I woke up early today and was on the ice before the sun rose. With the holes punched and a fresh Jamei from Maki Plastic tied on, I started fishing. The day was about as ideal as they get to be on the ice. There was little to no wind and overall the temperature was warm until it started to drop in the afternoon.
The majority of what came through the ice today was perch but pumpkinseed were a close second. Pumpkinseed usually run small on this body of water but today many were 9″+. It was great to see this kind of production from this area! The perch ran smaller that usual but when we hit a decent pod there were some 11-13″ fish. Usually the crappie at this spot get real tight lipped and almost seem to disappear as winter wears on. Today threw us a curve ball. The crappie were there and in spurts, they bit.
For the first time, we set up a non-powered Sullivan Tip Down with live bait. I was fishing with our buddy Andy and his two younger brothers. One of the kids won the tip down at a recent kids clinic put on by Vermont Sportsman Hard Water Tournament Series. The results were good. We were running this below the ice by only a few feet making sure that we were above the weeds. Seeing this thing in action shows the potential that tip downs have to enhance our fishing trips and how kid friendly they are!
Other than tip downs we set up a few tip ups. The weeds were so thick, we were having trouble keeping our bait free of weeds as they circled the hole. To combat the weeds, we set up a drop shot rig keeping the bait in a few select openings that we located. The technique worked well and the kids were able to land the few perch that took the bait.
We checked a ton of spots throughout the area and the fish just seemed to be spread thin. The majority of the fish we found were in the thick weeds that were for the most part un-fishable. Getting the bait down to the fish was the tough part, the rest was easy. No color seemed to be better than another. Just about anything moving in front of a fish enticed them to bite.
All in all it was a great day. Spending time on the ice with friends is what it is all about. The fish we put on the ice and bring home are just a bonus!