Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ice Report Dec 29th

Today I fished a lake in Waukesha County for the first time. Conditions were less than ideal. A strong cold front is moving in. Temps were in the low 20's and continue to drop. With yesterdays warm up, there was a layer of slush and water under the snow. The ice beneath ranged from 6-9 inches. 

Fishing was slow to say the least. Not a single flag all day. I had a few lookers on the flasher, but most fish were tight lipped. The gill above tipped the scale at just over 8.25".

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ice Report 12-21-2013

Hit the ice early with Mom yesterday. A midst the frozen fog we ventured onto a lake in Dane county. Temps were in the low 20's, winds were from the NE, the barometer was dropping and Ice was 8". 

Gills were slow but steady all day long. Moving the bait would bring in schools of fish but figuring out when they actually would strike the bait was a challenge. Some fish struck on the drop, others on the lift. Some liked a pause, and others wanted the bait to be dead still. The whole day was a game of cat and mouse. Hole hopping was necessary, finding the schools, getting them interested, and figuring out how they liked to eat was the drill. Electronics helped with the curve. We did manage to catch a one man limit keeping a bakers dozen for Mom and Dad. All the fish were quality gills. 

For once, we didn't really have to weed out any small fish. All the fish kept were over 7" and under 10". Mom did manage to catch one toad of a gill yesterday. Probably the biggest bluegill I have seen since I lived in upstate NY. He is still swimming. Hopefully he will live to spawn again and spread his humongo genes on to the next generation of gills. I don't think most anglers would let a fish like that swim. Now, I don't want to get on my soapbox, but I love fishing for bluegills and would like to see some reform in the Wisconsin panfishing regulations. Finding lakes like this in lower Wisconsin isn't easy. Sadly, it is only a matter of time before the population of good size gills is depleted and the anglers move on to fish out the next spot. It seems like it is a story all too common with panfishing this area. However, I do not blame anglers for acting within their rights. Until there is a change in regulations (hah) I cannot be angry with other anglers for legally harvesting their limits. 

Having said that, I can't tell you how many anglers I have spoken to and witnessed taking more than their limit. Adding them to the freezer at home, which is also legally questionable. It is frustrating to say the least. Everyone has to share these wonderful resources. We all get so much joy out of being there. If we make a collective effort to improve and maintain the resource, it will always be there for our enjoyment. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ice Report 12-14-2013

Hit the ice solo yesterday. I fished a small lake in Fond Du Lac county. Ice was 8-10", temps were in the 20's with a light east wind and flurries all day. Fishing gills was great, they were feeding pretty hard. I must have caught 150 or more, however, less than 25 of them were what I consider keeper size. But I am not complaining. The action was good, I had fun and the active bite made the trip worthwhile. 

I checked my tip ups about an hour after setting up and jigging only to find my first set had been robbed. No bait was left on the hook. So I kept that tip up and depth in its place and re-baited. Well wouldn't you know it, before I could even sit down and warm up, the flag was flying and the spool was spinning. This pike was taking a lot of line out. I figured it to be a hammer handle until I got her to the hole. She turned, reluctant to go up the hole and took a good run on me. I brought her to the hole again and she took another nice run. Finally, I got her head in the right direction and hoisted her to the ice. Broad shouldered and a fat belly, she was a really healthy fish. Under 30 inches, but thick as can be. Unfortunately, it was a solo trip and I didn't want to subject the fish to the harsh conditions any longer than necessary. I slipped her back into the water after a few seconds of admiration.   

Waves of what looked to be giant shiners would come in every so often. I hooked into a bunch, this is one of the smaller ones... no kidding. 

Not quite a keeper, but his colors were just awesome

I had to keep at it to get into bigger fish. In the background you can see the fish suspended off the bottom on the flasher. The quicker I got back in the hole with my jig, the better my chances were at a larger, more aggressive fish.

I kept just enough for a meal. Vac bagged and in the freezer!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's that time of year again...

This past weekend my buddy and I had a little ice fishing primer. Now, the gear is staged and organized, leaders are tied, the sled is loaded. I absolutely love ice fishing.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sausage Fest 2013

My girlfriend and I decided to finish processing my deer today. For sausages we went with a holiday kielbasa and a traditional bratwurst. Along with that, we bagged 10lbs of ground meat for patties, meatloaf, tacos and chili. Everything went through the hand crank #10 grinder, phew!