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.