Do you love big bluegill?
20170214----~~<")))))><(---*Hard-Water Period*--15" ICE
20170214~Discussing a last minute strategy for an ice fishing outing after bringing many local lake options to the table we decided on a reservoir that we have never ice fished before. Sure we feel comfortable with our hotspots that we have been doing well on… but what about expanding that comfort zone and exploring new areas.
Since 4 year old Connor will be going with us we decide on a popular ice fishing spot with the locals with easy on easy off attributes. We were drilling holes amongst some local fishermen within minutes of parking the vehicle and catching fish.
The middle of the creek channel was in 39-45 FOW thru 15” of solid ice and that’s where everyone was parked with shanties and their buckets… so that’s where we started with intentions of working the investigation shallower.
We were getting bites from 6-8 inchers in the channel. My first B.Gill tag I brought up from the depths it's eyes popped from their sockets so we decided to keep everything we caught at those depths. Working our way shallower on the contour map found very little activity.
We deicided to stick with the action and fish the deep creek channels to fill the limit for the table.
My best bite of the day was on the Tiny.Tungsten/Live/Pink.Maggot combination.
finished cleaning 22 fish in 15 mins fully filleted and skinned... not bad for a rusty catch and releaser
20170216----~~<")))))><(---*Hard-Water Period*--15" ICE
20170216~while doing a little research on Google Earth I discovered an access to get on to the ice at a local lake. What caught my attention is that little walking was required to gain access to what looked like some nice areas that may hold fish. Less time walking = more time on the ice fishing… a element of the numbers game with me. I was out on the ice in 25 mins drilling holes.
Weather was nice low 30’s no wind and some sun. ice was 15” thick.
Dropping the sonar into the holes I discovered a large school of Y.Perch in the small to medium range… keeping about a dozen to add to the freezer. The Tungsten/Live Waxie in the fire tiger pattern was working the magic.
After drilling several holes and tagging only Y.Perch I decided to jump lakes before the next solunar period. A short drive later I was on to one of my favorite all year hot spots and drilling holes on the solunar uptick on a Major Period.
Minutes into the first hole I hooked up with a large N.Pike on the Lil Minnow that I lost bringing onto the ice. By the size of the head it would have stretched to the upper 20s on the scale.
Just minutes later I set my hook into a bruiser of a fish that tested the UL tackle… after several spool burning runs The 3# ice braid held tight and I lipped a large LMB onto the ice. At 18.25” on the scale I quickly released the fish after a couple quick snaps.
At a Solunar rating of only 33% for the day the activity level seemed to be in sync… kind of slow… i decided to fish till about 17:00.
Drilling a new set of holes along a shoreline on the way in I tagged the best fish of the day… an old warrior P.Seed approaching the Master Angler mark of 9.0”. After measuring and taking a couple snaps it was quickly released to fight another day.
15" of ice!!! All the ice around here is melting off, fast.
... just got back from the local lake with 13" by the end of the day. lost an inch and a half while i was out there
20170218----~~<")))))><(---*Hard-Water Period*--13" ICE
With 20 to 30 degree above normal temps forecasted for the next 1.5 weeks here in mid-michigan shortly we may not safe ice for the remainder of the season. I need to get that ice time in. usually we have safe ice here till the third week in March.
Loaded up the gear and headed to one of the local easy on easy off public launches. With that easy on-off launch come the local crowds. Parking was near full and many were on the lake fishing… seemed I was late to the party. Or was i?
Loading up my sled I noticed I was missing a sonar leaving it on the kitchen table charging. So fishing blind was the MO for the trip. Without GPS I set up a few holes at the 8-10 ft range in 13” of ice. Testing the hole for depth I was spot on at the 9 ft mark. I continued drilling a few shallower and then deeper extending to the deep basin. I love my Auger!!
A few seconds into the hole with the tungsten/live maggot combo resulted in a quick fish on the ice… I do not tire of tagging the Lepomis.
Listening to the group of fishermen surrounding me I overheard they have been out since mid morning with a couple dozen fish between them.
I was fishing a fish activity level of 12 for the day (low on the scale of 100 being the best) on a down leg of a minor with a major period coming up in a few hours. I was on the lake as not only to satisfy the lure of the tug and hook set but to monitor and explore the solunar tables pertaining to ice-fishing. Lately ive been setting my watch to the solunar charts and tables.
The fish activity quit like a light switch… the adjacent groups of fishermen were also experiencing the same lack of activity. I kept myself busy during the lull by drilling holes and exploring and looking for the best weed growth by testing with a lowered jig. The fish were being tight lipped.
As the major period up tick approached the bite started to progress… amazing!
I continued thru the solunar major period tagging some nice P.Seeds approaching the Master Angler mark of 9.0 inches, some nice B.Gills also approaching the 9.0 inch mark as well as a few preds. The popular bait again proved to be the tiny tungsten jig/ live waxie or maggot combination. A few fish were also tagged on the Lil Minnow rig.
As sunset approached I left the major activity bite well satisfied with the activity for the day.
20170220----~~<")))))><(---*Hard-Water Period*-- 11" ICE
20170220- with the long range warmer temps in the forecast we decided we’d better put some time on the ice before it disappears or becomes unsafe.
Once at the boat launch we noticed a few familiar locals already on the lake with tip-ups fishing for N.Pike.
We made a bee line towards of some of our familiar hot spot way points and started drilling to cover some area.
On sonar, we noticed fish in the water column, particularly in the 8-12’ range. Presenting tiny jigs tipped with live bait or gulp waxies brought some attention to the baits that brought very few tags thru the holes on the ice... neutral day.
“The Fishing Points” app revealed we were on a slow uptick in fish activity extending to a major period peak from 19:08 to 21:38. We would be off the ice since the peak was going to take place in the dark after sunset.
It took a few hours to tag just over a dozen fish. Other fishermen were getting skunked during the same period fishing panfish and N.Pike.
However I did manage to tag a couple quality Lepomis that did manage to bring a smile to my face.