My Second Impression of Ice Fishing was Far Better Than My First.

Well, I have to say this feels oddly full-circle.  Sunday afternoon and evening were spent doing the activity I started this blog on back in January. We got out on the ice for the first time since early March.

Originally, we had planned on hunting Sunday evening, since the CWD antlerless hunt is going on right now. But between really wishing for a buck, and some more extreme cold weather, we decided at the last minute to head out ice fishing with our friend, M. We packed everything into his truck, and headed up to a spot he knew near Portage, Wisconsin. It was a sunny day, if cold. The high for the afternoon was about 10F, and we reached it at noon. We arrived at the frozen-over launch around 2:30, dragged our sleds out onto the snowy lake, and got to drilling some holes.

Matt cleaning out an ice hole

Matt cleaning out an ice hole

M boring a tip-up hole.

M boring a tip-up hole.

Shanty and our stuff scattered all over the ice.

Shanty and our stuff scattered all over the ice.

I finally drilled my first complete hole through the 4 inch thick ice.

I finally drilled my first complete hole through the 4 inch thick ice.

In single digits, water freezes quickly.

In single digits, water freezes quickly.

We were in fairly shallow water, 6-10 feet or so. And the ice was rather thin, about 4 inches. Safe enough to walk around on, but definitely not the 18 inches we were drilling through last February. The rules about number of lines still holds, so we usually do two tip-ups per person, plus one line inside the shanty, jigging.Our tip ups had minnows on them, and we were using jig heads tipped with wax worms inside.

The action started inside the shanty. Matt was on some bluegills, and had the first three fish of the day, which all went back in the water.

GE GE

GE

But soon after, we had two flags on our tip ups. We rushed out to get those in, and it was more bluegills.

GEWe headed back after all that to get warm by the Mr. Heater and to continue jigging- the fish were biting! And then I finally got my first fish through the ice. Last year was a rough season, and in the first 45 minutes we’d tied, and then exceeded last season’s catch.

GEMatt would pull out a couple more fish, as would M and myself. Only 7 or so were keepers of the bunch, and but for a couple perch, they were all bluegills. The bite slacked off along with the daylight, so we called it around 5:30, and packed in our gear in the cold. It was a clear day, though, and we’ve got fish to fillet, some of them nice and big.

GE

My biggest 'gill of the day.

My biggest ‘gill of the day.

When it's this cold, the world is your ice box. Our catch, on ice just outside the shanty door.

When it’s this cold, the world is your ice box. Our catch, on ice just outside the shanty door.

We’ve already marked two fish derbies on our calendars, too. One on January 18th on Lawrence Lake, and then the one on Lake Waubesa in late February or early March. Hopefully, we can start pulling out some pike and bass in addition to the panfish.

 

 

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “My Second Impression of Ice Fishing was Far Better Than My First.

  1. “the world is your ice box” I love it. Too bad you couldn’t spread some apples over on the shore line and do a combo deer hunt/Ice fishing day. My brain cannot fathom the amount of cold required to produce 4 inches, much less 18 inches of ice. Were your feet cold? Did the fish freeze solid on the ice?

    • We were actually debating the legality of bringing our guns along with us. The baiting with apples would be illegal in this part of the state, but as long as we were far enough away from dwellings and roads, it’d be perfectly legal to shoot a deer while ice fishing. And yeah, it’s mighty cold. Once you get say, the 3-4 inches of ice we had, it’s kind of like a snowball effect- it just gets thicker and thicker fairly quickly. If it stays this cold, we should have a foot of ice by this time next month. Once you get over 10 inches, it’s safe enough to drive on, if terribly to drill through manually. And yeah, if you don’t have like a piece of carpet to lay inside the shanty, your feet get pretty cold, being in contact with the ice. But we use a little propane Mr. Heater that fends off the worst of the cold. And yes, the fish freeze solid in under 5 minutes in that cold. Not a problem if there’s snow, but if it warms up enough to melt the snow, but then freezes up enough to give you glare ice (see here https://playoutdoorsblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/ice-fishing-take-ii/ ), the fish will freeze to the ice, which sucks.

  2. Pingback: Ice Shanty Chef Trial Two: Tex Mex On Ice | Hunt/Fish/Play

  3. Pingback: Rubber Backing and Carpet Glue | Hunt/Fish/Play

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s