Fishing at the right depth, and not moving your bait or lure much, can put a lot of fish on the end of your line in the winter. And using some simple devices that will help you know when you have a fish on the end of your line is a big help too. The water in the frozen lake will range from 32 degrees (directly under the ice) to 39.2 degrees (at the bottom of the lake). Fish, being cold-blooded, will congregate and forage in this dense, warm layer.
Drew Cushing, warm water sport fisheries coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says fish become lethargic when they’re under the ice. “Fish will often stay at a certain water depth all winter long,” Cushing says. “Also, they aren’t as willing to move fast to catch their food. “Keep those two things in mind,” he says, “and you should find plenty of fish on the end of your line this winter.”