Technically, the ice fishing season in Kodiak doesn’t have an open or close date. But as local icefishermen will tell you, it started early this year.
There was an unusually intense and prolonged cold snap in November. That led to ice forming earlier and to a greater depth than usual, which is perfect for ice fishing. What wasn’t perfect were the cold winds blowing hard over the island in November and December.
Brett Olson has been ice fishing in Kodiak for over 20 years. He’s the local fishing specialist at Big Ray’s, which sells outdoor gear on the island. He bought an ice fishing shack this year – and learned his lesson from past experience.
“Kodiak though we’re really windy so you got to make sure nothing is anchored down good because last year or the year before last I actually had one of my I cut the floor out of a tent tried to use that wind kicked up and took that tent no the last time I saw it was flying out by the airport by towards Walmart,” Olson said.
Fishermen are looking for rainbow trout. They’re stocked annually in 17 different lakes around the Kodiak road system by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Tyler Polum is the Kodiak area sportfish biologist for Fish and Game. He says he’s hearing from local icefishermen that the fishing is good this year- but he cautions people to be very careful about ice conditions.
“We always just caution folks about the ice even when we’ve had a good cold snap. And there’s solid ice in most places, almost all of our lakes have springs or natural places that have soft spots or open water anytime of the year,” Polum said.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game allows for icefishing with regular sportfishing licenses. Bag limits for stocked lakes in Kodiak are typically 10 rainbow trout per day with only one allowed to be longer than 20 inches. But anyone interested should check the regulations before they go.
As for Brett Olson, he says he’ll be heading out on the ice as soon as he gets off of work.