Saturday, February 27, 2010

ice fishing (lake county, il)

I was fishing this weekend with Blake and his son Lucas. Since we were bringing Blake’s son Lucas we agreed we needed a spot with nonstop action. I suggested the same lake I fished last weekend because it had treated us very well. The agreed start time was 6am, They were right on time, and I was late by almost an hour. By the time I got there they were already on fish, and had 2 flags set. I set my 2 flags and took advantage of the youngsters 3 extra lines by setting a few more out for him.

luke with a nice gill
After some non-stop bluegill action the cold got the best of Lucas and we setup camp. Once we were warm inside the shack the fish bite really started to heat up as well. We were hooking fish after fish and passing the rod off to Lucas. There was one point we had a fish on all four of the jigging rods. Lucas was in bluegill heaven and loved every minute of it. I think that “gill billy” is his new favorite word. He also took great pleasure in mocking us when we caught an undersized fish and at the age of 4 he’s already a smack talking pro.
a bent rod and a smiling face
Enough about the pan fish. Finally, the first flag of the day pops and that spindle is humming. With a solid hook set I am forced into hand to hand combat. I see a decent largemouth dart from one side of the hole to the other. I land him and he’s a respectable 17 incher.

tip up bass
After another half hour of Lucas catching bluegills my tip down goes off . At the end of the line was a nice 9inch crappie.
crappie on the artic warrior
 Soon after Blake’s tip down trips, this is no crappie the rod is bent and drag is ripping. Fish on! After a short fight I help lip his largemouth.

another tip up bass
Our great success doesn’t go unnoticed and a local guy from my childhood and his crew show up all on quads ripping power augers. They decide to make the ice between our flags and shack their new home. They setup a small mining town up blocking our view from our shack to our flags. What the hell were these guys thinking? As if that weren’t enough we were soon approached by 2 DNR wardens who briefly checked our licenses and then left to check the other fisherman. Not even a half hour later a 3rd officer comes out wanting to accomplish the same mission as the previous officers. He asks us for our licenses and I told him his twins were just here for the same reason. I pointed to another group on the other side of the lake and said “he never did check those guys”. He laughed and kept moving. I’ve fished this lake since I was 12 and never seen that sorta of DNR activity, maybe it’s a good thing?

Just as we get our licenses back in our pockets “BAAM” my tip down goes off for a second time with another decent crappie. Before you know it Blake’s flag pops. The spindle is burning up its moving so fast. Blake sets the hook, feels some pressure, and then the line snaps. After a quick retie and rebait that same flag flies again. More carefully, he sets the hook. Boom, the fight is on. I could tell this fish was a lot better than the previous fish. It’s another largemouth. We get the fish out of the water and estimate its 20 inches and 4 pounds.
blake's best bass through the ice this year
We didn’t have time to rebait, when another flag flies. Holy crap, things are getting hot and heavy. After a quick run to the flag we see the spindle spinning. The last fish was a short largemouth around 13 inches. We decide that enough is enough and we break down our gear and pack up. All in all a stellar day with multiple species caught. Even though we had to fight through the local hillbillys and the unforgiving rangers we ended with over 80 gills, 4 bass, and 2 crappies. Another great day. Take a kid fishing.

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