Fishermen finding plenty of ice fishing space

Charlie Spacek
The wide open spaces of this season's Keuka Lake's ice called to these two young fishermen, Curtis Apple and Dakota Ropad.

Here is a question that I bet most of you are tired of hearing. "Cold enough for ya?" or how about ""Have you had enough Winter yet?" To most of us, enough is enough, unless you are a die-hard ice fisherman.

Ice fishing on our Finger Lakes is more than just fishing, at least for two local ice fisherman. I happened to meet these two avid ice anglers, as they call themselves these days. Curtis Apple, 19, from Middlesex, and Dakota Ropad, 22, from Rushville. To them, it is a passion.

They were out on Keuka Lake in the 600 block of East Bluff Drive, one sunny day last week. As I approached them, Dakota said, "What a great day to ice fish," as they were putting yet one more of about 30 ice cold Keuka perch into thier pail. Oh, these two had all the gear, the pop up blind the right poles and the heart to keep going all day. Curtis mentioned that the ice was about 5 or 6 inches thick, if not thicker on most of Keuka. They were not fishing up towards Penn Yan, but more south, torwards the Bluff. The ice has covered most of Keuka Lake this winter, as the cold weather was a huge factor in the freezeup of the lake. Keuka does not feeze this many miles every year, and the ice fisherman are enjoying every chance they can to be out on the lakes.

Dakota and Curtis love the solitude of ice fishing as they gather their fishing items and begin to drag thier sled to another hot spot. When I asked Dakota what he loved about ice fishing he said with a smile, "Not a lot of boat traffic!"

The duo really likes fishing Keuka Lake because the perch are, as they put it, "Huge!" They also fish Canandaquia Lake, but say the fish seem smaller than on Keuka Lake. Although my talk with these two very educated ice fisherman was short, I knew I too may turn to the uncharted waters of this great winter wonderland of ice fishing.

Have you ever needed to try something that you never thought you would like in your life? Give it a try, you may wind up with a life passion for it!

Sportsman and women if you get a chance take a youngster hunting or fishing!