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Fish Tales on Deep Creek Lake



    Ice fishing: It's a simple-enough concept. Grab a fishing pole, some bait, a bucket to sit on (or use a fish house, in the proper conditions) and stay on a frozen lake for hours.

    You may not think that ice fishing in the East is as big of a deal as it is to, let's say, a Minnesotan, contrary to belief we've seen some hardcore anglers on the lakes nearby.

    Take, for instance, Deep Creek Lake State Park (898 State Park Road, Swanton, Md., 170 miles from D.C.). It's the state's largest fresh body of water, with 69 miles of shoreline and abundant populations of bass and walleye. It's also well-stocked with yellow perch, bluegill and sunfish.

    Anglers can enjoy the best ice fishing during January and February, so schedule your trip accordingly. Fish generally stay near the bottom of the lake to keep warm, so you may need more than 10 feet of line to reach them. Deep Creek Lake only freezes to about 8-10 inches thick, so only hand-powered augers are needed.

    If you're going to make a weekend out of your stay, try the Lodges at Sunset Village for all your lodging needs. They offer log cabin-style hotel suites, each with a fireplace and kitchenette. 

    If you book your trip for this weekend, make an appearance at the Winterfest Chili Cook-Off (Saturday, Jan. 14, 11a.m.-4p.m.) at the New Germany Lake House (Deep Creek State Park), which includes prizes, a cross-country ski race, a snowshoe dash and of course, chili to be scarfed down. 

    Looking for even more adventure? Try the local scavenger hunt (through Jan.15) where you can check in (via the Foursquare app) to local business and receive giveaways and discounts. Or go more low-key with a horse-and-buggy ride via Pleasent Valley Dream Rides

    View a "Fish Smart, Fish Safe" PDF here, or call 301-387-4111 for more info.