1/2/17 Tioga County Ice Fishing Report
Hills Creek Lake-
It was a busy weekend at Hills Creek Lake with a number of anglers fishing all over the lake. The ice is in good shape with 5-6 inches and a little snow on top. Anglers found a decent bite, though the best action was very early in the day at daybreak. After 10AM the bites slowed, but it picked up again later in the afternoon. Some noted a mid afternoon flurry of activity, while others saw more action closer to dark. Mostly bluegills and perch are being caught. Pink, silver, gold, chartruese, and yellow jigs tipped with waxworms were the most productive. Anglers fishing tipups caught nice bass, pickerel, and the occasional big perch on both fatheads and medium-large shiners.
Anglers found a tough panfish bite this weekend, but they caught decent numbers of small perch as well as crappies and bluegills. The trout were active too! Live minnows worked for the trout and crappies. Waxworms worked for the rest. Try running a tipup just a foot or two below the ice to target trout. Many will cruise right underneath the ice.
A few guys were fishing this weekend in front of the tower. The upper end by the boat launch was still open water, but the dam end had better ice. We are going to take a look at it tomorrow and will report back with conditions. We have a few warm days coming up and a little rain, but there should be enough snow to protect the ice and temps aren't terribly high. My only concern would be the ice floating off the shorelines if we get any significant precipitation and water levels rise. We will check tomorrow and and again on Thursday to see how things hold up. After Wednesday, we are forecast to have temps below freezing for 7 days straight. It will be in better shape soon if this forecast holds up.
Tioga,Hammond & Cowanesque Lakes-
All three remain unfishable, but are mostly ice covered. The next shot of cold weather should freeze these good enough to fish very soon!