Bobby was still on school vacation and it was one of my regularly scheduled days off. As a bonus, town hall meeting was a holiday for my girlfriend so she was able to hit the ice with us. The three of us got a late, but planned, start to the day. On the road at 8am, we thought that the time of day we hit the water at this spot didn’t matter. Being an all day crappie bite, we have never had trouble with a bite at any hour. Mainly, we wanted Mary to catch some fish.
After cutting holes throughout, we started looking for the large pod of fish that roams this body of water. None of the holes we cut held the pod of fish we were looking for. On a normal day, these fish are schooled up with the active fish cruising 4-10 feet below the ice. Fish that are any deeper than 10′ tend to be inactive and nearly impossible to catch. Today, fish were not showing anywhere. As we walked down the grid of holes that we had punched, we realized the fish either weren’t showing or weren’t there.
Regardless, we started fishing. Working the jigs up and down through the water column we found that the fish were tighter to shore and right below the ice. When I say right below the ice, I mean 6″ below the ice. All of the fish that we caught came from no more than 4′ below the ice in 20 feet of water. With the bite being so strange, all we could do was scratch our heads. We came to the conclusion that the fish got spooked because they were so close to the ice and the holes that we punched drove them out of the area. The amount of water in this area is intimidating. We figured out best bet was to pack up and go bluegill fishing.
On the ice for bluegills we punched holes, scooped them clean, and started sight fishing. The fish were there and they were cruising exceptionally high for a blue sky, high sun day. We were catching fish above the weeds at 5′ all the way up to only a foot below the ice. They were biting lightly and by sight fishing we were more successful. Watching the fish, most of the “bites” were the fish actually just the fishing blowing on the bait. Knowing when the hook was fully in their mouth made our hook up percentage much higher.
Although the fishing wasn’t fast and furious, it was a great day on the water and we were able to bring a meal home for supper!