Big Ice Fish!

Had a great New Hampshire catch lately? Share it with the world!

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PHOTO TIP: Use your flash (yes, even if the sun is shining!), and lose the hat! We want to see your smiling face!

Send your photo and story to Liza Poinier at Include the angler's name and hometown, and tell us what kind of fish, how big, where it was caught, and any other details you care to share. Please, no more than two photos per message, and try to keep it brief. NOTE: By sending your material, you are authorizing the N.H. Fish and Game Department to use it on this website or in other ways, without compensation. This page is updated infrequently; we thank you for your patience.

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John McMahon
On March 12, 2006, John McMahon landed this 18.6 lb, 36.5 inch lake trout while ice fishing on a southern NH lake. According to reports, John fishes exclusively for lake trout and this in the only laker he has landed all winter! Photo courtesy of Frenchy's Bait and Tackle.
Emily Pinard
"Emily Pinard went to the chapel with her Memere on Sunday and prayed that her Daddy would catch a fish, and he did! A nice 22" laker taken at Lake Winnisquam on Feb. 18, 2006. Photo taken by her Daddy, Bob Pinard."
Brandon Zeoli   Ty Schultz
"I'm proud to send you folks a picture of the biggest rainbow I have ever caught. It was just 23" and went on my digital scale right at the 5-lb. mark. Place caught -- SMALL LAKE IN GRAFTON COUNTY BY BRANDON ZEOLI (34) ENFIELD NH ON JAN 27th. Thanks for all you people do keep up the good work!!! Now to get the kids one!!! HAPPY ICE-FISHING to all of you!!!!" --BRANDON ZEOLI
  "Ty Schultz of Alton went out this weekend (late February) at a "secret spot" in New Durham and landed this nice largemouth bass. It came in at 19 inches, 3.32 pounds. Ty got the big one jigging in about 8' of water - and almost jumped out of his shoes when it hit, as it bent the pole totally over and almost ripped the stick out of his hands. Ty is now hooked on ice fishing, wanting to go every day during school vacation!" --Jay Piwnicki
Todd Reed and Matt Tarr
"Todd Reed and Matt Tarr caught these rainbows (three at 15" and one 17") from a waterbody in southwestern NH." --Mike Racine, fisheries biologist, Region 4/Keene
Jacques Renaud
Jacques Renaud of Dalton is one of (if not the) finest trophy northern pike anglers in New Hampshire. Already the New Hampshire state record holder (45 inches, 24 lbs. 14.4 oz), attached is a picture of his latest effort, taken late ice (March 2005) in the Connecticut River. --John A. Viar, fisheries biologist
Cody Harsh
Cody Harsh of Allenstown caught many rainbows like this one using salmon eggs last season.
Aiden, Gabe, and Lucas Gries

SPRING 2005: The ice is gone but the great memories remain! Thanks for all your contributions to the Big Ice Fish page and be sure to tune in next winter. This picture shows Region 4 fisheries biologist Gabe Gries and his adorable kids, Aiden and Lucas, enjoying family time on the ice.

Cameron Olson
"Here is my son Cameron Olson, age 11 from Durham, Maine with his Grandfather, Martin Curran (on right) of Henniker and master fisherman John Parentau of Franklin, NH, holding an 18 1/2 inch, 2.6+ lb. beautiful rainbow trout caught in the shallows of Lake Winnisquam on March 5, 2005. Complete with a tag number, four weeks prior during the fishing derby might have captured 2nd place.... according to a reliable source." --Chris Olson, proud father and photographer
Justin Antonico and Dave Wisler   Eric Aldrich
"The picture is of Justin Antonico (right) and Dave Wisler (left). In February, we went to Winisquam and within a few minutes we both caught these fish jigging. Justin's was 22 inches and Dave's was 19". It was the first time that we went for lakers and we each lost 2 others after we landed these ones." --Justin Antonico
  "Largemouth bass pulled and released at Norway Pond in Hancock. Joe Taggart's gear. Cub scouts had just left when the flag went up." --Eric Aldrich
Rick St. Hillaire
March 25, 2005 - "Rick St. Hillaire of Nottingham NH took a white-knuckle ride with a local lake trout, with friend Ryan Bonner of Alton NH taking the proverbial arm plunge to make sure this 35.5-inch, 14.42-lbs. bruiser said hello to the March sun." --Courtesy of John A. Viar
Deerfield brown trout
This big brown trout was caught March 26, 2005 on Pleasant Lake in Deerfield NH. 6 pounds, 23 inches. --Courtesy of John A. Viar
Don Miller & big LT
"This really has been an amazing winter for oversized lake trout, and "one of our own" has just joined the club. We returned from our annual "freeze fest" up at First Connecticut Lake in Pittsburg (first weekend of March). Caught plenty of lake trout, most typical size, but Don Miller (of Fish and Game's Region 2 office) hoisted this 16-lb., 9-oz. beast onto the ice after a 20-minute battle!" --John A. Viar, fisheries biologist
giant cusk   Alex Toth
SO CLOSE! The Lakes Region's cusk factory, Lake Winnipesaukee, recently produced another near state record for Craig Borgeson of Gilford. His 36.5-inch (actually 2.25 inches longer than the state record!) 11 lb 0.32 oz.
mammoth was just 1.88 oz. shy of the state record (11 lbs. 2.2 oz., Sunapee Lake, 1984) - hardly a meal for a fish of this size. Had this fish been caught prior to spawning (cusk spawn approximately mid-February in the Lakes Region), it most likely would have been the new state record (state records are distinguished by weight)." --John A. Viar, fisheries biologist
  "Picture of my son Alex Toth with a 26-inch laker he caught last Sunday (late Feb. 2005) at Winnipesaukee near Ellacoya. Alex is 11 and lives in Atkinson." --Mark Toth
Dianne E   John V
More Freeze Fest crew members, all Fish and Game fisheries or wildlife staff. Dianne Emerson, above left; John A. Viar, above right; Andy Timmins, below left; Ben Nugent, below right. Photos by Andy Schafermeyer, fisheries biologist
Andy T   Ben N
James Viar
"My cousin James A. Viar of Allenstown NH had a productive weekend (early March) as he caught a 34.5-inch, 12lbs. 10oz. lake trout on Sunday in the central Lakes Region -- this fish put up a 50-minute battle on a light tackle jigging rod! He was quite excited, to say the least." --John A. Viar, fisheries biologist
Brandon Zeoli & pickerel   John Finn
"My name is Brandon Zeoli (33). I live in Enfield and caught this 28" 5-lb. pickerel today (3/3/05) fishing at a small pond in Grafton county." --Brandon Z.
  "Caught three different rainbows in a lake in Grafton County. I caught the first one (shown above) last year on Valentine's Day. It weighed 6.8 pounds. The second one was caught in a snowstorm 2 weeks ago (late February). It was a fat female at 22½ inches, and a weight of 5.08 lbs. The 3rd, caught last week during a snow storm, was 23½ inches, and weighed 5.05. I also have 2 more bows on the wall. One at 5.04 lbs, and the other at 4.13, which took 3rd in the Winny derby in 2003. All from the same lake! Thanks" --John Finn, Lebanon, N.H.
Courtney Gross   Stephen Noel
"Courtney Gross of Lancaster with a four-pound largemouth taken through the ice of Forest Lake, Whitefield." --Andrew Schafermeyer, fisheries biologist
  "Stephen Noel of Hudson recently entered a true "slab" -- the 16.5-inch, 2.41-lbs. black crappie above/left -- into the Trophy Fish Program, caught ice fishing 2/6/05 in southern NH. At 6 oz. shy of the state record, this fish was reason to start the Super Bowl party a bit early..." --John A. Viar, fisheries biologist
Zachary Zeoli
"Hello my name is Zachary Zeoli (11 years old) I live in Manchester/Enfield NH. I caught this 20" brook trout with a girth of 12 1/4" and weighed just under 4 lbs. (3.88 to be exact). I caught it in Grafton New Hampshire at Tewksbury Pond with my dad and younger sister Ashleyanne. We had a great day!!!" --Zachary Zeoli
Brett Payette & LMB   Brett Payette & LMB
"Couple of largemouth, around 4 pounds apiece. Caught them 20 minutes apart in a lake in southern New Hampshire. Had the pictures taken because they were pretty good size, and were rather attractive fish. And oh yeah, we let these guys go (like usual), so they're still swimming." --Brett Payette, Bethlehem, NH
Joe Glowik
"Joe Glowik caught this gorgeous 24-inch, 4.4-lbs. brown trout through the ice in late February in northern NH with a little help from his nephews. This was the boys' first-ever ice fishing trip, and according to Joe, they had a ball!" --John A. Viar, fisheries biologist
Bob Mosher
"Bob Mosher of Northfield, NH, was kind enough to stop by the Region 2 Office in New Hampton and share this magnificent 34.75-inch, 16.44-lbs. lake trout (above), which he battled feverishly and eventually iced on 2/16/05 from his favorite Lakes Region fishing hole. The fish was entered into the Trophy Fish Program, and is currently the 2005 lake trout leader. Below: Bob (on right) and Don Miller, Large Lakes Fisheries Biologist, under the late Ed Mosher's (Bob's son) 25-lbs. lake trout caught ice fishing in 2001. In memory of Ed, the Mosher family graciously donated the mount to the NH Fish and Game Department's Region 2 Office, so the public could enjoy one of the largest lake trout ever caught in NH. In the shadow of Ed's mount/memorial, the photo session, fish examination, and celebration of Bob's largest lake trout caught to date was a special moment for all involved." --John A. Viar, fisheries biologist
Don Miller and Bob Mosher

"Below are a few photos I was able to take at the Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby Feb. 5-6, between checking fish and talking to anglers. Unfortunately I do not have details on all the photos. Of note is Paul Cayer's huge cusk/burbot (below right), which was 10+ pounds, 1 lb. shy of the state record in weight, but the same exact length (34 1/4 inches). Also included are a young man with a nice rainbow trout and some jumbo white and yellow perch." --John A. Viar, fisheries biologist

NOTE: Fish pictured were caught at the 2005 derby, but are not necessarily the winning fish.

Rotary Derby 2005 - boy with rainbow trout   Rotary Derby 2005 - Paul Cayer & cusk
Rotary Derby 2005 - Bill Chamberlin   Rotary Derby 2005 - yellow perch
Rotary Derby 2005 - white perch   Rotary Derby 2005 - yellow perch

Rotary Derby 2005 crowd

My Dad (James R. Viar of Tilton) had quite a day yesterday (2/1/05) on the Big Lake
(Winnipesaukee). The rainbow trout (above) is 23 inches, 5.28 lbs. (note the adipose fin clip; this is an age 4 male) and the biggest pumpkinseed/common sunfish (below, right) is 9.5 inches, 0.78 lbs. (huge for this species)! Both fish were entered into the Trophy Fish Program; the pumpkinseed/common sunfish is an official tie for the state record! --John A. Viar, fisheries biologist
"I caught this in a small lake in NH. It was my first catch for ice fishing.This rainbow was caught on Sunday Jan. 16." --Wendy Nelson, Wolfeboro, N.H.
  Jim Viar's record pumpkinseed (see above)
"Please could you put this fish on the website. This is my friend Chip with his first ever fish he caught. He caught it on the CT river north of Hanover. It must have been at least 10" long. It took a 3" shiner and gave Chip a big fight. He was nearly physically beaten, several times. Cheers" --Andy
  "Hannah Racine of Canterbury helped the
"elders" pull up this fine yellow perch
on Horace Lake, Weare." --Mike Racine, Fisheries Biologist
"Here's a pic of my son, Kody (three and a half) jigging early Jan '05 in our bobhouse in front of our home on Lake Waukewan in Meredith. This is Kody's second year doing this and he knows how to bait and tend his own lines but still learning how to land them." --Ken Hamel
"Jay Piwnicki of Alton, NH caught 7 cusk in 2.5 hours on Lake Winnipesuakee on 1/2/05. These 4 that he kept ranged from 18-24" and were caught using frozen shiners saved from last year's unsuccessful ice fishing trip. Way to go Jay!" --Mike Racine
  "The lake trout was caught by David Heath on Lake Tarleton in Piermont. The fish was caught last Saturday (1/15/05). It measured just under 38" and was almost 15 lbs. --Mike Racine
"My name is Brandon Zeoli (33) I live in Enfield NH, I wanted to share the two biggest fish I have ever caught, both northern pike, both caught in the Conn. River. The larger of the two was 36" weighed 11 lbs 7 oz. The second fish was 33" weighed 11 lbs. I cannot tell you exactly where but only can tell you somewhere in Hanover NH. They were caught 3 days apart both Ice-Fishing. Wow!! What a lot of fun. I can't believe it happened all so close to home. Thank you for letting me share these photos and keep up the great work you people do around the state!!!"

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