Tag Archives: Pickerel

2-12-15 – Mixed Bag Afternoon

With a slow morning chasing deep water perch I was hopeful that things would get better on a new body of water!

Our preferred spot was somewhat occupied by a single guy. Wanting to not crowd him, we headed to a second spot that we located last fall in the boat. We ended up with out tip ups spread over 8-14 feet of water that was healthy with milfoil and curly pond weed.

As we set our 4th tip up for the afternoon, our 3rd flag tripped. The bass were proving to be aggressive! With what seemed like forever, we finally laid out our 14 trap spread with jigging holes prepped. The fish were hungry so it was a good thing I picked up extra bait!

After only a short while, we figured out what depths certain species preferred. Pickerel were in the 8 foot range, bass were 8-12 and the perch were cruising the deeper end of our spread on the weed edge. The action was steady and very few flags weren’t successful.

As evening approached a white out rolled in causing difficulty seeing flags. We spent a little bit more time walking around tending to the flags that were on the outskirts of our visible area. During one of my tending breaks while jigging, I managed to land one rainbow and lose another in the hole while it spun around and around. We were hopeful that some more would hit our minnows but they never did.

Just before dark we picked up our gear and made way for home. It was a successful afternoon and it surely made up for the slow morning bite!

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5-18-14 – A Little Bit Of Everything

I got on the water with my buddy Dan around 7:30 am. With no wind yet, we figured that crappie fishing was a better way to start the day than for catfish.

We found some fish early but for the most part they had vacated the shallows. The ones that were still remaining were loyal to trees and shade or if nothing else, dense weed patches. Color didn’t seem to be a big deal as long as it was placed on the sweet spot. With enough crappie in the boat for a good meal we headed out to fish for bait for the bigger fish.

After putting a few bluegill, sunnies, shiners and perch into the livewell, we headed to a main lake point in 6 FOW. We chunked up our bait and started tossing them out using the wind to our advantage.

While the target species was catfish, we also caught largemouth bass, pike, pickerel, pike-pickerel hybrid, bowfin, and bullhead. The catfish weren’t concentrated. It seemed like we would only catch one per spot but the bite usually came pretty quick. On the plus side, there was plenty of action with the other bigger species as well as many panfish while casting bobbers.

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2-5-14 – Here Comes The Snow

After getting out of work at 8 am, I made the snowy drive to my destination. While I had already missed the morning perch bite, I was determined to figure out a way to pick at a few mid day. After grabbing fatheads and rigging up several rods with a variety of presentations, I trudged through 8″ of snow to get over deep water.

The snow was still flying and for the first hour, the fish weren’t biting. I tried big, small, flashy, and dead sticking. Nothing seemed to work any better than old faithful; the drop shot rig. While I didn’t pick many fish, the ones that I brought topside were quality. After about 3 hours of slow going, I decided to change up my target species and go shallow for bluegill and pumpkinseed.

When I got shallow, the snow was quite a bit deeper due to the wind that was blowing it all in. I spread my holes wide over a weedbed with intentions of punching more when I found the fish. It seemed to take quite a while to find any concentration of fish. Two or three out of one hole was good.

Around 2, the roads had worsened significantly and I contemplated heading home. As a long shot, I said one more set of holes that paralleled the weed edge. This is where I found the best size class, as well as the best numbers. They were aggressive charging up 3 or 4 feet my intercept my dropping jig.

By the end of the day I had pulled 5 bluegill that were 11″ as well as many in the 9-10.5″ range. Can’t complain with a day like that!

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1-13-14 – Pickerel On Tip Ups

I spent the day filming tip up fishing pickerel for Tom Gruenwald Outdoors. With an odd ball target like pickerel, there were many options on where we could go but what better than Lake Champlain. Having the right to put out 15 tip ups per person greatly increased our odds. As it turned out, we couldn’t get that many out! As we set up our first tip up, we guessed how long it would take for our first flag to pop. Jamie guessed six and I guessed seven. It was five, so neither of us were right but for the remainder of the day we had steady action.

We caught several pike and plenty of pickerel. During some of the downtime we jigged up panfish. As the sun started to set, we were told that there was plenty of footage and we could pick up. After I picked up the first two tip ups I saw that the third one was bumping the hole. I quickly snagged it up and soon landed my biggest pike ever on camera. It went 36″ and unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of it yet. The camera man snapped a photo for me but hasn’t had time yet to send a copy to me. When it comes I will post it up.

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1-8-14 – Switching It Up

I fished with a buddy today at a spot that I usually stay away from because of the trek in. With hopes of suspending crappie and some pike on tip ups, the walk in wasn’t so bad!

The action started off with a pickerel before we got our spread of flags out. With short bursts throughout the day, We both stayed warm chasing the action down. We both caught some decent pike, pickerel, and bass but nothing overly large. The crappie on the other hand were almost non-existent. Mainly in the deep water were bluegill, pumpkinseed, bullhead and perch. Can’t forget about the mudpuppy too!

It seemed like the pickerel were in less than 7 FOW, the pike were 7-12′ and the bass were deeper. As the sun started to set the cold breeze really sunk in and forced us to pack up and head for home.

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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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4-16-13 – Really Chasing Warm Water

So a week ago I was down fishing for staging crappie (Chasing The Warm Water). We had some trouble staying on fish but only when the wind was blowing. When the wind would let up, the sun was warm enough to warm the water up enough to draw the fish out of the deeper, cool water and into the warm shallows. For this trip, we had a warm up over night that cooled down throughout the day. Some spots stayed warmer longer but not all held fish.

We started the day where we had all the luck just a week ago. Cruising in, the fish were no where to be found were they were before but at the very end of navigable water, we found some. We picked about 15 fish before  the wind switched on us and started to cool the water. Th e majority of the fish in there were small. Making radius casts around the boat, an osprey swooped down and grabbed a decent sized crappie from where we motored through to get in. We quickly hoisted anchor and got out to where the fish was taken from. No dice. The fish were either not there or completely inactive. Our best bet was to go searching.

We checked several spots with no luck. We had trouble finding water that reached much more than 47 degrees. With the main lake in dismay because of the steady wind with gusts into the high 20’s, we came up with a plan that, if ineffective, would lead us off the water and to dinner.

The first spot we checked appeared to be cold and vacant. We worked both shores, the middle, and then back towards the main lake. Nothing was happening until the it opened up. I pulled a fish out of rough water but lost it at the boat. For the next half hour, we pulled some of the bigger crappie that I have seen so far this spring. They were coming out of 2 feet of water on a very slow drag. The hot bait for the day was a pearl Lake Fork Trophy Lures – “Live” Baby Shad. As the fish funneled by the wind started to pick back up and the water cooled a few degrees causing the fish to vacate the area. The best part of the day happened as we were about ready to leave. As my friend Jamie worked his bait in, a crappie rose up right by the boat and sucked his bobber in but then immediately spit it out. Within seconds, a bass followed up and grabbed the bobber again. Jamie started to pull it in unhooked but it was once again spit it out. Then believe it or not, a crappie had taken the bait underneath and was hoisted into the boat.

The rest of the day was spent unsuccessfully searching for fish. Without a good idea of what else to do, we packed up the gear and made the rough run back to the launch for the drive back home.

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3-12-13 – Mixed Bag In The Rain

With all the reports of people going through the ice lately, Venturing out alone after deer water perch on a warm, rainy day wasn’t sounding too ideal. I arrived at the lake a little before sunrise hoping to see some other rigs parked. Unfortunately, I was alone and having not been on the lake for a bit. I couldn’t go out yet and feel safe. I sat around for a bit waiting and ended up taking a nap. I woke up after a bit and still no one was around. I changed gears and decided to spud out to the bluegill grounds. Shallow water had me feeling a bit more at ease.

As I arrived out to where I intended to fish, I found a solo trip was still in store for me. Luckily, the ice felt safe and the holes out there only had about an inch of ice on them. I had gone out without my auger so I used my spud bar to open a dozen or so holes before starting to fish. To get a better sense of how much ice there was, I reached down the hole which revealed 13″ of ice.

The fishing today was better than it has been. I found that the fish were cruising high in the water column and feeding aggressively. I was fishing an orange Bentley Stinger tipped with maggots. This lake seems to produce more and better fish when fishing strictly meat. While fishing, I would start high in the water column and if no fish showed on the flasher quickly I would work down until I had a mark come in. In general, the fish were biting without much working but the longer I stayed in a hole the more finicky they became.

I tried sight fishing today but was unable due to the rain hitting the water. It rained so hard at times that I went back to the truck to escape getting too wet. Because of the warm temperature, I wore blue jeans, an old water-absorbing raincoat, and mud boots. When I finally decided to go home it was because I put on an extra 20 pounds of water weight. I guess some days are just too much!

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2-18-13 – Sunny And Cold Bluegill Fishing

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!

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1-29-13 – Shallow Water Panfish

I had to stay at work Monday night so Tuesday morning I didn’t get on the road till around 8. This was my first trip to fish Champlain since the Vermont Sportsman Hardwater Tournament Series event at the beginning of the month. The bite in general has been less than spectacular so I have devoted most of my time this winter to more local areas.

When I hit the ice, a bunch of guys were already out there spread over a large area. The fishing was pretty slow all morning and most people only had a few fish in their buckets. The day before the bite was steady and picked up a few times throughout the day. I was hoping that there would be a mid day rush or at least an evening bite!

I started off my day looking around with my underwater camera only to find that one of the dozen or so holes I checked held fish. I grabbed my rod and dropped down and caught a pumpkinseed. Second drop, I lost another. After that I went a while before getting another bite. Even looking around with my camera I couldn’t find any fish in the area.

With lots of moving we found a either a pod that was moving in a small area or corridor. From about 1 pm till I left at 4 the fishing was steady. About 90% of what I caught was pumpkinseed. The other 10% was bluegill, perch, and one pickerel. The fish weren’t picky as long as you weren’t offering them a bare hook. I used maggots for a good portion of the day but switched to plastics once the bite was on. Because of the durability of plastics, I was able to stay in the water longer by spending a lot less time re-baiting.

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