The final leg of the Vermont Sportsman Hard Water Tournament Series was today. Originally scheduled for Larrabees Point on southern Lake Champlain, the actual location was moved to Mallets Bay due to ice conditions.
Mallets Bay, up until the night before the event had been solid. Trucks were driving all over but wouldn’t you know the ice softened up! Reports of a vehicle punching through the ice out in the bay started to spread as the sun started to set. Later that night, another report of a failed rescue attempt surfaced as well. A truck was 3/4 submerged just out from the docks as it made its way out to pull the stuck car from the ice.
The event was on a great day. The wind was fairly calm and the fish were there. It seemed like everyone that was in the field was clustered up on one weedbed. Fish throughout the bay have been very spotty excepts for this one area. As we worked up and down the weeds, the fish were found to mainly be blowing on the baits and not biting too well. Smaller fish were biting hard though!
As the day wore on, we were both fishing in our shacks. It seemed the most efficient way to hook up with the finicky big fish. Watching them come in and knowing when the inhaled the entire bait made all the difference. Although fish were throughout the water column, the bigger fish seemed to be suspending above the weeds. The best holes were ones that had a taller weed edge bordering one side of the hole. This feature funneled the fish right into you. Most of the fish that we needed to weigh in seemed to be 3-5 feet below the ice in about 9 feet of water.
The bite was tough but some nice fish were brought in to the final weigh in. The morning bite seemed to be when most of the better fish came from but the winners tactic was that he found some fish the day before. He went over mid day and caught the winning bag of crappie and pumpkinseed. That is what pre-fishing does!