Saturday, February 20, 2010

ice fishing (lake county, il)

Woke up little earlier then normal for fishing this morning. My friend Mark forgot to get the waxies last night even though he stopped at the bait shop. That was the reason for an alarm early in the 4 o’clock hour. I had to pick up bait this morning 15 minutes in the wrong direction and still be at the dock at 5:45am. Pulled into Triangle right after they opened . Three new jigs and 2 packs of waxies = $10 and some change. Out of there in minutes. Roads were slick so I drove slow and paid extra attention.

Met Mark at 5:45, packed our sleds, and started to walk. First time ice fishing this lake for me. Happens to be one of those lakes where minnows just aren’t allowed. Lake has a maximum depth of around 10 feet and you can find it in a couple spots. Spent almost an hour and a half hole hopping and checking depths. 15 holes and nothing more then 5-6 feet with an empty graph.

Finally, we pinpoint some deeper water in the 8-10 foot range 100 yards out from a creek inlet. Drop in the vexilar and see some activity right on the bottom. We decide to set up shop and stay for awhile. It doesn’t take Mark long to get to work. He smashed 5-6 gills before I get my first. In between me switching jigs for the 4th time, I look over and see my buddy’s rod just doubled over. He hauls a beautiful 3 pound largie out the hole and we quickly snap a photo and release. Fish hit a horizontal pan fish jig and a waxie. Great fight on UL rod. That fish really crushed that jig, literally. We had to pick the broken pieces of the jig out of the fishes mouth.
mark with a nice bass
At this point I’m a little frustrated….. He’s got 5 gills and a nice bass and I still got a goose egg. I decide to change jigs again. Something’s gotta give here. I throw my rod in the rod holder and go for my jig box. Out of the corner of my eye I see the rod tip just barely twitch. I reach over, grab the rod, and take swing. Fish on! Up until this point I had tried 4 different jigs and 2 different types of plastics. One thing I hadn’t tried was setting my rod down. Come to think of it, I didn’t ever stopped shaking the darn thing.

Well lets just say from that point forward we were really dialed in. The bite was super soft and they barely wanted it moving. We both now were getting em. I caught small bass and some more gills. Around 9:00 am we made a small move (20 yards). There was 3 solid feet of fish on the graph. We couldn’t get the bait down there quick enough. I caught 20 gills in those next 15 minutes. All on the same tactic- horizontal jig with multiple smushed waxies practically deadsticked.
Packed up around 11:30am because I had my sons 4th birthday party this afternoon at 3:00 pm. Both of us caught about 30 gills and 1 bass each. Mark takes big fish of the day. I think I won the pan fish derby! Not for sure. All fish released.
my small bass

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