Do you love big bluegill?
The past few seasons it’s been season outdoing the last. Knowledge base on top of knowledge base. Building on some great info from this site and time on the water. I’m anticipating and looking forward to even better results with more citation fish. Anyway that’s the game plan.
Last year was the season of fishing TINY. Thin UL Lines loaded on tiny 50 series reels and light UL rods tossing tiny baits in front of fish targets…quantities of quality panfish and trophy SMB. Tossed the baits into thick cover with reckless abandon. Tiny presentations under slip bobbers thrown next to thick weed slop and weed pockets. Mid day fishing out of the kayak in less than two feet of water and tagging quality fish. Never really had another fishing boat come close to me fishing. it was like i had the lake to myself. looking forward to making some more good memories in the upcoming season.
Looking forward to any hints suggestions or comments from the BBG membership… sharing is the best way to learn and progress!
hope everyone a successful "2016 Open Water Season"
20160209-Earl and I started off the afternoon doing a little reconnaissance on a new lake
surrounded by state land and has a DNR public access. A segment of the lake requires a small hike thru a section of woods. Once we got to the access it was barb wired off with warning signs stating it was now private property. Half hour into the program and our plan was shot. So while we were there we decided to try the access off the DNR ramp.
Air temps were falling slowly and the wind was picking up. The ice was smooth and glazed over with no snow cover which spelled no traction for my boots absent of cleats. Walking on the ice was proving very difficult.
So we drilled a series of holes close to the ramp noting drop offs and contour edges on the sonar gps. I mapped this lake 3 years ago fished it (3) times and have been nearly skunked (3) times. After line testing the series of holes we noticed just a few sniffs from fish and no committers. Hour and a half was wasted and we decided to leave because of the slippery ice conditions without cleats.
I discussed the outings ive recently had on Wixom Lake fishing the shallow muddy flats and Earl made the suggestion stopping on a small lake on the way back to check out some weedy flats leading to a major springtime spawning area.
On arrival to the new destination we noticed significantly better ice conditions with snow covering … traction tested good and in short order we were on our way to the proposed spot. A series of holes were quickly drilled on well-known weed bed locations. I immediately spotted weeds on the sonar. The micro tungsten jig was quickly lowered into the weeds and I started hooking up quickly. Earl was fast into the fish also. In between panfish bites we hooked up with some athletic young N.Pike testing the limits on our UL panfish rods, line and drags. I ended up edging out Earl (3) Pike to (2). Hey fishing is a competition… right?
EEarl setup the shelter with heat to warm up and found that he needed his weight in the shelter to stabilize the from sailing to shore on increasing winds. I continued hole hopping looking for hotspots to move the shelter too as current spots cooled off. On a hole hop I found a 3ft stump in 7ft of water that held some crappie for a short while.
Ended up being the Crappie of the day at near 12” lg.o:p>
Earl topped up the B’Gill at 8.5” and mine was at 7.5"
It was very nice to have a plan come together… especially when it comes to the challenge of ice fishing.
Our bites came off of Micro Tungsten Jigs tipped with waxies, GULP Pinke Waxies or Trigger-X Mustache worms
Probably wont see the ice for another week or so due to severe cold snap… single digits for lows or less!
20160212 -- sitting out for a couple days letting the old spine rest
20160215- might try a new spot on a new lake tomorrow... pretty stoked up about it. Lake has some great potential for some good sized fish in good numbers
20160216-its certainly no secret to what drives me in this game of fishing…
searching for that Master Angler or Certificate Fish. I’ts this stimulus that drives me to be on the water everyday.
Its also no secret to the lakes I fish trying to accomplish the Master Angler B’Gill. Human predation is high. In fact the B’Gill is the number one fish sought in all the waters I fish with crappie coming a close second. Culling and keeping the large specimens for the knife has certainly taken its toll on the populations of size and numbers around the local BOW s. you hear it from the fisherman and the residents.
Today finds me expanding the bounds to explore more distant bodies of water with a better B’Gill Population and growth rate.
BOW with more effort to access are being sought and tried this year. Less fisherman and fishing pressure = (better chance of trophy fish) is an equation that is settling in my strategy for my game this year.
Last year has certainly been a banner year for me and my game. (3) certificate fish in open water with 0 fish during hard water season. Everyone knows the game of ice fishing further decreases odds of fishing success all together compared to open water. It’s a more demanding with odds of success and physical endurance.
Today is putting me on an unfamiliar body of water but with better large fish populations and numbers. Im excited about that.
Fingers Crossed and Tight Lines,
20160216 - Just got back a few hours ago from having our butts kicked on the ice at Houghton Lake.
The Lake was just so vast that walking from spot to spot ended up to be too much. This was the first time back to this lake since I took my father and brother in law out for a fishing trip in my new 1997 Bass boat. We ended up doing quite well with walleyes, pike crappie and bluegill open water fishing… quite the different story today.
Our hunches took us to an area with deep holes surrounded by marked weed beds… but once we took the long walk out and drilled a few holes… the weeds were gone and so were the fish. Drilled a few more holes after a long walk on a good looking spot and coming up short with some diminutive Y.Perch
It was a long shot today without knowing the lake to expect fishing success straight away. My success last year ice fishing with just drilling a few holes out on the ice came about because of the work I did upfront in open water season. I knew the good spots because I physically and electronically mapped the lake. I knew the holes, the edges and the productive flats. Most importantly I did my time on the lake… time on the water probably the most overlooked asset in the toolbox. Why would I expect the same successful results on an unfamiliar lake ice fishing?
Most of the time fishing is just more than luck.
We will be back Houghton Lake in the spring for a more formal and prepared introduction.
Fingers Crossed and Tight Lines,
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