Noon quickly came, and Brent and Jenny arrived ready to go. We were set out to fish Candlewick Lake in Poplar Grove,IL, this is where I currently reside. I have called Candlewick my home for 2 years now, and she hasn't let me down one bit when it comes to fishing. Candlewick is fully stocked, well managed, and private. Hence the reason I reside here. My normal ice hole has maybe 2inches of ice right now so we headed into uncharted territory for me during the ice season. I had recently seen some great report for this part of the lake when some brave soles ventured out on 2-3inches of ice the week prior. We arrived at the neighborhood boat launch on the west side of the lake, and knew we where in the right spot when we saw a small shanty town. We dragged our shanties across the fresh snow and hard water. Drilled our first hole and dropped the vexilar in, and already we where marking fish. Brent turned and said to me, you take this hole and we will set up 10 feet from you. Sounds good to me was my instant reply. So we continued to drill our holes and pop up our shacks, and see who could catch the first fish. Once again Lady Luck got the first one! Jenny hooked into the first fish of the day. It was a nice 8inch Bluegill. I knew when she had one cause she always lets out a giggle and a shout. The giggles and shouts went on all day between our two shacks. The bite was hot! I originally started the day fishing with 2 rods and quickly dropped to one cause the fish would hit my magic jig and wax worm as soon as it got to the bottom of the hole. Needless to say we all caught our limits in 4 hours. In Candlewick residents are allowed 30 gills and guest 15 for the keeping. I always like to get a limit at the beginning of the ice season and from there on out it's cpr for me. Brent and Jenny ended up with a total of 30 gills and 2 crappie. I also hooked into a nice young 10 inch Largemouth Bass. Between the three of us we must have thrown back another 75-100 gills that where under 8 inches. All in all it was a phenomenal first trip out.
The next morning I was going to hit to the woods again for the very last day of the hunting season, but decided to opt out. I had a great year in the woods, harvesting 3 mature Whitetails. I had meat in the freezer and heads at the taxidermist. So why not get back out and fish while the bite was hot.
Sunday morning I set out to the lake again, but this time was going to be different from the day before. I was setting out to show others the joy of ice fishing. I loaded up the truck with my son Zack, his friend Ethan, my brother, a friend Jimmy, and Jimmys son Joey. It was going to be all about the kids today, and what a blast did they have. Zack and Ethan ended up with 8 gills a piece, little joey landed 6, my brother 10, jimmy 9, and myself I lost track between running around baiting hooks, unhooking fish, drilling holes, and a little depth finder 101 session for my brother and Jimmy. It was a great day once again. Kids got cold after 2 1/2 hours, but seeing the smiles, hearing them tell there mothers about the great day they had, and brag about whos fish was bigger made me feel ecstatic. There is nothing better then teaching a youth the joys of fishing, and I went to bed Sunday night feeling like I accomplished something great. Getting the kids away from the TV,Video Games, and Computers and showing them what the outdoors is all about is something that we all need to do more often to carry on our outdoors traditions. I will leave this post off with a picture of young Joey age 6 with a huge smile and a fishing pole in his hand. Tight Lines everyone and be safe out on the ice this year.
Fishing Report for Saturday and Sunday on Candlewick Lake
Ice Depth-4 inches
Jig colors- Green,Yellow,Pink
Depth-7' of water, fishing 4-6 inches off the bottom