11-23-14 – Early Start To The Season!

Everyone looks forward to early ice but early ice isn’t always easy to gauge when it will happen. This past Sunday, I hit the road early with a few buddies in search of safe ice. With a week of cold, we knew there was a good chance that something would have locked up solid. Throughout the course of the day we checked nine different ponds, three of which were strong enough to hold us up safely.

The first pond we ventured out was was a warm water pond with nice milfoil patches. We covered about 2/3 of the water in no time with just spud bars and an underwater camera. While everything looked good, we couldn’t locate any fish. With super clear ice and a lot of surface noise, we figured we were just pushing the fish around because of the noise we were making. As a secondary method, we tried removing creepers after verifying a constant thickness throughout and sneaking around hoping that the fish had settled. No such luck. Instead we packed it up and continued looking.

A few ponds later, we were able to creep out on a medium sized trout pond. The ice was super clear which kept us on edge. We got over enough water to catch fish, but the whole situation didn’t seem worth it so we kept on looking.

As we kept heading, we finally struck gold. A medium sized, shallow pond with a mix of cold and warm water fish. The only problem was none of us had ever fished anywhere in the area. We took the time to check the entire body of water with the spud bars and vexilar for depth.. About 45 minutes later we were drilling holes and prepping our poles for first drop. We drilled better than half of the fishable water our and started fishing.

Within only a few holes, the fish were marking well but not biting. After a few dropped fish, we really focused. Maybe 15 minutes into fishing, I landed my first fish of the winter; a 4″ crappie! Good start and another body of water with crappie added to the list. As the day wore on, we honed in on our presentation and found that orange and white were the key colors. As for cadence, small pulses or dead sticking produced the most bites. We caught a good mix of crappie and perch. One pike made it to the surface but snapped the line at the last second.

As dark approached, the ice had melted a bit and some standing water was present. We decided that we had pushed our first day on the ice to its limits and it was time to head home. What a great to start to another season!

11231413391123141353 P1050882 P1050920

11-17-14 – We’re Back!

Obviously, the changing outdoor season have limited our time on the water but not the time in the field! We spent a great deal of time the last month and a half chasing deer. While neither of us tagged a deer with our bows, the opportunities were there and some great memories were made. The between days from bow to rifle, yielded some great insight as to what rifle season would offer.

P1050854While we didn’t both have a deer down, we were both part of successful early morning hunts. Bobby shot an 8 point, 140 pounds and my girlfriend Mary shot her first deer a 6 point, 129 pounds. As with last year, both of these deer were on the trail cameras all summer long and have given us some heart throbbing moments through bow season. Sure was a great start to the season! The following morning, I passed on two smaller bucks before cutting up Marys deer. Back at it after a few days of work…

My beautiful picture ????? IMG_1045 10629555_1505585639726669_8158745750142523576_n Bobby buck