Shabbona Lake has finally frozen over this week. Just in time for the “On The Ice” Catfish Ice Fishing Contest Weekend that will be held this weekend, January 19th and 20th, 2013. This is a new event for Shabbona Lakeside. Each year several very nice sized catfish are caught thru the ice by Shabbona Lake fishermen through the winter. One of the favorite techniques is a glob of red worms on a hook placed just on the lake bottom. Attach the bobber or set the tension on the spring bobber right at lake bottom, and wait for a catfish to engulf the worms. Areas 25 and 15 of the lake are prime targets for this method.
A second technique is to use a Swedish Pimple Ice Lure. Tip the treble hook with a red worm on one hook, a wax worm on a second hook and a couple of spikes on the third treble hook. Go out to the deep trees in 30 feet of water. Start gigging, in a downward motion, the Pimple, about 15 feet down. When the catfish grabs it, set the hook and the fun begins.
Ice Catfishing at Shabbona Lake produces some monsters that will not make it up a 6” hole. It is common that it takes several minutes of playing the monsters to get them up an 8” hole. If you have never Ice Catfished, you are in for a real treat. 30 inch, 15+ pound catfish are not uncommon.
Weigh in your fish at Lakeside. Prizes will be based on weight. Heaviest single catfish wins. Prizes will be 1st – $100 Gift Certificate, 2nd $50 Gift Certificate, 3rd $25 Gift Certificate. Sign up at Lakeside prior to going ice fishing to win prizes. You must donate $5 to the Walleye Restocking Fund before going fishing, to be eligible for prizes. Only one prize per person. Fish must be caught at Shabbona Lake between 8 AM, January 19th and 5 PM, January 20th, 2013.
January 19th will be the year’s 1st Night Ice Fishing until 10 PM. This is an annual event started by the Shabbona Lake Sportsman Club several years ago. It was a “Thank You” to all of the sportsman who helped with “Rockfest”. You may fish from 8 AM until 9:30 PM, but you must be out of the Park by 10 PM, otherwise you may get a $75 ticket for being in the Park after hours.
Open to the public, no charge. Always be extra careful after dark. Know where you are going and stay only on safe ice. As we all know the best “bite” seems to occur right at sundown. You will want to take advantage of this opportunity. As the sun begins to set, Shabbona Lake lights up, as a community of lanterns suddenly appear, all over the lake. It is quite a spectacular sight. It is worth the drive just to see the beauty. For more information visit: shabbonalake.com