The recent cold weather has really improved ice fishing conditions on many local lakes and ponds, and Cossayuna Lake was one that benefited. Parts of the lake had been open as of last week, but most of the lake was fishable as of Wednesday, and one angler pulled a huge tiger muskie from it, according to Smiley's Bait Shop on the lake.
The tiger was 43 inches, long, and weighed just under 20 pounds. Cossayuna is home to quite a few of the toothy pike-muskie hybrids, as they are stocked each year by the DEC, and the fish don't reproduce so it is a put-and-take fishery. They are the top predator in the lake, and with lots of perch, bluegill and bass to eat, they can get huge.
Icehsanty.com had some first ice fishing reports on Lake George, as last weekend's cold weather firmed up a number of bays all around the lake as well as the south end off Million Dollar Beach.
The small lakes of southern Washington County, such as Lauderdale, Summit and Carter Pond, were all locked up and being fished. Ditto Schroon Lake, where the north end has been fishable for weeks but the south end just iced over last weekend.
The snow that is expected to come is not going to help the ice fishing season, as it will insulate the ice and hinder the cold that is forecast to follow from making more ice and hide weak spots. So be particularly careful when venturing out if the snow materializes as the experts believe it will.
-- Don Lehman