Head North!

As crazy as it may seem….I’m already getting a little tired of fishing ponds.  While they are great and hold amazing fish, I crave bigger waters.  So, when my Dad called me one day while I was at work….well, you know.  Yeah, it was time to head North to the Mississippi.  As usual I awoke before the alarm went off, 4:28.  I crawled out of bed and got ready to roll.  I hit the street by 4:45 and was on my way.  On my way up I ran different scenarios through my head.  How to attack the location and what to use first.  I always try to make a game plan and adjust from there.  Weather forecast was highs near 40 with a 10 – 20 mile south wind.  The day prior had dropped 4 to 5 inches of fluffy snow.

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Breakfast of Champions!

When I arrived my Dad greater me at the door.  I said HI!  I HAVE TO GO TO THE CAN….REALLY BAD!  So, after I did my duty, we talked briefly about what to do.  He had a wonderful hamburger and egg sandwich waiting to go and a cup of joe.  It don’t get any better.  We got in our vehicles and set out North.  We arrived at our spot after a nice 30 minute drive.  Not too many people out yet.  Turns out there wouldn’t be many out.

We walked out to the spot we would start fishing.  I fired up the gas auger and dropped an arc of holes across the area.  I like to hole hop a lot on locations with little structure.  I dropped my transducer down my first hole.  The Humminbird came to life.  I dropped down to a sluggish mark.  Nope.  I went to the next hole and dropped down.  Another sluggish mark watched my jig and came up with it about 2 feet.  Then back to the bottom.  I don’t like working fish very long at first.  I like searching to find active fish.  I tried more holes and caught a crappie and a few small bluegills.  Not looking the best.  I decided to set up 2 tip downs.  When it’s slow I like using tip downs.  They not only catch nice fish but they help locate fish.  I set them up and move them if nothing is happening with them.  I can cover 3 times the space as I could with just a rod.

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Perch…..it’s what’s for DINNER!

I would keep moving and catching a fish from time to time…but nothing great.  A gill hear and there with a bunch of dink gills and crappies mixed in.  The bite I had noticed was very light.  Even the bigger gills hit like a dink.  It was tough sledding.  I made several adjustments through the day.  I ended up catching most of my fish on a Chekai Tungsten jig with spikes or finess plastics in the purple flake.  The tip downs did a lot of business as well.  I have never caught so many large mouth bass in one day through the ice.  I stopped counting at 20 keepers.  Easily 30 bass for the day and most keepers.  They were a lot of  fun to catch.  Largest was around 3+ mark.  I also caught a 4 1/2 pound norther on the tip down.  That was a fun fight.  Once again the perch were the star of the show.  I managed six of them between 9 and 13+ inches.  I had to make haste when they came through.  The tungsten by Custom Jigs and Spins was the key to getting back down to the fish quickly.  You have to keep food around for the perch to stay.

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It takes all kinds!

All in all, it was a good day.  As you can see from my RED face in the pic with the perch….I got wind burned.  It was really rough for about 4 hours.  Snow was covering my holes and blowing up in my eyes..  That’s Ice Fishing for you.  That’s why I love it!

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