Tag Archives: Inland Pond

2-25-12 And 2-26-12


We fished the last two days on the same inland pond that I scouted out Friday afternoon. We had some great success fishing for bluegill but failed miserably when trying for perch.

Saturday morning we met up on the ice just after 6am. We cut holes across a deep bowl and worked through them. Then cut more holes and worked through those as well. Over and over we came up empty handed. So we called it quits around 8am and headed to the shallows for bluegill and pumpkinseed. The perch reports we have heard this year have been pathetic.

When we got on the first weed bed, we cut out some old holes from the day before and punched quite a few more to accommodate all of us. The weeds grew very tall here. At the top they were slimy but if you punched through it they were nice and green… Great fish habitat! We caught decent sized fish in a large area for a few hours then decided to move to the second spot I found on my scouting mission to see if there were more and bigger fish.

When we got over there it didn’t take long to get on the fish! The size of the fish were better but the numbers were slightly lower. We fished around and around until the fish were harder to come by. It was mid day at this point and the weeds in this spot were very short so the fish had no where to hide for when they went inactive. When we realized the fish had moved to better weeds for a nap we packed up and headed back to where we started. The rest of the day went very well. We caught lots of fish and it picked up big time right before dark. I have no idea how many fish I caught but it was pretty consistent all day. We landed lots of bass and pickerel as by catch.


I didn’t get on the ice today until around noon but Bobby and one of our buddies had been doing fairly well since the sun came up. They checked both spots we fished the day before but only found good numbers on one. Until about 4pm, we hole hopped to stay on the fish finding that they were going back and forth. We were catching some really nice fish. I had one hole that I sat on for quite a while because I was catching my favorite fish… Pumpkinseed! Right before dark the fish really started pounding. We caught them at every depth from 6″ below the ice down to the bottom. It was truly the magic hour up until 5:50pm. A good day on the ice went out with a bang!

The plan is to head out tomorrow on Lake Champlain. The weather looks good up until around noon so it may be an early day. Either way, we will catch at least a few fish and that’s good enough for us!

A good mid day gill!

Doing the grocery shopping right Jer? haha


2-24-12 – Best Day Yet!!!

I didn’t get on the ice today until 1:30pm. I knew with the storm coming that I didn’t have much time before the roads got slick. A group of us are headed to this inland pond in the morning so I wanted to get a good scouting report. We have been catching bluegill very consistently but we wanted to expand our fishing zone and search out  fish that have yet to be pressured this season. All I can say is it was a success!

When I got to the spot there was an eagle eating some fish remains. This bird was there last trip as well so I tried the best I could to get a decent picture. I will bring my nice camera tomorrow and try to get a better shot if it comes around!

I punched a series of holes where I guessed the fish would be. I dropped my Aqua Vu camera down the hole and got excited for a minute. There were tons and tons of fish! Unfortunately, they were all shiners. I took a quick video that is not great quality but it shows the abundance of them that I saw throughout many of the holes today!

It took only three holes to find some bluegill and it was on. Fish after fish, I probably pulled 35 – 8-9″ gills out of the first hole. I didn’t want to educate all the fish today so I moved on. For the next 45 minutes I couldn’t do anything wrong. The fish liked every color I tried bait or no bait. I thought to myself, I must be crazy to leave but I want to go find more fish! I packed up and headed down the lake to a different spot.

When I got to the fresh weed bed I didn’t find anything but 10″ holes so I knew If there were fish I could get them. I punched holes in a large area pretty well spread out. The water was deeper than I wanted but I was marking fish so I dropped down. I quickly got the interest of a fish. It was a bass. I thought it was fun having them tear the line off my reel so I hopped around and caught several others ranging between 12-17″. They were super aggressive compared to others that I have caught this season. After a few of them I decided I should get back to my mission.

I moved in closer to shore from where I was getting the bass and I found good bluegill. The depth ranged from 3-10″ with very little weeds in the majority of the holes. This was also where I got most of my big gills. I caught one gill that was 10 3/4″ but the picture didn’t save on my camera unfortunately. The one pictured below was 10 1/4″ so it still a hog. Tomorrow, if we can find the fish, we will get some better pictures!

2-20-12 – Day Two Of Sight Fishing

Went out for day number two of sight fishing for bluegill and pumpkinseed around 6am on an inland pond. First thing, the bite was on. Fish were suspended over the weeds in every hole. There were plenty of small fish mixed in with a few larger ones. I fished until they shut off around 9 and only the pickerel, pike, and bass seemed to be interested in any jig I tried. At this point I had been bit off by 6 pickerel/pike so I wasn’t too thrilled about fishing for them so I grabbed my camera and started scouting. I cut holes in both directions along the weed bed parallel with shore. The results proved to be no different so I cut shallower and deeper.

These new holes held fish because I could see them using my Aqua Vu underwater camera but they were tucked into the ones that had the thickest weeds. I decided I should at least try to punch through them to get after the fish. I only found two holes that I was able to get through  but they were productive. I caught 5 nice keepers between the two. I kept looking for holes that held fish. Although many did, it was practically impossible to get through to them. I kept returning to the two holes that I was able to fish but production slowed as the fish were fairly inactive. Around noon the fish started to move around below the weed line and I started catching them a bit more regularly but still slow.

Right around the time the fish started to move I had a buddy show up. We talked for a bit, ate lunch, watched an eagle eat some fish that people had left on the ice earlier in the day, then got back to fishing. It was around 1:3opm when the fish started to come out of the weed bed in search of food. We both started pulling them pretty good at this point. There were a few holes that fell into “the honey hole” category so it felt good to have go to spots rather than keep fishing dead holes.

The best hole we had was completely different from the others that produced. The weeds were alive and low, about 1.5 feet high, and had no dead weeds floating above them. The other hot holes were completely filled with dead weeds that floated back and forth the entire time with alive weeds below them. Obviously, the clean hole was pure sight fishing especially when the Clam flip over was used to dark everything out. The other holes were a bit tougher to fish. Sight fishing was not possible for the most part. I found a good rhythm for fishing them after a bit of experimentation. Because the dead weeds swayed back and forth I constantly got tangled up in them and my jig would get covered in slime. I learned to fish up and down the water column and only drop down into the weeds when an opening was made in the top layer of weeds. I found that most hits came when dropped after a long  pause of waiting for the weeds to move.

Ended up quitting for the day just before 6pm. It was a long day on the ice but it was a very good one to be out there. The fishing slowed as the sun set below the trees so we didn’t feel the need to stick around and waste time. After packing up, we made the long walk back to the car and headed home to get prepared for another day on the ice tomorrow!

Come back tomorrow for another report!

2-19-12 – Slow Day But Went Out With A Bang!

Hit the ice this morning bright and early looking to catch some crappies. We found them in decent numbers but they were all tiny. Managed maybe a dozen over 8″ out of the 51 that I iced. I kept just enough for a meal. There were lots of shiners and a few seeds mixed in today so it was frustrating. After 2.5 hours on the ice we called it quits and headed south.

The next stop planned for the day was suppose to be the last. It didn’t work out that way though… The fishing was slow. After punching a bunch of holes we quickly realized that the only fish in the weed bed were tiny bluegill and pickerel. We cut out several other spots around the lake and were at a loss for a good idea after coming up empty. Past years and summertime fishing have had completely different results on that lake! We decided to head even further south in search of some good bluegill.

I have been trying to avoid this inland pond because it has been real slow. When I got out on the water there were no fresh holes where we started so my hopes weren’t high. My buddy was punching holes while I followed with the Aqua Vu underwater camera. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that every hole held fish! We quickly started fishing and had no problems staying on them for the remainder of the day. The best part of the afternoon was the crystal clear water. We were sight fishing in 7 feet of water. The depth we found fish at varied but it seems consistent to drop down around 4 feet before you would see one come in. They came as quick as we could pull them. Lots of the bluegill were in the 8-9″ range and a few larger. Every time I saw a bass come in I tried to take my jig out to keep from catching them. Unfortunately, I realized some of the “bass” were rockbass after catching one… One of the fish I really wanted to catch!

Tomorrow I will be going back to redeem myself for letting all those rockies get by! Stay tuned!

2-13-12 – Lakers And Perch

I guess I have been slacking on keeping up with this blog thing. Fishing is getting in the way…Sorry!

I went up to fish for lake trout and perch on an inland pond in the north east kingdom on Monday with a buddy that I met through work this summer. We had made plans to stay all day but knew the day revolved around the availability of smelt for bait. Fortunately, over the last few years I have developed a relationship with a guy on the lake. The last two years, we have had our shanties next to each other so we have spent a fair amount of time together. This year, he put his shanty where I usually fish because I don’t have access to a shanty and it was a good way to mark it. Plus, he gets to catch loads of lake trout and slab perch! His wife is quite the smelt fisherwoman. She can catch them by the bucket full while no one else is getting a bite. I got a call the night before that gave me directions to his stocked bait cache.

We were on the ice at 5am and were quickly setting up. It didn’t take long for the flags to start popping. My buddy doesn’t care for perch so I tried to have him set up in the traditional trout areas while I was in the perching grounds. One problem with our set up was that we didn’t pinwheel out our tipups from the location that we normally do. Therefore, most of his flags were in the perch holes and mine were either dead or in lake trout holes.

The morning run in the dark was decent. Not many fish but a fair number of flags that the fish had dropped the baits or were missed while setting the hook. The best fish from the morning was a laker around four pounds. It came from six feet of water. The first perch that came through a hole was 14.5″ and 1.4 pounds shortly after sunrise. It was the smallest perch of the day but still a dandy!

Pretty much the whole day was spent in my buddies hardside. The temperature wasn’t terribly cold but the wind was whipping. Boy, did the propane heater feel good! Usually when I fish, I don’t eat much if at all. On this trip, we planned ahead. We had bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches for breakfast around 10 and venison steaks around 2. I think I should start eating like that more often on the ice!

As usual, mid day was slow. We didn’t have any real runs other than one flag that tripped whenever the wind was blowing. That occurred pretty often! With all the dead time we decided to move some flags around that hadn’t produced anything all morning. The direction was deeper. Usually, fishing trout on this lake we run our traps in water less than 30 feet with the bait a leader length below the ice. We began staggering our baits and found that the bottom was just as productive if not more.

The evening started slow. As soon as the sun started setting the flags started to pick up. Some were dropped baits, some were fish, and some were missed opportunities. We thought we were going to be leaving earlier than we did so the remainder of live bait we had we but back in the shack and locked it up. We kept a few dead smelt out just in case.  Good thing we did because the fish were into it! We went round and round on what we called “the track” checking flags with lights. Several more lake trout and two more jumbo perch over 15″ were iced before we packed it up at 7.

It was good to get out fishing for trout but it isn’t quite as much fun as jigging… I think I have two more trips for lakers in my planner. One 2 weekends from now on a different lake. We will start fishing for lake trout but switch over in search for cusk for the evening.  The other at the start of march with a bunch of guys who want to see the perch and hopefully a few lakers mixed in!

There was a good perch run after dark!

This is what the perch usually are puking up as they are pulled in. I asked my buddy to check the stomach contents while he was cleaning his fish for a more detailed analysis. He reported that they all had crayfish, smelt, and some had other unidentified (partially decomposed) minnows.

One of the lakers

Here’s the best part of the day!

Check out this video!


2-5-12 – Redemption Day On The River

After a slow tournament day at Lapham’s Bay on Lake Champlain, I felt the need to get out and catch some fish! I got going early and hit a small inland pond on the way to the Connecticut River. I fished there for a few hours starting at daylight and was on my way around 11am. Lots of bluegill and pumpkinseed were caught and I noticed a lot of hybridization markings of the two. Very cool looking fish! Most of the fish caught at this pond were by sight fishing as the water was very clear. I was able to see them without using my Clam flip but when I did use it I could be selective with the fish I caught. I could take my bait out of the active zone when a smaller fish came in. I can’t wait to get back on this pond. It reminds me of where I laker fish in one of the crystal clear waters of the NEK! I also caught one toad rockbass!

When I got onto the  Connecticut River I punched out my holes from the trip I took on Friday. As I approached my first hole I pulled out my Aqua Vu Micro camera only to find out that the battery was dead. Even though I couldn’t confirm there were fish in the holes prior to fishing I knew there would be. Quickly, I got into the fish. The numbers were not as good as my last outing but the fish were quality. Lots of bluegill in the 8-10″ range and a few over 10″. I only caught 11 crappie today, two of which were legal. I dropped a few more of keeper size in the hole. All fish were released to be caught another day!

Most of the fish I caught today changed their pattern as darkness approached. Upon my arrival, the water was draining out of this section of river to below the nearest dam. The fish were holding tight to the bottom but were active if provoked. As the water levels started to recharge themselves, the ice started making noise signaling that the level was rising. At this time, around 3pm, the fish moved up and suspended somewhere between 2-4′ below the ice. This was about 3 hours after the water gates were closed. We called it quits around 4:45 because the fish stopped being active.

Right now, both my Vexilar and camera are on the charger getting ready for my outing tomorrow. I’m not sure where I am heading yet but hope where ever it is, there will be some flat fish!