Fishing

Reader mailbag: New fishing rules for the new year and more

Bass fishing tips from a high school champ

Jason Felter, a 2-time state high school fishing champion who recently signed a national letter of intend for the Bethel University fishing team, gives five tips for how to become a better angler.
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Jason Felter, a 2-time state high school fishing champion who recently signed a national letter of intend for the Bethel University fishing team, gives five tips for how to become a better angler.

Happy 2019, everybody! I hope you all had a merry Fishmas. We have a lot to cover in our first column of the new year, including new rules for our region, reader mail and more! Let’s get to it.

Fishing rules updates

Idaho Fish and Game made statewide updates to the rule book for 2019, ‘20 and ‘21. You can read the full updates on its website, but here’s a quick review of how they affect our southwest region.

Bass size, bag and possession limits have been removed on the Salmon River and its tributaries.

Indian Creek Reservoir — back on the map after several dry years — will be managed under general fishing rules.

There is now a two-trout limit on all waters within the Wilson Springs Ponds access area.

The kokanee limit on Deadwood Reservoir has been reduced to 15 per day.

Bag and possession limits on Boise River steelhead have been reduced to two and six, respectively.

Remember to grab your 2019 license before your first trip!

Ice fishing update

Ice fishing season is on in southwest Idaho! As of this writing, Lake Cascade, Horsethief Reservoir and the Duck Valley Reservation have safe ice. Horsethief is the recommended spot for catching a limit of pan-sized trout. Cascade requires more work, but huge trout and jumbo perch are the potential reward.

Join me on Facebook Live

Fishing will be the topic of an upcoming Idaho Statesman Facebook Live session Jan. 16! I’ll be on hand to talk wintertime fishing in Idaho and answer all your questions. We’ll also have giveaways, including an ice fishing prize pack. Stay tuned for more details!

Prize giveaway

I’d like to post a gallery of the top reader catches of 2018. Send photos of your most memorable fish of the year to tightlinesboise@gmail.com along with a brief description, including your name and location. All submissions become subject to publication, and the top picks will receive a free campfire starter log courtesy of Pine Mountain!

It’s a snake-eat-fish world out there

Randy Schaffer shared this wild story. He and some friends were fishing for trout and had one pan-sized fish on a stringer for dinner. When Randy went to add a second fish to the stringer, he discovered a snake latched onto his catch! Pictures verified his story, as what looks like a garter snake was fixing to bite off a little more than he could chew. Nature is awesome!

Chumming at Henry’s Lake?

Bob Bilow recently emailed in a whopper of a story about Henry’s Lake. Decades ago, his father had a side job cleaning up roadkill. As the story goes, Bob’s dad would build makeshift rafts and float the carcasses to secluded sections of the lake. Nature then took its course, attracting bugs and maggots by the thousands. This in turn attracted trout — and Bob’s dad knew exactly where to find them. I guess this gives a new meaning to the fishing phrase “knocking ‘em dead!”

Answers from Anderson Ranch

Randy Johnson emailed me a while back wondering about the status of the docks at Curlew Creek Boat Ramp on Anderson Ranch Reservoir. Several were damaged during the winter of 2017.

I spoke with the Mountain Home Ranger District office, and it said many of the docks have been replaced and are in the water (pending water levels). A few still need to be repaired, but boaters shouldn’t have any problem accessing the reservoir at Curlew going forward.

Jordan Rodriguez has been fishing Idaho waters since he was a teen. Share your fish stories, adventures, tips and tricks with him at tightlinesboise@gmail.com.
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