Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ice Report: 1-26-2014

I managed to sneak out Sunday afternoon before the dreaded "Polar Vortex" struck again. Temps were dropping as I fished. Weather reports showed high teens but winds were gusting up into the 20's. I was fishing a lake in Waukesha County based on a tip from a friend. As it turns out, it was a good tip. Being an exploratory trip I packed light, no tip ups. I didn't have my shelter either, so it was a hood up, hunched over a hole kind of day.

I found bluegill. The smaller gills were about 25 yards closer to shore in 6fow. These fish were fairly aggressive. The larger specimens were in 7-8fow and were very negative. I did manage to get a few of the bigger gills to come in for a look and managed to hook a handful or two. Once a fish came to look at the bait, the technique was a dead slow, and I mean dead slow lift. If they had a chance to study a stationary presentation, they would swim away. If I moved quickly, they would just follow, but not bite. Using some ice that built up on my line as a reference, I would lift the bait as slow as I could until the slightest resistance was felt, then set the hook as usual. Sometimes, this technique did not result in a bite, so, using the same technique, I lowered the bait slowly to the bottom, beginning my ascent all over.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Ice Report Jan 11 2014

We fished a popular Dodge County lake Saturday. It was crowded to say the least. Weather was mild compared to the recent cold snap but the winds made it feel a lot colder. I would guess there was 13-15" of ice.

3 out of 5 in our group managed to limit out on crappie in about an hour. All 5 of us eventually got our limits. We capped the morning with a quick lunch of brats on the grill and a beer or two. We were on our way home by 1pm.

Spoons or jigs tipped with spikes worked. Crappie minnows also produced. My biggest crappies of the day came on a dead stick rigged with a crappie minnow on a plain gold hook but jigs and spoons called in the fish for fast paced action.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Up Nort', Vilas County, First Ice report of Jan 2-5 2014

Thinking it would be best to kick 2014 off properly and against the better judgement of my peers, I made the trek up to Vilas County for a New Years fishing trip. With a new moon on Jan 1st and a warm up day Saturday, I ignored the sub zero temperatures and the approach of "hercules", packed up the rig and headed North.

Ice was 20+ inches everywhere I went, making for safe and confident vehicle travel. Daytime temps were in the single digits, climbing into the high teens on Saturday. Nighttime lows were well below zero. 

 My home on the ice. From sun up till sun down

 We got first tracks

 Beware of dogs, fish at own risk

 Big buck

Fishing was not fast and furious, but I did manage a good haul for my first outing of the New Year. Not to mention, the solitude found up there can't be beat and was a welcomed  change of pace following the holiday season.

No fish came on tip ups. For me, that is a rare occurrence up there. The cold weather didn't help. I was less than ambitious about re-setting and re-locating non productive sets. I did manage some crappie, and found a very productive bluegill spot home to some very sizable specimens.

Shakey Graves...Word of Mouth

Check this guy out. Out of Austin Texas, talented one man band. Anyone that lives in the south, if you get a chance to go see this man, do it.