Dragon Lake was a busy place to be Sunday, Jan. 23, amid relatively mild temperatures.
Among the families and friends taking up fun winter activities such as ice fishing and walking on a frozen lake was Gary Knoke.
“I’ve already got two,” Knoke said of the catch he had released.
“I had another one bite but it let off.”
Knoke said he would be typically be fishing at the other end of Dragon Lake but had settled on the area south of the city with its accessible parking and entrance.
“I’m getting old,” he said with a chuckle, noting he has lived in Quesnel since 1949.
Ice fishers can be out on Dragon Lake until early May if the ice holds up.
Knoke said some guys use ladders to get out on the ice and recalled there once being a time the fish would grow up to 40 pounds.
“They would drill a six-inch hole, and then they’d have to drill another hole beside it or get somebody to chip the hole out so they could get their fish out of there,” he said.
Knoke’s two fish he released earlier were much smaller, with one he guessed being one and a half pounds and the other three to four pounds.
However, he said you could still get a big fish to bite with an eight or ten-inch hole.
That afternoon one angler reportedly caught a nine-pound fish.
“I let them all go because you can only keep one, so if you don’t get a big one there’s no use in keeping it,” Knoke said.
He recalled fishing with a woman from Williams Lake and making her throwback a number of fish weighing between 3 to 4 pounds.
“Finally she caught a six-pounder and I let her keep that one, and she said ‘oh, OK, now I can see why you wait. She was really getting mad at me for throwing all that fish back, but you have to if you want the lake to survive.”
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