Poking a hole through the ice and dropping a fishing line may not seem like the first thing you want to do in the winter, but for many, ice fishing is as every bit as enjoyable as angling in the summer.
On Jan. 24, the B.C. Wildlife Association and local clubs are looking to share the experience with a Youth Ice Fishing Day on Yellow Lake from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tom Dellamater of the Penticton Fly Fishers Club attended the event last year, and said there were at least 100 kids registered to try out the sport, along with their parents. This year, the event was moved from February to January, which he said should make the fishing even better.
“When the ice first goes on, the fish are more active.”
The only thing you need to take part, he said, are warm clothes. Ice fishing gear and bait are supplied, as is a barbecue hot dog lunch. The Penticton Fly Fishers will have volunteers out to help, as will other local groups like the Keremeos Cawston Sportsman Association and the BCWF.
“There will be people there to help. If someone has never done it before they go out, dig a hole and work with them and explain what they are doing,” said Dellamater, who said there should be some good fishing that day.
“I understand the fishing has been pretty good the last week to 10 days,” he said, adding that the lake is home to perch, trout and kokanee. And since Yellow Lake is next to Highway 3, near the Kaleden Junction, it’s an ideal place for this kind of event.
“It doesn’t matter what the weather is, you can get out there. And since you don’t need a boat, they can go fishing,” said Dellamater, who said there are many attractions to getting out ice fishing, starting with the community — he said he is likely to know a third of the people on the lake.
“It’s camaraderie. You are doing something rather than sitting around, plus the fish are in good shape; you take them home and they smoke well,” he said. “We could be watching Oprah and eating bonbons.”