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 at 3:30 on Wednesday morning hoping to key in on some jumbo perch. To target these fish, I was running a drop shot rig with a 3/4 ounce casting weight on bottom and two size 4 hooks tied in above connected by three-way swivels. The length of the lead on the hooks ranges from 2-8″ depending on how aggressive the fish are feeding.
Finding these fish is usually the biggest time consumer of the day but once you find them you might as well have struck gold! Looking in water ranging from 20-35′ takes time and having side imaging is a must. This morning it took me about 35 minutes to find fish but the school I found was thick. Conservatively, I would estimate several hundred fish. In two passes, I pulled a dozen perch out of 31′ of water before they scattered.
From there I was on my own. Working the 28′ contour I trolled around the lake at about 0.6 mph picking fish randomly with no rhyme or reason. Towards the end of the morning, I located a large school of fish holding on a ski course anchor system in 27 FOW. After a few casts I was able to hook the first fish which turned out to be a 9″ bluegill. Over the next 45 minutes I caught a bluegill on just about every cast until they moved on.
Before leaving, I figured I should check one more time to see if I could get back on the school that I found first thing in the morning. I was unable to do so but found some fish holding in a 15′ weed bed. As I keyed in on them, a storm rolled in pushing me off the water.
With the month of June upon us, we were anxious to hit the river for walleye on wood. Last summer we developed a great pattern for numbers of quality fish. We found fish on deep wood. (Walleye In Wood Part I and Part II) After closely watching the river flow and dam forecasts, we noticed that we would have a small window in the early morning when the dams would have been closed. That little bit of time would allow us to get in a few hours of fishing. The current is the deciding factor when fishing the river. Too much and the fish aren’t active and the boat is difficult to maneuver. Lets not even mention the numerous jigs lots on the wood because of the current! Too little current results in no bait movement therefor no feeding by bigger fish. The main river current would be a concern for sure. Upon arrival to the small tributary where the launch was located, we knew it was going to be a chore to get the boat in the water. While launching, the current actually picked the boat and trailer up and pushed them against the dock. It was going to be an interesting day for sure.
We got to the hot spot the year before and rigged up. The presentation of the day was going to be a 1/2 ounce jig tipped with a whole night crawler. The current always plays a role in the size jig we use, we try to use the smallest as we can get away with but I often times I like the heavier jigs when fishing vertically. It allows me to stay in touch with the jig better. It never takes long to know if the fish are on the wood and if they are feeding. By the 10th drop with no bite, I knew we were in for an unproductive morning. We stuck it out for a few hours anyways, landing one small walleye, a few small perch and a decent northern.
With plenty of time left in the day, we made a short ride to a favorite inland lake of ours in attempt to hook up on a few bass. With the water temps where they were, we knew that the bass were in post spawn mode and should be feeding heavily. We armed ourselves with a drop shot set up and made our way across the lake that always seemed to produce numbers of quality fish. The plan was to fish the sharp drops with near by weeds. The fish were there and they were stacked in certain areas. Our presentation was slow, casting with a few bumps and bounces on the way in with many long pauses. The pauses is what seemed to trigger the fish into biting. We were able to have one of the better days I’ve had on this lake in a few years boating at least two dozen decent fish.
Check out Drop Shot Bass on our YouTube page for more action!
I took the day off to hang out with a buddy from college. After a weekend of heavy rain, snow, winds, and sleet, we knew the fishing would be off to a slow start until the water warmed back up a bit. Rather than rush out the door to go fishing, we hit the woods looking for some turkeys. We sat from 4:45 until about 8 with quite a bit of action but nothing to bring home. We concluded our morning when a guy walking his dog went through. My boat was already on the water so it was just a quick drive to the lake!
The morning had been dead calm and we had high hopes that it remained that way! The wind was only suppose to pick up to 6-7 mph by mid day then lay back down for the afternoon. During my trip last week, the water temperature was just shy of 62. With all the rain, snow, sleet and wind turning the water, the surface temperature had dropped to an even 54 by Sunday. By mid-day Monday, it rose to 55.7 at a max and was pretty consistent all over the lake. The only thing that we could hope for was that the few hours that had passed this morning warmed up the water because it was calm and warm.
Upon our arrival, the temperature had only crept up to 56 on the wind blown shore. We started fishing in calm water thinking it might be warmer because it hadn’t been moved around as much. The fishing started and remained slow. We found fish relating to one main feature. Large breaks from the wind. The fish we caught weren’t on beds they were holding just outside of their spawning areas. Because of this, large boulders adjacent to shallow gravel flats produced the best results. Big fish of the day went 19.5″ and was released before getting a weight.
I left work early with the hopes that I could find some pre spawn bass on a lake the I pretty much grew up on. I remember the first “big” bass that I ever caught at the age of 5. It may not be big by my standards today but that 15″ smallmouth was probably the best one I ever caught. I spent countless hours on the dock after that waiting on another one. That is where my addiction began. When I was old enough to take the boat out, my opportunities really expanded. I learned a lot about the lake and how these fish move throughout the year.
Being spring time, when it’s on, it’s on. In the past, I have never used temperature gauge to help find them but now that I have the capabilities to, I will! Upon my arrival, the water temp was 61.8 on the windblown shore where the launch is located. We motored up to where I like to start fishing when the wind is out of the north west. Finding a cooler temperature, I got out my rod and started casting. I was looking for sheltered coves so that I could escape the constant wind. I was thinking that we would find these fish off shore and hugging structure but it was actually closer to spawn conditions.
I started pounding the likely areas that these fish like to build beds. Mainly, I was looking at every nook along shore. Rocks tend to be the best locations with casts placed on both the wind blown and sheltered side. On a good year, it is likely to catch a fish every few feet but that last couple of years, there has been a movement from the larger fish to slide deeper to spawn. Now I have identified a few flats that the fish like to set up on where the bottom is not visible, it is just a matter of time until they are present.
After working a few miles of shore line over the course of a few hours, I had put 18 bass in the boat as well as a few pickerel. The bass were on clean bottomed areas and it didn’t take long to figure out what areas to avoid for the pickerel. The pickerel were relating to anything weedy with reeds being the worse spot to cast near. With all this just beginning, this long holiday weekend should produce some good numbers as long as the temperature stays warm!
After the recent snow storm that dumped about a foot over our area, the quality of the little ice we had was a major concern. Venturing out today, I found that the pond I was on still had the solid 4″ of ice it did prior to the storm as well as 2″ of slush and only 4″ of snow. There was a large wet spot out on the middle of the pond that I stayed clear of.
I targeted a depth range varying from 13-22′. I caught every one of my pumpkinseed in 16′ of water and all of my perch deeper. The fish were very finicky today even though they were loaded up on my Vexilar’s zoom. Just about every fish that I caught I didn’t have to work too hard to get to bite. As I would drop my bait they would charge it. There was a lot of static fish below the ice today and regardless of what I put in front of them they didn’t want it.
I found the magic presentation to be a size 3 green Bentley Bumble Bee with a black Jamei from Maki Plastics. As the temperature dropped during my stay on the ice, the fish went from stacked on my flasher screen to completely gone out of all of my drilled holes. It didn’t take me too long to realize that they had all vacated the area and gone else where in the pond. Being that I was only our for a short stay, I called it a day and headed home.