The last day of filming went about as well as the second day. We ditched Lake Champlain and headed elsewhere hoping for some whites. I got there before the rest of the crew and started fishing. I cut a bunch of holes and right off got into the bluegill. The size was decent but not great for the body of water we were on. Our tip ups did nothing excepts for soak. After a few hours of nothing but bluegill we thought that we might be able to find better fish elsewhere so we headed out.
The shores getting on were rough. I had to wade through about a foot and a half of water just to make it on the ice. Once I was, it things were fine though. As I arrived to the first location, I fished some holes that were already open. Picking around, I found some crappie and bluegill. We managed to get a few fish on camera but the bite wasn’t consistent. As the sun started to set and we lost camera light, the fish turned on. Crappie were all around and some nice gills as well!
The best part of the day was fishing in a t-shirt until the sun set! It sure didn’t feel like a January day!
The second day of filming didn’t go as well as the first. The target for this trip was white perch. While there were plenty of whites biting on southern Champlain, overnight rain and warm temperatures raised questions about water clarity and ice safety. We decided to head north and look for them there. We covered a ton of water and only found yellow perch. To top things off, we had heavy rain all day. After only a few hours, we called it a day. Not only were the fish not biting but the odds of keeping the camera dry enough not to wreck it were slim. Instead of fishing, we decided that a nice hot lunch sounded better!
I spent the day filming tip up fishing pickerel for Tom Gruenwald Outdoors. With an odd ball target like pickerel, there were many options on where we could go but what better than Lake Champlain. Having the right to put out 15 tip ups per person greatly increased our odds. As it turned out, we couldn’t get that many out! As we set up our first tip up, we guessed how long it would take for our first flag to pop. Jamie guessed six and I guessed seven. It was five, so neither of us were right but for the remainder of the day we had steady action.
We caught several pike and plenty of pickerel. During some of the downtime we jigged up panfish. As the sun started to set, we were told that there was plenty of footage and we could pick up. After I picked up the first two tip ups I saw that the third one was bumping the hole. I quickly snagged it up and soon landed my biggest pike ever on camera. It went 36″ and unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of it yet. The camera man snapped a photo for me but hasn’t had time yet to send a copy to me. When it comes I will post it up.
I got to enjoy another windy day on the water. From before day light, the wind was whipping but the temperatures were relatively warm so it was manageable. With holes punched, I started hole hopping looking for jumbo perch. They were scattered but around. It seemed like aggressive jigging was more productive today that any other method. After a few hours, I decided to pack it up and head to a different spot because the fish had shut off.
The second location proved to be equally tough. Using an underwater camera, I could see the pods of crappie roaming through the weeds. The thick weeds held the majority of the fish but the ones in sparse weeds were more aggressive. They were in there thick and in some serious numbers! Until almost dark, I picked at the active fish while most were lethargic. I took home a few meals for the days a head!
I spent the day looking for fish that would help out in tomorrows tournament on Dillenbeck Bay on Lake Champlain. It was tough finding fish and the wind didn’t help. Throughout the course of the day, I punched holes throughout much of the bay. I ended up finding perch just about everywhere, three spots with pumpkinseed, and not a single trace of crappie. While I only fished a few of the holes, the fish seemed very willing to bite.
Feeling content with the fish that I had found, I packed up my car to hit a spot closer to home. I fished until dark pulling pumpkinseed and dink perch. Tomorrow is the first tournament of the winter!