Heading out to new water, we decided that we should wait till it was light out to go out and start exploring. The ice on this pond is known to be inconsistent due to springs. As we cautiously worked out, we found 5″ of good black ice and 2″ of white ice. Everywhere we went, we found great numbers of perch but only a few of these were decent sized. The key to catching the bigger fish seemed to be plastics. More specifically, anything in the color red by Maki Plastics. We used the Maki and Jamei to key in on the larger perch below the ice.
After catching all the perch we could handle, we parted ways with our morning spot in search of new and more productive waters. Knowing what was needed in our sled we consolidated so it wasn’t overflowing so bad.
The second lake that we hit didn’t have as much ice as the first . Working slowly and very cautiously across the ice we hit a max of 4 inches but that was closer to shore. As we inched out across a deep basin, the ice thickness fluctuated from 3-4″ and there was a noticeable amount of change in it’s hardness. Some spots it would take three good hits with the spud to get water while others it would take one. Although we fished our way out and had pretty good luck with nice sized perch, we had one spot in mind where we wanted to get. Once we arrived at the spot we started catching the numbers and size of fish we thought we would.
We found aggressive fish that would charge our bait as it made its way down. Mainly, we caught perch but as dark approached the number pumpkinseed in the area increased dramatically. The crappie that were in the area came randomly right in the mix with the rest. Before it got too dark, we figured it would be a good idea to retrace our steps off the ice on the track that we knew was somewhat safe.
You can see some of our footage on our YouTube page in Early Ice Success!