Press Release

Catch of the day: One angler's exciting experience ice fishing in the Panhandle Region

You never know what you may catch when ice fishing in the Panhandle. For Zach Nunemacher, it was the day he reeled in the biggest pike he's ever caught.

When most people think of ice fishing in the Panhandle Region, they picture fishing for panfish, bass, trout or kokanee. On Feb. 12, a few avid anglers were wrapping up their day of ice fishing on Hayden Lake, when one of their flags popped up and things got pretty exciting. Zach Nunemacher proceeded to reel in a 31 pound, 46.5 inch northern pike!

Although this fish didn't break the current record, it was an experience the anglers will never forget and a great example of unique trophy fishing opportunities that could occur during the winter while ice fishing. 

Northern Pike Hayden Lake_Nunemacher
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Mike Nunemacher

It took Zach Nunemacher some patience and skill to reel in the pike.

Zach's dad, Mike, recounts the exciting experience: "The fish made several good runs, which made Zach realize the power and size of the fish he had hooked. Once the fish reached the ice hole he knew it was a big fish. Our first attempt to get the fish on ice failed and the fish swam off for another run. Zach patiently brought the fish back to the ice hole for the second time and we landed the fish. We high-fived and enjoyed the moment. What a perfect day on the ice."

Mike and Zach Nunemacher with northern pike caught ice fishing on Hayden Lake
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Mike Nunemacher

More information about ice fishing can be found on our Ice Fishing website. Remember to be careful when venturing out on the ice during late-winter. Conditions can change quickly, so it's important to check ice conditions and use caution. 

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Glenna Gomez/Idaho Fish and Game

You can find more information about ice fishing rules in our Fishing Seasons and Rules Booklet . Please call the Panhandle Region at (208)-769-1414 for more information.