We picked one of the worst days to lug our Clam Fish Traps out on the ice. Although they came in handy as a break from the wind, which was consistently blowing in the high teens to low 20’s, the amount of slush and snow on the ice was the real downfall but more on that later. We were on a new body of water looking for deep water crappie. Our eagerness to find fish far outweighed the adverse conditions.
We began out day in about 20 feet of water and it didn’t take long to get on fish. They were cruising on the bottom but willing to chase a few feet up to intercept our baits. The section of the lake we were on was covered by several inches of slush and water so moving from hole to hole was a wet nightmare. Before too long, our pant legs were covered in large balls of ice that hardened in the wind. Luckily for us the fish were biting.
Most of what we were catching were dink perch with the occasional crappie mixed in. Knowing that there was deeper water nearby Bobby grabbed his auger and started to move out. Soon enough we were on the edge of a large 30′ basin that was surrounded by 20′ of water. As we worked the fringe of the drop off, we located random roaming pods of suspended, better sized crappie. When they came through you could pick one or two before they moved out of your hole.
Not knowing the lake, the pattern of the roaming fish caused us a great deal of frustration. After they passed by, we would scatter in all directions to figure our where they went but were never were able to determine where their loop went off to. With a few fish on the ice for dinner, we packed it up to escape the wind and to check the ice at some other spots.
The walk off the pond was when we really started to regret dragging out flip overs out. The wind was in our face and the snow drifts coupled with the slush that kept building up on the bottom made the walk of take twice as long as it did on the way out in the morning. The rest of our day was spent checking spots for the days to come. No safe ice was found but it wasn’t far off!