During the winter months, Maineâ€™s largest lake often boasts a thick layer of snow-covered ice surrounded by scenic views of the western mountains, making this one of the most popular ice fishing destinations in the state. After purchasing my fishing license, I met up with some folks at Northwoods Outfitters in Greenville to head out to their fishing spot on the beautiful lake. We drove about 2 miles by snowmobile over Moosehead before arriving at their secluded ice shack.â€œWell, weâ€™ve made it to our fishing spot and Iâ€™m joined right now by Matt Lavigne and Chris Fenn, here with us on behalf of Northwoods Outfitters. Guys, what makes a good ice fishing spot?â€ â€œWell, several things I think. One is the drop. We have a nice big deep pool here of about 70 to 90 feet that hold a lot of bait. And the deep spot is where weâ€™ll catch the Lake Trout. And then we also have a nice rocky, jagged kind of island in behind us (atop Moose Island) which holds a lot of bait fish that hide in the rocks, and we set those for Brook Trout.â€ â€œAll right. Well, letâ€™s drill that hole and start fishing!â€We grabbed the auger and drilled through the thick ice. Matt then explained how the trap operates.â€œNow, what is this contraption?â€ â€œThis is your typical tip-up. How that works is: fish on the other end, you have your bait down in the hole. That fish will grab the bait and trip this up.â€ â€œAh, ok.â€ â€œSo your flag pops up, you put your trap to the side. Take off your gloves, and you hand pull it in.â€â€œRight now weâ€™re standing on ice that about 2 Â½ feet thick. And Moosehead Lake, at its deepest points, is probably 300ft deep.â€ â€œPretty close.â€ â€œBut how deep are we going to fish today?â€ â€œThis particular set that weâ€™re setting up here is for Brook Trout and weâ€™re going to be in about 4 feet of water.â€After baiting the trap with a shiner, we set the tip-up and waited to see the flag rise. Chris set several more traps for us, some deeper than others, to improve our odds of successfully catching a fish.â€œSo our fishing trap is set, Matt and Chris, but you mentioned that right now weâ€™re looking for some Brook Trout. What are some other kinds of fish you normally see here in the Moosehead Lake region?â€ â€œWell, today weâ€™ve got some traps out for Togue, or Lake Trout. And on those sets, a lot of times we catch Cusk. And of course, we have salmon.â€We were lucky, it wasnâ€™t long beforeâ€¦â€œFlag!â€ â€œAh we got a fish already! Letâ€™s go check it out.â€Taking Mattâ€™s earlier advice to mind, I moved the tip-up aside, took off my gloves, and began pulling in a big one. According to Chris, this trap was set to a depth of about 70 feet.â€œHeâ€™s not pulling too hard. See, Iâ€™m used to fly-fishing when they really pull. But since itâ€™s winter, Iâ€™m guessing theyâ€™re probably a little bit more lethargic.â€ â€œYeah, they are.â€â€œGo slow. Oh, thatâ€™s a big fish! When his head comes in, leave his head here and Iâ€™ll grab his gills. Donâ€™t lift him up because the line might break. Just nice and easy.â€ â€œWow, that is a big fish! Got â€˜em?â€ â€œI do.â€ â€œWow!â€ â€œThatâ€™s a big Lake Trout.â€ â€œThatâ€™s incredible!â€ â€œCongratulations.â€At 27â€ and about 6.5 pounds, this was easily the biggest fish I had ever caught. I couldnâ€™t help but marvel at the size and beauty of this fish. Chris and Matt believed that this was probably the largest fish caught at their fishing spot all season and would easily be a catch that many would have mounted on their wall.â€œSo what do we do now guys?â€ â€œI say we go back to the shack, have a cup of coffee and warm up a little bit.â€ â€œSounds good to me.â€While thawing in the ice shack, we shared stories and continued to watch our other traps through the windows. Matt and Chris explained that some fishing days were better than others, but I could definitely see why many enjoy this wintertime sport.â€œWell, there you have it. I think my first ice fishing experience was a success. What do you think?â€ â€œAbsolutely.â€ â€œAnd what are you going to do with this big boy?â€ â€œOh weâ€™ll turn him into a nice fish chowder.â€ â€œAnd youâ€™ve got a lot of fish to work with there too.â€ â€œYeah, thatâ€™ll make a big batch.â€A big thanks to Matt, Chris, and the folks at Northwoods Outfitters in Greenville. Also, thanks to WABI-TV5 Photographer Suzanne Laidman for the excellent footage and editing!For more info about Northwoods Outfitters, be sure to check out their website at www.maineoutfitters.com.