were targeting the Burbot, I would let my jig hit the bottom and create a mud cloud then jig it up only about 12 inches and drop it again. I feel that letting it hit the bottom and stir up the mud attracts these bottom feeders. I may be wrong, but its working so far! We would use the same jigs for both Char and Burbot.
When you hook up one of these bad boys you know it right away because all of a sudden you feel weight…lots of it. These fish aren’t not known for their power and drag ripping ability and many times you may not even realize you have one on until the up stroke of your jig. They just suck it in and sit there. After hooking up on a burbot, they can put on a decent fight after pulling them up off the bottom, but soon give up. They will give you a good rod bend though because of how big their mouths are and some of them can be pretty heavy. Nonetheless, they are a blast to catch and are uniquely beautiful. Although we released all of these fish, they do make for some amazing table fare!
This Burbot was a bigger male. It nailed a ½ ounce Silver Krocodile that was being bounced and jigged in the mud. I recommend using barbless single hooks if you are looking to catch and release any species.
Last but not least, don’t forget to bring the kids on your Alaskan spring ice fishing adventures! They love being out there and seeing how it’s done. Fish are a great learning tool for children and taking them fishing will be some of their fondest memories. I know some of my favorite memories are standing on a river bank or out on the ice with my parents. BE SAFE and have fun!