1895 fishing — Early opening of ice fishing

Maury Thompson
3 min readMay 9, 2024

Another ice fishing season was underway.

“The fishing season at South Bay has opened rather early this winter,” the Fort Ann correspondent reported on Jan. 25, 1895. “We believe every time that they have tried their luck, very nice perch, with some pickerel, are the main catch.”

In other 1895 fishing news collected from historic newspapers of the region:

  • The fox got away, but not the fishes.

“One of the finest strings of pickerel seen this winter was brought from Oneida Monday by Constable John Watson,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on Feb. 20, 1895. “Mr. Watson had a good deal of fun trying to snare a fox which disparted itself on the ice, but the cunning animal eluded the hunter’s wiles.”

  • “F. M. Cozzens, J. E. Stowe, William VanDorn and M. G. Annis, who have been on a fishing trip in the vicinity of North Creek for the past ten days, passed through town (Glens Falls) yesterday on their way home,” The Morning Star reported on Feb. 4. “The party dined at the Van Cott (Hotel). They displayed a catch of over 600 pounds of pickerel, some of which are larger than usually caught in that section.”
  • “One of the largest pickerel taken from Glen Lake in several years was captured by Marvin Pratt of this village (Glens Falls). The fish was purchased by Landlord Rockwell of the Rockwell House,” The Morning Star reported on Feb. 6.
  • “The biggest catch of the season was brought home from Glen Lake Thursday night by Frank Dunn and John Martin,” The Morning Star reported on Feb. 16.
  • “George Holden of Saratoga, W. R. Clothier and George H. Martin of this village returned yesterday from a three days’ fishing trip to Friends’ Lake. They brought with them 124 pickerel, the largest of which weighed twelve pounds,” The Morning Star reported on March 15.
  • “Hosts of pickerel are being caught here now,” the Schroon Lake correspondent reported in The Morning Star on March 16. “George W. Wickham caught a string yesterday weighing thirty-five pounds. The largest was a fifteen pounder.”
  • “Emory McBride took a fishing trip yesterday and caught twenty-seven pickerel in Loon Lake,” the Riparius correspondent reported in The Morning Star on March 23, 1895.
  • “Large quantities of pickerel are being taken through the ice from the different lakes and ponds in this vicinity,” the Chestertown correspondent reported in The Morning Star on March 23, 1895.
  • “Harry Smith is the champion fisherman and disciple of Isaak Walton in this place, having caught nine handsome brook trout Monday, one of which weighed one-and-one-quarter pounds,” the Salem correspondent reported in The Granville Sentinel on April 5. “A good number of fishermen were out on the first day of April, when the season opened, but Mr. Smith was the only one who had any luck, as far as we can tell.”
  • “For the past few days, a number of boys have been fishing in Washington’s mill pond at Gansevoort,” The Morning Star reported on April 15, 1895. “The lads have had good success, catching from 200 to 300 brook trout daily.”
  • “Many fishermen are getting in readiness of the opening of trout season tomorrow,” The Morning Star reported on April 30, 1895.
  • “Bullhead in considerable quantities were brought in from Lake George yesterday,” The Morning Star reported on May 1. “One man, who lives at East Lake George, disposed of 150 pounds by peddling them in the streets. He got 12 1/2 cents (the equivalent of $4.83 in 2024 dollars) a pound for them.”

Click here to read the most recent previous fishing history post.

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Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY