Saturday, March 2, 2013

ending my ice season

As the ice fishing season here begins to give way to warmer times, I finished my season in much the same fashion as it began. No, I'm not talking about anything outrageous. I didn't ice any monsters but the crappie bite this year was at least consistent. Trying to target the crappies a bit harder then say bluegill has made it a very enjoyable season.

Me and Damien set out at a down right reasonable time in the morning for a small little lake that typically is off the beaten path. It took a bit more effort then I remember in reaching the lake, though it has been over a year since my last visit. The snow on our route to the lake lay undisturbed by no one other then a few woodland creatures. Here you really could visualize the total snow fall from our last series of storms while stepping into almost knee high drifts. Not an easy walk.

our destination, a tucked away "little" lake
The ice was solid and thick but had a layer of water on top with another layer of snow on top of that. Every step would send my boot through the snow and slush til it found the solid layer of ice but quickly the water would seep in to fill any depression. This wasn't really easy walking but at least it was better then coming through the drifts on our way in.

I spent a good portion of the day fishing a Swedish Pimple which certainly helped keep away some of the smalls, but alas there were tons of these baby fish who liked to investigate our baits. The spoon did however give a few decent gills and crappie.

hand sized gills on the swedish pimple
the average sized crappies for around here
Damien did manage to connect with a few bass, and I popped a hook on one as well. This one if I recall took a panfish jig and wax worm and was just barely skin hooked in the top lip.

this bass sure peeled of some drag
And to wrap up the season, here was the best crappie of the day, Damien caught this 11 inch fish with a serious underbite.

funny looking crappie face
And now, I begin the process of breaking down my ice gear and moving it to my basement. Time to start preparations for spring steelhead and early season trout, both I hope to be fishing this month as much as possible. For those of you I know that are fishing the 2013 trout opener this weekend, good luck to you all.

16 comments:

  1. That last crappie was nice!!! I just can't get into the hard water and I am going out tomorrow on The Fox River down around St. Charles because the water is open down there. Hope you get out on the ice a few more times before the end of the season.

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    1. ice fishing, you either love it or just dont do it. if you got things to keep your mind busy in the winter then it might be easy to overlook. for me, it just keeps me going all year long. no breaks in the fishing for me.

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  2. Nice report. Neat spot you have there, all to yourselves!! Sad to see a season end. As I am sure you already know, ice out is some of the best fishing if not THE best.
    Good luck this spring.

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    1. agreed, but its time to get back on the river. see you out there TR

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  3. Your efforts to access that tiny gem look well rewarded. The swedish pimple used to be my "go to" spoon but has been recently replaced with Slab Grabbers.

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    1. ill take a look at those Slab Grabbers

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  4. Blake
    Your hands show me how cold it was there---that bass had to be a hoot on light tackle—ready for Spring now!! Thanks for sharing

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    1. yeah, no shack this past weekend, just us in the elements

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  5. thanks for share.

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  6. Looks like you guys ended on a good note. Now it is time for slingin some feather and fur!

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  7. Your ice fishing season is ending, 2 years in a row mine never started. We just couldn't string enough cold weather together to get me comfortable with the ice safety. Luckily, through others like yourself, I got to feel like I was almost there.

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  8. Ice fishing is an intresting sport but honestly speacking Deep sea fishing in Dubai is very enjoyable and exciting activity.

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  9. Good resource for Illinois fishermen or anyone planning on visiting and fishing. http://illinoisfishingholes.com/

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  10. I’ve been into deep sea fishing charters for the last few years, but ice fishing is something I really want to try. Can you tell me a good point to start? I’ve been doing a bit of reading and my own research, and I know that modern ice fishing has changed a lot form the traditional techniques. Powered augers, sonar units and other light gear enable an angler to check and drill numerous holes in one day. Technology is certainly making life easier for us fishermen, isn’t it? A friend of mine told me that with a GPS receiver, one can aim fishing spots accurately; within 20 feet or so I guess. Also, not all fish varieties are active throughout the day, so a good angler knows what to catch and when.

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