Had a great week fishing close to home. The weather was hot and so was the fishing. Thursday evening we caught a really nice bag of walleye with several over 20”.
Saturday was a blow day and we got smashed by our first fall cold front. Now we have to start all over and find the bite again when the weather stabilized. I spend the rainy day driving up M-13, looking at the Saginaw River, stopping at Franks and Northwoods to pick up loads of new fishing toys
Best baits continue to be #7 Flicker Shads. Anything white will catch fish right now, but firetiger and gold shiner are also taking fish. Worth mention are the ultra-cheap Cabelas Rad Shads which you can pull through the trees and not worry about losing too much money.
After discovering the boat needed a tilt/trim rebuild, we spent the summer not fishing. The boat returned home from the doctor a few weeks ago and we’ve been slowing getting things figured out again.
Being late August I did not have much hope for catching any good walleyes but things are already looking positive. We started out the week fishing slow death worm rigs but the action was slow with only a few 14inch eyes and a boatload of catfish.
I took 2 new fisherman on the boat Saturday and decided to put some new Flicker Shads through an area I figured was holding some fish. As it turns out the first fish was a nice 4lb walleye which the kid handled nicely. A few more good fish came to the net as the heat approached 90 and we headed home for a good nap. The livewell showed evidence that these fish were eating 4-5 inch perch.
Icefishing in March is a blast. Last day on the ice was March 6th. Done now. Crappies got huge at the very end! Everyone else I know was walleye fishing and I was on the ice everyday.
We hit the Gladwin area today starting with Wixom. All small fish for us there so we moved to some backwoods lakes and found enough gills and perch for a dinner. Ice was 8 to 10 inches. Felt great to let the power auger do some work for a change. Tomorrow’s weather looks better but I’m not sure if we’ll be out or not.
Saw a flotilla of boats on the Sagnasty as I drove by, but you already knew that
There is a certain subset of us who take icefishing a bit more serious than anyone else. You know who you are, and I’m just like you. However today, our crew is one less. A man lost his life in Lapeer Co. when he fell through. I won’t try to make a long safety statement here. I think those of us who get on the ice nearly every day feel that risk much more than the average guy. This year I got to witness a snowmobile rider who went through and needed a rescue, now this. And yet I still feel the urge to fish. It is a strange thing.
I did not know this man, but I’m shaking as I type this. Let us all try to use good judgement as this season fades away. I still might get out and fish, but I will go North to do it.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m far from ‘religious’, but I think it’s going to be very hard for any ice-fisherman to not look up at the sky the next time we get out there.
He was a fisherman. Just like you and me. This is why we understand so much. We know why we go out there and do it. We will forever be joined by that thread. It is a very hard reminder of how fragile this thing we call life really is.
Please, please, I bet you, stay safe.
Can’t sleep past 5:30am this week, weird eh? Its snowing with a 2 degree wind chill outside and the thought of fishing today is not very appealing. The roommate left the garage door open all night so we have a nice mess to go clean up.
8 hours on the ice yesterday left me with a lot of random thoughts. Over the past 36 hours I watched the bite go from good to better to bad after the storm front passed over us.
- atomic glow purple is a fish catching color!
- fish on our home lake prefer solid color jigs over glow jigs most days…weird
- that new watermelon color tungsten from sportsmens-direct is awesome.
- my Frabill rubber ice cleats are nice until you get a bit of snow on the ice and then they pack up and become not so useful.
- 1 to 2 inches my butt, I was out there all day and we had at least 3 to 4 inches come down.
- I love fishing in snowstorms. But once the wind reached its NE angle, I was outta there.
- everytime I hook a rockbass I’m hoping its a nice gill, so disappointing:)
- I do enjoy spending long days in the shanty, did not hole-hop as much, but rather just relaxed.
Charging my glow plastics for tomorrow morning!
We will not let this ice season go without a fight. With cold nights all week some ice near home has managed to hang in there and is actually quite thick. The crazy barometer and full moon haven’t been helping the bite but at least we can get out on the hard-water. I put some biting fish to bed tonight and I’m hoping to capitalize in the early AM with some glow plastics jigged over a deep brush pile. Just hoping I get up earlier than the next guy.
Slick ice makes hauling gear very easy!
The early bite has been on fire lately.
I figured it would cost just as much money to pull the boat out and do all the associated work as it would to just gas up the truck and drive to the ice. And besides…ice fishing is the first love anyway. We put the 4-wheel drive to work and sat down over hoards of biting fish in the first holes we drilled. Very impressed with the average size on the gills today.
J & S Ice Mite on a tungsten crystal jig
Kearsley Lake always has the best sunset over the dam.
I have tried to time my work vacation all year for when we would have a string of good ice. Finally pulled the trigger and took 2 weeks off, only to see the ice start to melt immediately. So yes…it is all my fault, starting from back in December with the new power drill. I have managed to fish on ice for the past 4 or 5 days locally, but we are done around here for now. Maybe the cold will come back again?
We fished a small public lake in Genesee Co. for 1 afternoon and 1 morning session. People probably hate us for it, but we drilled at least 100 holes to follow the high-riding schools of gills and crappie. Some of the lakes we fish, such as this one, require us to walk constantly while trying to hunt down the schools which move very fast. We feel that drilling and walking allows us to get a much better catch faster than folks who drill and sit. This was a tough bite if you weren’t on the biting fish. Crappies came as fast as you could drop the line for the first 30 minutes after we arrived, but after that it was hunt and peck all day. We even fished through 35mph winds with no trouble using our new Tungsten jigs from Sportsmen’s Direct.
Hole hopping all day, worked hard for these.
After making swiss cheese of the small public water, we turned our attention to a place I will refer to as Jurassic Park. It is the type of place where the gills grow so big they will break your line. The day to remember will be Saturday, Jan 28th as we landed more hog gills than you could count. Every time we set the hook it was ‘woah’.
Here you can see the ridiculous amount of holes we put down to hop around and get these fish.
Well here it is 11:45pm and I’m still contemplating driving North tomorrow to get on the ice again. Sad, sad story I know.
The local chatter has turned to the spring Walleye run. I might even pull the boat out in the next few days and hit Saginaw, who knows….so many options.
We fished up in Tuscola yesterday on a spooky 4 inches of clear ice which was rotting from the top down. Shortly after finishing up for the evening it rained hard for several hours and then changed to snow. I’m willing to wager we are done ice fishing around Genesee Co. for the near future. Be safe everyone.
I was promptly proved wrong this evening when I was dragged kicking and screaming out to a nearby lake where we found the ice to be every bit of 5 inches thick everywhere except the edges. Caught about 10 decent crappies and gills right up under the ice over deep water. I could actually look down the hole and watch them bite. Glow nuggies on a green crystal tungsten jig took most fish. Move fast and don’t forget to swing that ‘ducer around to find these fish. I’m actually considering hooking up a side-scanner pole for tomorrow so we can follow these fish that are right under the ice. Stay safe and catch fish .