Tag Archives: D & B Ice Adventures

2-14-13 – A Crappie Valentine’s Evening

With a few hours to kill before my wife came home from work, I decided to take a ride in search of a few crappie for dinner.

I arrived to the pond a little before 4 pm and punched 6 holes in the area that usually holds a few decent crappies, perch, and pumpkinseed.  The first hole I fished was the most productive of them all producing many perch and a few seeds.  I fished around those holes for and hour or so without a crappie sighting so I decided to make a small move.  I had found a nice weed flat adjacent to deep water this summer and thought I would punch a few holes on the inside turn.  I cut two holes and dropped the transducer for my Vexilar FL-18 down the hole.  I was met with 12 feet of water, this is usually a little shallower than I thought the crappie would be holding in this pond but I have it a shot.  I usually don’t fish a hole in deep water for crappie unless I’m marking suspended fish, but thinking to myself that I wasn’t really in deep water I should drop my bait down and see what happens.  My bait reached three feet under the ice and I was all of a sudden marking a big red racing up towards it.  I was using a Bentley tungsten jig with Maki Plastics.  The fish literally pounded the bait and out came crappie number one.  The times in the past when I have fished this body of water had been slow but productive.  I had never caught more than one crappie out of a hole and I had never caught more than six in an outing.  Well to make a long story short the next 45 minutes ended up being the best crappie fishing I have ever had in my life in terms of numbers, aggressiveness of the fish, and overall quality.  It was stacked with fish, they were marking from 5 feet all the way down to 12 feet of water, and they were hungry.  At one point my plastic ripped off and I was catching 11 inch crappie on nothing other than the glow jig.   I iced 52 crappie in about 45 minutes of fishing, and that was even with a stop to teach a local about the Vexilar.

It was a fantastic outing, one of best I have experienced.  I hope to get back there for a morning bite to see if the fish are as aggressive as they were that night.  The best part was that I managed a limit for the freezer and still made it home in time to clean fish and await the arrival of my wife.

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2-9-13 – Tail End Nemo

The end of the work week brought the people of the Northeast winter storm Nemo.  Most schools were closed and Boston was bracing themselves for two feet of snow, we went fishing. . .

We arrived to our setback early and found that the snow totals in this area were not as much as home.  Encouraging this was but the long walk down a steep hill and the longer walk back up it killed that excitement.  The plan for the day was to set up a few tip ups in hopes of getting a Walleye to take the bait.  We drilled our holes, our buddy Mark cut some more holes while I set the jacks.  Once we were set up we began jigging for panfish.  Using the electronics we “trolled” around looking for fish.  There was no shortage of fish! (but)  I’ve never, in all my years fishing seen fish so lethargic.  I would pull up to a hole that was literally stacked with fish, 6-7 suspended in the water column.  The fish would either not move, or swim back down and disappear.    This gave me the chance to refine my cadence and try some different things to try and entice these fish into biting.  Two cadences seemed to work better than normal.  The first was to pound, literally pound the jig.  I made my jig violently bouncing through the water column as to almost upset the fish into biting.  These fish seemed to become agitated with my bait as it worked down towards them, often times leading to a strike.  The second pattern that worked well was a slight bounce, which was interesting since the aggressive tactic worked.  There was not happy medium.  It was pound or close to dead-stick that triggered the fish on this day.

We followed the fish as the slowly moved through the channel trying to pick out the aggressive ones.  Mark was able to land a nice Crappie that actually got stuck in the 6-inch iced up hole.

After a few hours and no luck on the flags other than wind flags we made a move into shallower water.  Shortly after re-setting Mark landed this little Northern.

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I was able to find a few fish for the frying pan as we worked thro0ugh the day.  All and all the day was a struggle but we made the best of it.  I did manage to catch this great Bluegill suspended in 20fow.  The fish was at least 10 inches and I would say close to a pound.

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1-10-13 – Ice Team TV Episode 4 Filming Day 2

We had the pleasure to be a part of the fourth episode of Ice Team TV and fishing with some of the best that The Clam Ice Team Pro Staff has to offer.  This was a great experience and and we appreciate the opportunity.

The day started off a little quicker than the previous since we already had the unloading and preparation shots the film crew needed so it was right to fishing.  The fish hadn’t moved much from the previous day and since we were fishing the same spot it didn’t take long to start pulling in some quality fish.  It was a typical river bite, early morning hours often bring a steady flow of water into the setbacks.  It’s important to understand this concept when you’re fishing a river system that has a dam system.  It’s actually simple to understand.  When  water flows into these setbacks, creating a higher water level the fishing is usually good.  Why? The water flow causes the zoo plankton and small bait fish to circulate, thus creating a great opportunity for the larger fish to feed, and get caught by us the fishermen.  Watch the USGS Water Date site to dam openings and closings in your area.  If the setback you fish is between two dams make sure you are aware of both the upper and lower openings and closings.  A good in-flow is created when the dam above is open, allowing for more water to come out and when the lower dam is closed or letting out less flow creating a back up of water.

As the sun grew higher in the sky the flow also depleted causing the fish to move from the deep channel into the thick weed flats.  (Look for the inside turns adjacent to the main channel to hold concentrations of fish.)  Fishing slowed down a bit but we were still able to stay with them and pick at them for the next couple hours.  Our presentation was a milk pink Maki plastic rigged on a gold head Bentley Tungsten Jig.  Later in the day a few red maggots helped to entice the fish into biting.

All and all we have a very productive day on the setback.  Make sure to watch for episode four from Ice Team Tv to pick up more tips and tricks from the ice world.  Bring It!

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This fish was caught early in the morning in the channel while the water was flowing into the setback.

1-6-13 – Crowded Day On The River

We’ve all had the days when we arrive at our favorite fishing spot and realize that we have it all to ourselves, on this day that wouldn’t be the case.  We arrived at one of our favorite spots greeted by calm skies with little to no breeze and temps in the 20’s, perfect day to be on the ice.  Unfortunately, the recent cold temperatures had given the tip up fishermen enough confidence to haul out the hard sides and set up shop for the season.  A few members of our group were able to arrive at day break and punched out an area as a way of “claiming” a spot.

The morning bite was hot, everything was right, the water was coming in, we had overcast skies, fish were active.  We spent the first couple of hours chasing the school’s of pumpkinseed, bluegill, and crappie along the edge of the main channel adjacent to the thickest weed line.   Early ice at it’s best however;  Early ice also means everybody and their brother is itching to get out.  The amount of tip ups in the ice was off the charts.  This is not a big setback and every inch of the channel was spoken for.  We were not able to fish our spots the way we normally would have.

A lot of people also brought on another dilemma.  Noise.  Once the morning had gone and the activity picked up we noticed that the fish were gone, well at least we thought so, we actually ended up learning a lot about this particular spot on this day.  We found that instead of running to deeper water when levels dropped and noise picked up, that the fish actually moved shallow and found the thickest weed patches to surround themselves with.  This made it a little more difficult using the electronic but we were able to pull some nice bluegill and pumpkinseed out of the thickest weeds while the sun was at it’s peek.  Fortunately for us the fish stayed close and slid only 20-30 yards away from the “area” we had settled in.

As the sun got lower in the ski and the commotion let down, we noticed that the fish slowly worked themselves out of the weeds and back towards the edge of the channel.  The fishing was fast times, chasing the feeding fish up and down the banks. Moving to stay on fresh and active fish, the rest of the night stayed successful with a stead increase towards dark.

The bite for the last 45 minutes consisted of mainly bluegill and crappie; favoring more heavily towards crappie. As we worked through the rows of holes we found that the fish were attacking our jigs as they worked down the water column. Anywhere for 2-5′ below the ice was stacked with crappie and occasionally a bluegill as you neared the weed edge. It was the time when we could do no wrong. The fish weren’t pick as long as it was moving.

A run like that was the best possible way to end a nice long day on the ice!

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9-20-12 – Deep Water Panfish And Shoreline Bass

We had a few hours after work to get out on the water. The weather conditions were ideal with temps in the mid 60’s, high sun, and just enough breeze to keep the boat moving. We were planning on searching for jumbo perch but had a feeling that the bite would die as the sun set, so we were prepared with our bass gear.

It didn’t take us long to find fish. We were cruising along the 28′ contour but finding mainly bluegill and pumpkinseed. The perch that we did find were smaller than usual coming in around 10-11.5″. After a bit or looking around the school of panfish in all directions, we went to a completely different section of the lake. We found about the same results but a few larger perch.

With the sun hitting the trees, we looked hard to find any fish that were willing to bite but not much luck was coming our way. We began to pack up our bottom bouncing rigs and vertical jigging rods in order to make room on the main deck for casting bass gear.

The main lure selections for bass were light colored crankbaits and senkos. We pounded the shores for about an hour before we decided it was too dark. Most of the fish we found were right close to shore or suspending over deep water weed beds.  Although none of the bass were big it was good constant action.

Check out Deep Water Panfish And Shoreline Bass on our YouTube page!

8-23-12 – River Walleye

With summer coming to and end we decided to hit the river to check on the walleye bite.  We have had a productive summer vertical jigging timber and decided to head out early in search of some action.

The weather in the Northeast lately has brought us cool mornings with fog, hardly any rain and warm to hot afternoons;  we knew the fish should be on structure.  As you may have read in earlier posts, our preferred method is jigging, nothing more than a 1/4 to 1/2 once jig tipped with a half of crawler, jigged between the timber in 16 feet of water.

We pulled up to our first spot with high hopes since we hadn’t touched this spots in a few weeks.  The water temp had dropped down to 70, a ten degree difference from three weeks ago.  My second drop of the morning scored me a nice 21″ walleye, a “chunky feller”.  The bar was set high now, with the anticipation that this first fish was only the beginning of a great day of walleye fishing.

We managed to pull a few more decent sized walleye of this first spot but nothing to write home about.  The timber was full of giant rock bass, perch, and the occasional smallmouth.  We made a move to our second spot about a mile up river and into the fog.  First drop, Dylan hooks up but the fish was quicker than him and it wrapped him around some branches pulling the hook.  Fish 1 Dylan 0!  This spot in particular had changed a lot since the previous summer when I first found it.  There was a lot of brush that was on the bottom making it difficult to precisely drop your jig into a potential strike zone.  Our only way of know what was down there was the Humminbird 998c SI unit mounted on the boat which gave us a clear view of what we were working with.  Come to find out that fish on the first drop was the only taker at this location.

As we approached the next spot we found some new timber as the water was clear and the sun was bright. We fished around but the bite was slow. In the end, this spot only produced a nice keeper walleye  and a mixed bag of rockbass and perch.

The time had come to try something new.  We have been pretty regularly catching deep water jumbo perch with a bottom bouncing rig.  We decided to fish some of the deep holes on the bends of the river using this method.  The rig is nothing more than a three-way swivel,  with a 1/2 once bell sinker 18′ below, then a small tall of line off the other three-way with a number 6 octopus hook tipped with a crawler.  Now that I write that it seems like a lot more but it’s really simple.  The presentation is to slowly troll the boat around the edges of the deep holes dragging the rig on the bottom.  Much to our surprise it wasn’t more than five minutes before I hooked into a nice eater walleye, and right after that Dylan hooked into a couple himself.  Now we know that we can catch fish in deep holes with a different presentation on the river, D&B 1, Fish Look out!

Check out River Walleye on our YouTube page!

After the walleye fishing slowed big time we decided to go jack up some jumbo perch. With a mid day window we thought the fishing would be slow. We were right… We fished for a little over two hours but we kept a few for a dinner!

8-17-12 – Deep Water Perch And Bluegill

With only a few hours in the afternoon to fish before the storm rolled in, we tried our best to make the most of the humid afternoon. Being 1 p.m., our hopes weren’t too high that the fish would be pounding. We hoped at best for a steady but slow bite. The morning is the best bite but with work and all, we did what we could.

Right off, we caught a few decent perch and surprising for this lake some deep water gills. We were targeting a 22-28 foot break along a weed line that has a soft sandy bottom. Being the middle of the day, we suspected that the fish would be holding in the weeds waiting until sunset when the would begin to feeding again.

As we moved around using the trolling motor, we found that the fish were very inactive and that the wind was causing us to have some serious issues. We hit all the usual spots that we know the fish to hold up in. They were there, just not hungry. We kept searching for pods of fish thinking that one might give us some solid action. Picking up a few here and there was frustrating after seeing all the fish on the screen!

After fishing for a few hours and catching a someslab perch, we made a big move to the other end of the lake. The wind was far worse and the fish were more scattered than the place we had just left. We gave it a shot for a bit but quickly decided to move back to the other end of the lake. As we were pulling up our lines I caught this nice bluegill out of 26 feet of water.

As the day wore on, the clouds darkened and we thought we were going to have to head out early. With a little disregard for the distant booms of thunder, the skies cleared back up and the fish turned on. At least for a bit. We caught fish for another hour before the next storm rolled in.

Overall it wasn’t a bad day. We caught a decent number of perch, some big gills, and one good bass. We found that moving the boat with the trolling motor or casting with a slow retrieve got the best results. The fish liked more crawler than you would think could fit on a hook with a little extra dangling!

We got in the truck with only a few minutes to spare before the skies let loose. It rained hard but only for a short bit. Too late, we were already on our way home to get ready for the next adventure.

To see some action from the day, check out Deep Water Perch and Bluegill on our YouTube page.