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.
The blog has taken back seat recently. Sure there has been a few fishing trips but with a new house and a need for firewood, time has been short. Most of my time on the water lately has been at night.
I went out with two buddies who had never fished trout at night. The moon was going to be full which was ideal for hitting them after dark. We began the night with 1/32 and 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with crawlers. We staggered lines in hopes of finding a consistent depth that the rainbows were running at. Setting over 31 feet of water left plenty of area to cover!
Once the Hydro Glow Fishing Light was submerged we began to talk fishing. Having an organized boat makes fishing at night easier. Having to retie, the need for forceps, or getting the net are all routine things that can easily be complicated if they are not in a designated area. After explaining my game plan, we wet a few lines.
The fish came through in spurts and were for the most part willing to bite. While most bites occurred while the jig was still, as the night passed by, light jigging started to produce more and more. With three of us in the boat, we were able to have confidence in our patterns on what the fish preferred.
After several hours of fishing, things slowed down so we decided to pack it up. We all caught fish and it was well worth staying up late. When it was time to back the trailer in, some yahoos had left a present in the form of glass liquor bottles behind my tires. Awesome way to end the night!
After a long day on the water already, my buddy Andy and I launched his boat with intentions of getting a night bite for trout. We didn’t really know where to go but we had identified a few spots on Navionics.
The lake was alive with life. There were trout rising everywhere. We were unsuccessful with initial attempts to catch them casting so we motored to our first destination and anchored up. The wind was out of the west so we allowed enough of a tether to get us right over the spot. With the Hydro Glow Fishing Light submerged just below the surface of the water it was game time.
The boat was set up over 22 feet of water but the swing from the wind had us swinging back and forth out over 26 FOW. Before too long, the graph was marking fish from 10-13 feet below the boat. For the remainder of the night. Small pods of fish constantly pushed through.
We fished two different set ups throughout the night. One was a 1/32 ounce jig tipped with a whole crawler and the other was a snelled hook with a small split shot a foot above with a half crawler. We made short casts and let them swing down below the boat. Once we found where the fish were biting, we tied on small pieces of floss to mark the depth so we could replicate over and over. Throughout the course of the night, the smaller fish that we caught were on the snelled hook and no matter what set up was used, the fish wanted it still. The bites were light so being on the ball was key. The best method seemed to be setting the pole up so that it would move with any kind of action on the other end. The dark made it tough to see the bites and you couldn’t keep lights on because of the bugs.
By midnight, not only did we have our limits but we had tossed back several more limits worth. All but the bluegill and brook trout were between 13-20″. Good enough for a first outing!
I hit the water around 7 am with a plan on hooking up with a buddy around 1 for a deep water afternoon bluegill bite. Having not been out on this body of water in quite a while, I cut a ton of holes over varying habit types and depths hoping to key in on what they were holding on.
Right off, I found crappie and perch. They were running on a weed edge. The holes that had little to no weeds were the best. While the perch and crappie were fun, I couldn’t resist hitting the weeds to see if the bluegill were still biting. They were and the bigger fish seemed to be hiding out in the thickest weeds. These two patterns that I put together continued until I was forced to leave for my rendezvous point.
After meeting up with my buddy, we drove to the bluegill lake and made the short walk out. Having made this trip before we knew that the gills would be deep but we needed to find a better pattern for staying on them. On a prior trip (Bass And Bows… On Accident) we located a hump in deep water. Knowing that this would somehow be key to our success, this was the area we targeted.
Our first set of holes was on and around the hump covering quite a large area. As we worked through the spread, the numbers of fish that we were seeing was good. While there were a lot of gills, many were small. Not losing faith, we kept fishing. In the mix were quite a few bass and rainbows. As the holes got shallower, all species were void excepts for a new one for us on this body of water; brook trout.
The trip wasn’t a total bust but we never really located the numbers of bluegills that we had hoped for.
After seeing the walleye and other action that Bobby had last night, I couldn’t resist going to give it a shot myself. I figured I would get there early because the bluebird day would shut the bite off early. Having never been there, finding the sweet spot too a bit. As it turned out, I didn’t successfully land any fish there but I had a little action.
Learning to differentiate the difference between a rough bottom and current compared to a bite took a bit. I had a few instances where I thought I had a bite but wasn’t positive. Pulling my jig from the water my worm would be gone leaving me to believe that It was a fish. It wasn’t until I had my rod double over that I knew there was a fish on! I caught the fish in slack water. As I brought it slowly in, I fought the fish gingerly as it worked in and out of the current. About half way in the fish rose to the surface, revealing that it was a walleye, and started to roll. I tried to work my way towards slack water with the fish but it was able to make its way back into the current and shake loose.
With the next few hours warming and fishless, I packed it up and went to check some other water for bluegill and pumpkinseed. After checking a few spots and feeling the water, I realized that it was still too cold for the intended species to be in the area. My last resort was to go try to pluck some brook trout from some small mountain streams.
I went high thinking that the water flows would be lower and less murky. I was spot on with the clarity of the water but it was still plenty high. I worked a jig head rather than sinkers thinking that I would be able to get my bait lower in the water column to where the fish were. After missing a few fish, I put on snelled hook with a worm and started casting to any slack water that I could find. This method proved to be effective. The fish were rising to the surface so having my bait on the surface worked well. I was able to catch 6 small brookies before having to head home for work.
Even though the fish weren’t flowing right to my hook, a day of fishing is always great!
I made plans to take my girlfriend out for her first ice fishing excursion today being that it was a holiday. Two days before we went, we decided to cancel do to a weather forecast of temperatures in the low teens and winds in the high 20’s. Being that it was her first trip on the ice, I didn’t want to scare her off and waiting for a warmer day was a better idea. At the last moment, I told her that we were going and sitting in the shack would be sufficient being that we had found a good bite and moving wasn’t necessary.
After running a few errands this morning, we were on the road. A friend was on his way there as well and looking to beat us by a few minutes. So far this morning, the day was gorgeous. The sun was bright and the winds weren’t all that strong. As we pulled up we saw my friend walking out past where we intended to fish. I flagged him down and got him to the spot. As we walked out he was already catching fish.
I gave my girlfriend a full run through of all aspects of fishing today. The first lesson was punching holes. I opened up most of what we needed and then let her make a few herself. The second step was selecting a rod. Then a tutorial on tuning and fishing with a flasher and finally using an underwater camera to find structure and fish. The only part she didn’t need help with was catching fish. Before I even started fishing, she was catching her own.
The fish were running big today and they were on the move. A tip up fisherman near us was running crazy chasing flags. Putting two and two together we figured that the predatory fish were the ones responsible for the movement. For a mid day bit we were having a great trip. The fish weren’t hunkered down in the weeds like normal and they were aggressive when they were below the hole.
After a bit, the wind got to be too cold for Mary so I set her up in the shack. I punched a double hole so that she could sight fish. It was pretty funny to hear her excitement from outside the shack walls. We knew every time a fish swam through. Throughout the rest of the day she caught a bunch of fish. Pretty impressive for only being on the ice a few hours.
At some point during the day, She said she saw a trout swim under her. We doubted it being so shallow and with a very limited population in the lake. Trout roam the deep water here and we figured it must have been a bass. Apparently her underwater fish ID is better than we had though. One of the last drops of the day for my buddy produced a vivid 13-14″ brook trout. A few quick pictures and back down the hole it went.
Mary was happy with the trip and the only thing that took away from it was the wind. She plans to go again but on a warmer day!
For quite some time now, I have been talking to a fisherman through an online forum about some common areas that we both frequent. We had talked in the past about getting together for an outing but until now, have never been able to connect. We talked about walleye, crappie, perch, trout. and salmon. We settled on an area that offered various trout species with the intentions of jigging up perch despite the slow bit that has been occurring. He said he usually catches a fish or two at this spot but as the winter wares on the fishing heats us.
We were set up with tip ups on the ice around 6:30. The day called for blue skies with temps in the mid 30’s so if nothing else we would be comfortable. Within only a few minutes the first flag of the day popped up. Then another! Then another! These flags were all relatively close to each other and as we worked the first two up, we realized that a pod of nice sized perch went through the spread. After re-baiting, we punched holes to jig in.
Throughout the day, we moved around quite a bit looking for fish. Most attempts were unsuccessful and those holes that held fish resulted in only perch. Being that I had to work today at 2, I had to call it a day shortly after noon. Although the fishing wasn’t great it was good to meet my new fishing friend. I’m sure there will be more trips in the future. Some will be successful while others won’t. That’s why its fishing, not catching!
Later that night, I got a message saying that he had caught a small salmon before picking up.