Every Tuesday, we’ll post fishing writer Jordan Rodriguez’s weekly report in the Playing Outdoors blog. His column will appear most Wednesdays.
Warm Lake (Trout)
Warm Lake is a little farther away from Boise and lacks the perch that draw many ice fishermen, but it shouldn’t be overlooked as a quality trout fishery. The lake is covered with 8-12 inches of ice right now, and anglers have been catching rainbow trout on worms and marshmallows. The big Mackinaws haven’t shown up yet, but they are in there. The lake is easily accessed by foot from North Shore Lodge. Call ahead for the latest reports and weather conditions at (208) 632-2000.
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Getting there: Take Idaho 55 north to Cascade, turn east on Warm Lake Road and follow it 25 miles east to North Shore Lodge and Warm Lake.
Lake Cascade (Perch and Trout)
Warmer temperatures have made for some tricky fishing conditions on Cascade. There’s a layer of snow and slush on top of the ice, and on warmer days, that can mean standing in several inches of water. Waterproof boots are strongly encouraged. Fishing has been slow in most areas, but anglers are having some luck around Sugarloaf Island. Snowmobiles are pretty much a must-have in order to get there, but there have been some nice perch and trout reports from those who make the journey. Call Tackle Tom’s at (208) 382-4367 for the latest fishing reports and ice conditions.
Getting there: Take Idaho 55 north through Cascade and follow the turnoff signs to sportsman access areas.
Magic Reservoir (Perch and Trout)
There’s more than a foot of ice at Magic, and anglers are venturing out on foot, snowmobiles and even four-wheelers. A power auger is a good idea for drilling through such thick ice. The trout are fewer, but good-sized. Perch have been good-sized, too, but the bite has been finicky. The usual assortment of jigs, spoons and baits like worms, marshmallows, PowerBait and mealworms will catch fish. Call West Magic Resort at (208) 487-2571 for the latest updates.
Getting there: Take I-84 east past Mountain Home. Take Exit 141 and follow U.S. 26 and Idaho 75 northeast to West Magic Resort.
Boise River (Trout)
The mild temperatures are making for pleasant fishing on the Boise River, and anglers are taking advantage. Fly and spin fishermen alike are catching plenty of rainbows and a few browns. Spinners, nymphs, live worms and PowerBait are among the most popular choices. One tip to think about for winter fishing on the Boise: It can pay big dividends to try areas between Barber Park and Ann Morrison Park that are tough to access during the summer months because of floater traffic, higher water levels or bank overgrowth. Give it a shot!
Getting there: Idaho Fish & Game stocks rainbow trout between Barker Park and the Glenwood Bridge.