As we all get older our priorities seem to shift, we strive to order our lives in the best way we know how. Allowing our children to have the opportunity to love the outdoors and it’s offerings has moved to the top of the list for us. We were able to get Bobby’s son Henry on the ice for the first time this past weekend and it was truly a special moment for both father and son.
The day was set aside as a relaxed family day with most of our close friends. Fishing was low key as it was not the number one priority. We set up a few tip ups on a local inland lake, we cooked some food and just enjoyed each others company. Henry made it longer than we expected, lasting an hour and a half on his first ice fishing adventure. The fishing techniques was simple, “grab the line a run Henry” seemed to bring a few fish out of the hole. The look of pure enjoyment on Henry’s face after the first fish came through the hole was enough to make this trip a success.
It is so important to get our youth out of the house and experience the outdoors. Society is changing every day and our children have lost the experiences we were all so fond of growing up. If you get the chance please give a youth the chance to love the outdoors as we all do. They’re growing up fast with the use of technology, please try to put a Vexilar in front of them instead of them in front of an Xbox.
Our long and drawn out early ice this season has put a damper on our night trips but we finally made it out for a few hours last week. Ice conditions were good with almost a foot of ice as we scouted an area to set up for the evening. It’s usually in your best interest to doing a little bit of scouting before you land on a spot for the night, especially if your fishing a new body of water or if the fish your after are difficult to pattern.
We cut a string of holes an hour or so before dark. We focused our attention a few different points of natural structure. This particular basin lake had a few small weed covered humps protruding out of relatively deep water. We started our line of holes on and around the hump in an attempt to locate fish. After fishing through the holes, we decided to cut along the weed edge on the first major contour break. It didn’t take long for us to hit a hole with with active crappie in it. After we iced our first fish, we decided that was enough for us to set up the Clam hub and our Hydro Glow fishing light for the night.
There were some active fish in the area as we were able to hook into them right off the bat. The fish were coming through in waves, maybe five to six at a time right near the bottom. Most times we find them suspending just above the weeds but that’s the beauty of having a fish finder. Adjusting to the bite is much less troublesome when you can see where the fish are rather than guessing.
The fish bit pretty consistently until 7:15 but we stuck it out until 8:15 in case things changed. They didn’t so we headed home and packed up for the next morning!
I hit the road early with a few buddies. We set up shop for the day in shallow water. Mainly less than 6′. The baits were staggered at different depths with the concentration of them being in less than 3′ as the channel is narrow. We hooked up small shiners, half crawlers, and some powerbait.
We were set up around sunrise and the first flag caught us by surprise while we stood around and caught our breath from making sure things were good to go. When the flag popped we all heard the sound and started running. The straws were drawn and I was 3rd in rotation.
The best fishing of the day occurred from sunrise to 10am. We landed a dozen brookies and 2 rainbows. Big fish of the day was also the first fish, a 17.25″ brookie. The highlight of the day was us landing 5 fish in about 20 minutes from one hole that was in a foot of water. We got to watch the fish fighting on the way in as both the water and ice were crystal clear.
I told myself at the beginning of the day I would only keep a fish if it was hooked badly. By the end of the day, I had iced enough for a limit but all of them were hooked nicely in the corner of the mouth. While I went home empty handed, I had enough in the fridge for a meal of perch and crappie.
Even though it’s not a fishing report here are a few photos of some fish I have seen recently. The heat doesn’t seem to be bothering the trout in this low water!
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The Connecticut River is a vast body of water stretching 407 miles. The river offers up some great fishing and often times an underestimated fishery. The winter months offer anglers early ice on the setbacks in late December with chances to catch panfish, walleyes, pike, white perch and bass. The northern region also holds some very respectable trout. Fishing the river can sometimes be a challenge.
Summer time walleye fishing is one of my favorite times to fish. The method I use for catching great numbers of walleye is fishing them in the “wood”. Most of my vertical jigging has been for crappies when they move out onto deep structure in the summer months. I use this same pattern to find and catch walleye in Vermont on the Connecticut river.
I look for big bends in the river that will cause debris and logs to jam up during high water times. Hurricane Irene last spring left us with a lot of this. Old logs and timber will float down stream and literally pile up on these bends. The best jams to fish are in 12 feet of water or more. Once I find a jam, I use my electronics to mark which part of the jam the fish are holding. Once I’ve done that, it’s just a matter of positioning the boat so you can fish them consistently. A good bait to rig up on a 1/4 oz jig is the Berkley Gulp Alive Leech. The trick is getting the bait down through the timber and back up with a walleye without loosing too many jigs. The action is often times too fast. Yesterday I had a hard time closing the bail on the reel before a walleye had picked up my bait. I missed more fish than I boated and I boated 28 walleye is just over 4 hours of fishing. The technique is nothing special, all I’m doing is bouncing the bait on the bottom, pausing, and bouncing again. The down stream section of the jam always seems to hold more fish.
This is different from most ways of catching walleye. It can be frustrating at times but with a little patience and effort you can have a great day on the water. Here’s some pictures from Saturday June 23 2012 catching walleyes in the wood.
Note: If you look closely in the first picture you can see what I mean by log jams.
I was having some troubles with my boat motor running on Memorial Day so it turned out to be a day of hanging out with the family at camp. Towards the end of the day, we found a newly hatched painted turtle right by the dock. There was a smallmouth circling the area so we brought it into a small wading pool that I learned how to swim in. The turtle didn’t want to hang out in the safety of the calm water so we wished him luck and away he went!
It was getting tossed around in the waves