Do you love big bluegill?
20170111- ...----~~<")))))><(---*Hard-Water Period*--ICE
“Working By the Numbers for the Numbers”
We threw an ice fishing trip together within minutes for the afternoon. Connor would have to sit this one out with a sitter while we tried a popular little lake known for the numbers of panfish but not the sizes.
It was the first trip taken with my new vehicle a late model Dodge Caravan. Seats fold flat into the floor with the “Stow and Go”… Loading ice fishing gear into the van is a breeze. I can hardly wait to slide that kayak in fully without a problem and towing the boat will be a breeze.
Once at the launch we noticed one loan fisherman at the opposite end of the lake… loaded our gear and headed to our most popular waypoints by using theElite 4 HDI GPS on the sonar.
The ice was slick but the boot cleats held fast.
Earl started drilling many holes at strategic points along inside and outside edges of known weedlines.
The Fishing Points App signaled a high 93% activity day but we would be fishing during a Lull period between major and minor time periods.
Dropping the transducers into the holes followed by our baits we noticed little if any fish activity. I hooked up quickly with a large pred that took out much line with the drag set light on the 3# braid. The fish never made it to the hole but I could tell by the struggle it was a very significant LMB.
The fishing continued very stringently throughout our trip with Earl and I struggling to tag a handful each of assorted panfish despite trying our popular baits with and without tippings.
Drilling easily over 50 holes we could not find active fish. Frustrating! Easily the worst productivity day within the past few seasons.
Statistics like today’s outing reinforces the fact for fishing the productive Major and Minor Lunar Time periods for fish activity. Before discovering the Fishing Points App I used the chart in every In-Fisherman magazine that also provides the periods.
“10 percent of the lake holds 90% of the fish” is a formula every fisherman knows. This ratio gets tighter in the winter.
I tagged most of my fish with the LiL Minnow Ice Rig... while Earl tagged a few with the tungsten jig live waxie combo
Todays’s beat down wasn’t a skunking but it certainly felt like it. Next trip we’ll try to hit the Major Time Periods where we continuously enjoy the success.
20170114- ...----~~<")))))><(---*Hard-Water Period*--ICE
20170115- ...----~~<")))))><(---*Hard-Water Period*--ICE
Still Working The Numbers....
Turned down a great invitation to a new reservoir by my bro-inlaw because of lower back and leg pain for earlier in the day. The pain subsided enough to hit the major period 14:29-16:59 pm on a local lake.
I parked the van on the remote plowed parking site while watching a 4-wheel drive PU having a tough time with the up hill exit. An ice fisherman exiting … stopped to discuss a very slow bite with “watchers” on sonar but no biters. He said it was a common story for the day out on the lake and took off wishing me a better bite.
As I walked out on the lake dragging the sled it was a familiar story with 4 other fishermen leaving the lake.
I had a little more than 2 hrs to fish and had to make the most of it… so I proceeded to the closest waypoints and punched 4 holes thru 12” of firm ice. Many fishermen were on the ice with little sounds of productivity. Listening to two anglers talking in a shanty close by were talking on calling it and packing it in.
The 4 holes drilled showed very little fish activity… with some leaving the bottom, sniffing the bait and withdrawing… wow all signal of another bad outing.
I packed up and move to another area and drilled a series of holes starting at the original reservoir lake edge and then shallower. I started the jigging at the 10-10.5’ foot range and success…. Fish on! I proceeded to tag consecutive B.Gills with a few spool burner LMB in between.
2 jigging rods were used one with a tiny tungsten jig tipped with a live waxie and the other loaded with GLISS super line with an attached Lil Minnow. The LMB preferred the Lil Minow but still tagging the largest B.Gill approaching the 9” mark.
Like clock work the bite stopped as the Lunar Activity Period subside… I packed up and left with a smile!
… nicest LMB
… Nice 9” class B.Gill
… all Cpr’ed!!
20170116- ...----~~<")))))><(---*Hard-Water Period*--ICE
Here it is mid-January already and we have (4) B.Gill ice trips in… last year at this time we totaled (1) trip with only (1) lowly N.Pike. what a difference a year makes.
“Another Successful Blue Gill trip on the ice” fishing the numbers for the numbers.
We decided to Blue Gill fish the lake where I had some relative success the day before to fish the same waypoint so Connor could connect on a B.Gill thru the ice.
We planned to fish thru the Major Fish Activity Period using the Fishing Points App which indicated the peak was between 15:16 and 17:46… it’s nice to be on your spot preliminarily before this time period is reached… we were on the lake at 14:30 and were on the fish.
The Private lake is small in size and we know every square ft of contours. I mapped this lake with my Elite 7 HDI recording depth contours (at the 1’ increments) and bottom composition (soft, hard and weed content). When I introduce someone to fishing this is the lake I bring them too. Ask any local to describe the bottom depth and ranges they tend to be way off the mark.
The locals fish this lake hard thru the seasons. Locals harvest greatly off the top with fishing pressure at the highest summer and winter. Fish numbers are up but trophies are far between tags.
Loading up the sleds and the shanty we headed to one of my hot waypoints… drilled a few holes and we were instantly on fish. Earl hooked up straight away with a nice 9” class B.Gill on a tungsten/live waxie combination in 12 FOW… I followed closely with a freight train fighting style LMB at the 16” mark on the LIL Minnow… Connor followed in suit with his first B.Gill thru the ice.
We fished the uptick and thru the Major Fish Activity Period and some on the decline curve of the period. We were on our high percentage spot with our high percentage baits in a high percentage Fish Activity Period… we had the numbers working in our favor and it showed in quality and quantity at the end of the day Tags.
all the fish were caught on Lil Minnow or Tungsten/Live Waxie rigs
….nice runs on the panfish rigs
… Connor’s B.Gill tag
….Earl’s tungsten jig tagged B.Crappie
… nice lunker hybrid
…nice lunker b.gill
… some of the tags for the day