Well, I got the boat all shinny and in the water.
We broke 70 degrees today so I dumped the boat in for the annual test run. I can’t even begin to explain how wonderful it felt to be rippin’ acorss the water again.
Several of the lakes in my area are still holding plenty of ice. I’m hoping the rest of the lakes will be clear by tomorrow with the schedualed warmer forcast.
Now all we need is for water temps to bump up a tad and the panfish will start moving up in full force. Happy open water folks. FINALLY!
With all the new water that spring brings you can really lay your eyes on some real spectacular birds. They seem to be rather photogenic this time of year, don’t you think?
50 degrees and ice. Who would have thought they go very well together?
It’s no news flash to anyone that I am a gilloholic. Big bluegill make my fishing world go round. Late ice is a fine time to target these delicious pullers.
As the snow melts more light creeps through the ice and daylight hours become longer and longer. This triggers the panfish to begin their journey to shallower waters. Where they become more vulnerable to the savvy angler.
Try to determine staging areas these fish might be hanging in before ice out. Areas such as bays and in front of creeks and run off ditches. Typically 6 – 12 feet of water seems to be the key depths this time of year.
Drill LOTS of hole. Hole hoppin’. Stay mobile. Keep moving from hole to hole to hole. There will be small pods of fish cruising their new territory. You’ll catch nothing, then more nothing, then you’ll hit a hot hole. And, repeat.
I like to use a super light rod. Reason being, I don’t need a spring bobber. Some of these fish will be extremely aggressive and some will be very touchy. One of the VERY best panfish baits on the market, the Ratso. In this situation I tip my with a single euro larvae. This has insane action and will trigger strikes like no other bait. Plastics produce some big gills.
Although late ice is a great time to get out and target panfish we also have to remember to be safe. Use common sense on the ice. If it gets too bad to fish, don’t worry, we’ll have the boats out soon. Happy gillin’ folks!
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So there I was, creeping along eyeballing a spot I intended on drilling some holes over. Bang bang, and I filled my pants.
I dropped a tire in the ice on my full size truck. My front went in and out and also my back tire. Luckily I was moving just enough to be forced out of the hole.
I went and investigated with my chisel. I was not good. It kept getting bigger and bigger with every chop. There was no warning signs what so ever. No disturbance, it all looked the same.
Not sure why this was such a bad spot in the ice. I was way off the bank in about 27 foot of water. I really got lucky on this deal. If I had not had enough momentum to get out of this, it may just have been structure on the bottom of the lake.
This just goes to show, ice is very unpredictable. As we enter late season, be careful out there and be smart. Happy fishing!
There is only one thing better than bluegill pulling on my line, and that my friends, is bluegill on my plate.
I’m starting to get on some good panfish, finally. The panfish on some waters are starting to cruize shallower water. I’ve been doing well in and around 15 feet of water on mud flats. Mud flats can get really good as late winter slowly creeps. Little tiny worms start coming up, I call them mud worms, in Febuary. All my fish have had bellies packed full of these little suckers. That means the bit is starting to get good and should only continue to get better as late ice approaches. Happy hook sets!
Sittin’ in the ice shanty this evening. Listening to the wind howl and kicked back. It has been rather slow for me latey. I can only seem to get on slow bites with small class fish. I just need to keep pluggin’ away until I can get on a bite. Beats sitting around the house!
DUDE! YOUR BOBBER IS UP! Blah ha ha ha! Got you! Works every time. Man, I love doing that.
Well I sold all my fur and now it’s time to do a little old fashion ice fishing. I really miss rippin’ lips through the ice. The traps are on hold until spring when I may set a beaver, or two. Happy fishing!
Well, I finally did it. I set a goal and I nailed it. I pulled nearly 50 rats this past two days. That puts me at 302 baby! Time to start fishing!
Busted my hind end today. I was on the ice from sunrise to sunset checking and setting. Pounding into frozen rock hard huts all day long really beats a dude a down. But, you have to keep on keepin’ on. Day after day. It really does pay off though. I have never caught so many giant rats as I did this morning. Snap happy!
I caught this beaver in a 330 guarding a den entrance below the ice. Vertical pole set with some guiding. It took me a few days to produce on this set, but persistancy pays. It was, however, a very odd catch. A back foot catch! Snap happy.
Brought my first round of fur in to sell. Over all, I left fairly happy. I think I could have done a little better on a few items, but I believe that’s always the case.
My focus is going to be on muskrats from here on out. I will, however, do a little dabbling with coyote snaring and under ice beaver. With this fresh cold snap my opportunities should greatly increase.
Well, I managed to slid out onto the little tiny bit of ice we have. Don’t worry, when I break through I only sink into muck up to my knees. Not many huts around, most are bank rats. I set some colony traps and 110′s with a very few hut sets. I did pick up a few rats and really got the taste for ice trapping again. When the ice thickens later in winter, it will be all in.
A special friend and a special young man took his first deer ever this year. He slammed this 6 point with a .410! I love seeing kids wackin’ deer. Proud of you champ!
Another beautiful rise on the line.
It’s going to be one hell of a ride.