Saturday, January 9, 2010

Monster Fish

Well, it wasn't a real monster but a huge one to me.  It was the largest perch I have ever caught.  I finally got out to ice fish on a new lake that is close to Wellston.  I drove down snowy roads to the parking area.  As I got my shanty and gear out, I looked to see if any one was on the ice.  Nope!  I am always a little nervous about going out on the ice when I don't see anyone else out there.  I usually have my brother, Gary, go first.  But we haven't fished together in 2010, yet!

Ok, where do I start?  The lake is just a big empty artist's canvas waiting for me to mark it up.  I go out a few yards and drill a hole.  Only 5", heck that is plenty of ice. My plan is to drill several holes and fish each for 15 minutes and then move until I mark fish or catch one.

I had the shanty 1/2 closed.  It blocks the wind and I have plenty of light.  Yeah, I know what you are thinking.  Those two small perch aren't monster fish!  Just you wait, I'm not done fishing.  I have my Vexilar fish finder up on a pail and it is showing about 45 feet of water.  I put on two ice jigs about  1 1/2 ft. apart  so it will go down quicker.  The cold air causes  ice to form on the eyelets so you have to keep taking the ice off.  I put on two wax worms and start lowering the jigs to the bottom.  I am watching the screen of the Vexilar as the jigs gets down to the bottom.  I do not have a bobber on and watch the screen to judge where my bait is in relationship to the bottom.  I put it right down to the bottom and lift it slightly off bottom. 

I had lost two nice fish by getting them caught on the transducer so I tried a separate hole.  Works better.  I put the Vexilar on top of my pail because it puts it at the same height as the tip of my rod.  That way I can quickly glance back and forth watching the fish on the screen and the tip of my fishing pole for a bite.  Sometimes you start lifting the bait slowly and jig the fish up to bite.

Still not the monster fish or jumbos, but it sure is fun.  I know that perch are school fish and so if you catch one or two there are probably still more down there so I keep fishing this hole.  Sometimes the fish bite very gentle and you have to watch the tip of your rod very closely to see the bite.

Now that is a jumbo!  I am ready now.  My senses are alert and my jig and bait are back in the water.

A couple of guys come over to chat.  They have been fishing in 25 feet of water and only have a few fish.  They ask how deep I am fishing and I reply, "45 ft".  It starts snow and the light is fading, so I head out with my first batch of fish for 2010.

I am happy with these six perch.  I clean the fish and prepare a beer batter coating to pan fry them for supper.  I decide to only eat half.  I made an overnight lettuce salad and baked potato.

Fresh fish always taste so good.  I wish my mother  was here to share it with me.  I always think of her when I eat fresh fish.  She has been gone four years now, but I have many happy memories of her.

The next day, I go back and those two guys are fishing right in my spot from yesterday,  I notice that they have a nice mess of fish.  I move over the the other side of the lake to explore but find out that the perch seem to be back near my original site.  I only get two fish so I give them to one of the guys.  I still have fish to fry for tonight so I'm happy.  Tomorrow I'll go skiing.  Gotta get my legs in shape for fishing!

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