Tag Archives: Inland Pond

1-31-16 – A New Beginning

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.

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1-22-16 – Early Ice Night Bite

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!

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7-24-13 – Looking For Perch

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.

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6-8-13 – Drop Shot Bass And A Walleye

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.

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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!

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5-28-13 – Cold Rain Moves The Fish

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.

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5-20-13 – Pre-Spawn Smallies

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!

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12-28-12 – After The Storm

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.

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12-24-12 – Crappie Eve Crappie

With ice forming slowly in Vermont, it’s a risk going out alone. Luckily, we had a crew of four for this trip to a new body of water. Prepared with rope, picks, and floatation devices, we felt the odds were on our side. Knowing the general contour of the body of water, we started our search deep. It didn’t take long to find some fish on the flasher that mimicked the pattern that a crappie will normally follow. They were suspending over deeper water and on the move.

As we started fishing, the fish that we were pulling through the hole ran on average 8-9″. It was a pod of all crappie with a few shiners mixed in. We fished all plastics without ever putting a single maggot on for the day. The keys to catching fish were Maki Plastics and Micro Spoons and Jigs. We fished the Spiiki and Maki from Maki Plastics with red being the best color and the STB Grub by Micro Spoons in the Sunrise color.

As we picked through the fish looking for some of the better sized specimens we managed to pull a few that hit the 12″+ mark. We also hit a new size class that incorporated some of the smallest crappie we had ever seen! With fish in the 3-4″ range our rods weren’t bending much…

Seeing fish like this put a new spin on what we thought we had previously known about crappie in our area. Usually a fish after it’s first year will be about 6″. With the slow growth that comes in the winter, it is hard to imagine that these fish will put on another 2-3″ over the next few months when they will hit their one year mark in the spring. Maybe there was a late spawn or even a second spawn. The underwater world always keeps us guessing!

Check out some of our footage from our trip on our YouTube page in the Christmas Eve Crappie video!

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12-23-12 – First Full Day On The Ice

Heading out to new water, we decided that we should wait till it was light out to go out and start exploring. The ice on this pond is known to be inconsistent due to springs. As we cautiously worked out, we found 5″ of good black ice and 2″ of white ice. Everywhere we went, we found great numbers of perch but only a few of these were decent sized. The key to catching the bigger fish seemed to be plastics. More specifically, anything in the color red by Maki Plastics. We used the Maki and Jamei to key in on the larger perch below the ice. P1040477

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After catching all the perch we could handle, we parted ways with our morning spot in search of new and more productive waters. Knowing what was needed in our sled we consolidated so it wasn’t overflowing so bad.

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The second lake that we hit didn’t have as much ice as the first . Working slowly and very cautiously across the ice we hit a max of 4 inches but that was closer to shore. As we inched out across a deep basin, the ice thickness fluctuated from 3-4″ and there was a noticeable amount of change in it’s hardness. Some spots it would take three good hits with the spud to get water while others it would take one. Although we fished our way out and had pretty good luck with nice sized perch, we had one spot in mind where we wanted to get.  Once we arrived at the spot we started catching the numbers and size of fish we thought we would.

We found aggressive fish that would charge our bait as it made its way down. Mainly, we caught perch but as dark approached the number pumpkinseed in the area increased dramatically. The crappie that were in the area came randomly right in the mix with the rest. Before it got too dark, we figured it would be a good idea to retrace our steps off the ice on the track that we knew was somewhat safe.

You can see some of our footage on our YouTube page in Early Ice Success!

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12-18-12 – Some Fish And Some Open Water

Prior to our most recent storm, we had a bit of ice around Vermont. Between the snow and rain that fell, the ice weakened under the weight and insulation provided from the precipitation. Now the only option for decent ice seems to be to travel so that’s what I did.

I met up with a buddy for a short road trip to New York shortly after 7 am. The commute provided me with temperatures in the mid 30’s, rain, and slush covered roads. The hike into the back country lake wasn’t much better. From the point where we crossed Lake Champlain till the time we parked the truck, most of the precipitation was snow. As we walked the half mile or so into the pond the snow switched to rain.

The day before, the ice on the lake was solid and the snow on top was powder. As we crested the last hill to the pond we found a much different image. The wet spots that streaked across the lake and melted out scattered pockets made us feel uneasy but we made it this far we had to at least look.

Walking out onto the lake we used a a spud bar to get a gauge of ice consistency. At first we were getting two hits for water and three to open a hole. With 6-6.5 cranks on the Nils hand auger we had a good 3.5″ of ice. Working our way out slowly, we began to realize that the ice was not in very good shape and reaching the deep water where the crappies hold up might not actually happen.

As we worked north the ice consistency went in patches. We were never standing on less than 3.5″ but the ice hardness went from three hits with the spud to just one. Making the best of the trip, we started fishing our way out. We found lots of eager perch holding tight on the bottom from 8-15 feet. After a while of fishing, we found that the ice around the holes got pretty weak as the water spread. We made the easy decision that no fish, especially perch, were not worth risking our safety so we worked our way off the pond and back to the truck.

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After the somewhat failed attempt at fishing deep water slabs we returned to hitch up to the boat and go search for perch no a lake that I had never even seen before. With two guys that know the lake very well, we launched and headed out to see what we could find. The water temperature on the north end of the lake was two degrees colder than that of the south coming in at just over 38.

We checked what seemed like every spot on the lake that is known to hold jumbo perch that we were after. After a while of cruising around and not marking any of the large bait balls or huge schools of perch that are so well known in the lake, we called it a day.

Sure this day won’t go down as one of the best but I got to fish on ice and out of a boat in the same day with with some friends. Not to mention we caught a few fish! Good enough for me!