I headed out early this morning to test out a new spot on the Connecticut River. I was on the ice at sunrise with not much of an idea of where to start but I had checked out google earth satellite photos last night and pinpointed a few areas that got my interest. I had a hunch that there were crappie lurking somewhere and being that were was deep water I figured I’d start there. A good chunk of the water looked to be shallow so I didn’t even bother checking it all day.
The first set of holes I punched didn’t produce so they were quickly abandoned. They ranged in depth from 15-22 feet which was about what I was looking for. I moved on to location number two which looked very similar from above but was shaded by the north eastern tree line. After punching about 50 holes I figured it was time to wet a line. When I put my Vexilar down and turned it on, the screen lit up just like I wanted it to! I had 10 feet of fish stacked up from the bottom.
It took me only one hole land my first fish… Too bad it was a shiner! The fish were very sluggish throughout the entire day but I still managed a decent number. A few holes later, I was able to work a crappie out of the school below my jig. It was a solid 9″ fish. Throughout the rest of the day I iced 13 legal crappie and numerous shorts. Other than crappie and shiners, I caught and released around 2 dozen perch, some of which were 14″+, a bunch of pumpkinseed, some very nice bluegill, and 2 pike.
As usual, I tried to only fish above the cluster of crappie and pick them off the top so I didn’t disturb the bunch but that didn’t work. In general, I found that the fish on top were not active and the fish in the middle and on the bottom would at least check it out. In most cases I was only able to catch one per hole. In holes that had perch, pumpkinseed, pike, and bluegill there were no crappie suspended. All these fish were picked from right off the bottom and were unwilling to move more than a foot up.
I tried using my Aqua Vu camera today but I wasn’t able to see much. The water was cloudy and being so deep I could not see much beyond a foot or two. I tried just about every combination of jig, plastic, and spikes that I could put together. The two set ups that I found to be effective were a horizontal gold jig, black Maki by Maki Plastics, no maggot, and horizontal white (glow) jig, milky pink Guppi by Maki Plastics, and red maggot. Any bright color made the fish disappear in a hurry.
There were only a few other holes (other than the hundreds that I punched!) as its a haul to get to. It was a great day to on the ice and I think I’ve found a spot that I will be returning to very soon! Back at it tomorrow. Stay tuned!