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Speculator, NY ,

For ice fishermen, it’s three lines, no wading by Ron Kolodziej

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - Updated: 7:06 AM

With the ice fishing season upon us, this is a good time to remind you that recent changes in fishing regulations also apply to ice fishing. For example, in waters where ice fishing is permitted, all anglers are now allowed to use up to three lines (jig poles, etc.) and five tip-ups. Previously, only two lines and five tip-ups had been allowed.

This change is a result of anglers now being allowed to also use three lines during the spring, fall and summer months, rather than just two. Of course, some special regulations may be in place on some waters so check your fishing regulations guide before venturing out.

According to recent surveys by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, ice fishing popularity has doubled in the past decade.


While we’re on the subject of ice fishing, don’t forget the Central Adirondack Ice Fishing Contest will be Saturday, Jan. 21, just 10 days from today. The event will be held on Adirondack Lake at Byron Park in Indian Lake Village from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The entry fee is $30 if you register now, or $35 the day of the contest.

You can register at the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce or Indian Lake Town Hall. For more information you can call Kim Mitchell at (518) 648-6183 or Vonnie Liddle at 648-5828. You can also go to on the web and download a registration / entry form.

This event is sponsored and conducted by the Indian Lake / Blue Mountain Lake Fish and Game Association and offers over $2,000 in cash prizes as well as $1,000 in merchandise, with cash prizes of $50 and $25 for the largest perch and $100, $50 and $25 for the largest northern pike awarded hourly. A number of door prizes will also be awarded.


As for the new rules on lines, I’d suggest you check with the contest officials if you would like to use three jig poles instead of the normal two, because the contest rules specifically state five tip-ups and only two jig lines may be used. I’d go with that if I were you.

Of course, in my case it would make little difference either way. I do a lot of ice fishing during the winter months but if I’m in a contest I can expect to spend a lot of down time just sitting there. For some reason I generally don’t do well during contests. If it was legal I could use 20 tip-ups and 10 jig poles and I’d still do poorly.

I’m definitely not a threat to any other anglers. I can fish the day before a contest and the day after one and do well, but not during the event. So be it; I’ve learned to accept that.


Let’s play catch-up for a moment. During the past big game season, the Fuel ‘N Food Store on Route 30 in Mayfield again held its annual Big Buck Contest and, as usual, attracted well over 100 participants. Many of them were from Hamilton County and many of the deer were taken hereabouts, so let’s review the results.

The winners during the Northern Zone early bow season were Paul Peniston of Bleecker, who brought in a 108.8-pound doe; and 14-year-old Kyle Ferguson of Providence, who brought in a 148.2-pound 10 pointer.

Gary Gutowski of Perth took top honors during the early muzzleloader season with a 175-pounder and William Bell of Johnstown took the top spot in the longest spikehorn competition with a 10-1/2 incher.

The lightest buck was the 76-pounder brought in by Ira Cromling of Broadalbin. The longest brow tine came in at 5-3/4 inches and was brought in by Gary Gutowski of Perth. The most points segment of the contest, 11 points, was a real crap shoot, resulting in a three-way tie among John Zeis of Wells, Neil Hoover of Mayfield and Ken Paro Sr. of Tribes Hill.

Keith Zillis of Fonda brought in the buck with the widest spread at 21 inches and he also took the heaviest buck segment of the event with a 216-pounder. Ken Paro Sr. of Tribes Hill brought in the heaviest doe, a 151.4-pounder.

Sincerest thanks to Lou and Nancy Stutzke of the Fuel & Food Store for collecting the above results for me. I was on a brief winter sabbatical and couldn’t collect them when the awards were presented at a special dinner at the Mayfield Grill back in mid-December.

That about wraps up coverage of the big game season, until the DEC compiles and releases the official results. That should happen sometime late this month or in early February. I’ll have those results for you as soon as they’re available.


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