Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hard Water Fishing......................... better known as Ice Fishing

I have been playing with my fishing gear and getting ready for "hard water".  I went out a few times to get everything in order.  I made a list and started to re-organize everything that I will need to go ice fishing.

I thought I would drive down to Hamlin Lake, which is just north of Ludington.  I didn't know where to go so I headed for the first launch site.  Two cars and someone on the ice, so I thought "This must be the place".

I headed out and walked half way out and drilled a hole.  I used my fishfinder to check the depth.  Two feet!

Out a ways more, two feet!  After getting almost across the lake and still finding two feet of water I decided to head towards Bugg Point.  The parking lot was full of cars and there was a village out on the ice.  I found a spot and found 14 feet of water so I fished. 

I drilled three holes with my ice auger.  The red strainer is to remove the slush ice from the hole.  I will put my Vexilar fishfinder in the top hole and my two fishing poles in the bottom holes.

I have the top of my portable ice shanty pulled over and it really cuts the wind.  I can even take my gloves off.  I guess I forgot to mention clothes for ice fishing.  Well, you can layer and wear insulated pants and jacket.  Then you want a good warm hat and mittens.  My boots are Sorel ice pacs and they really do a great job of keeping my toes warm.

You can click on any picture to enlarge it.  I am trying to show my jig and hook setup.  I have a wax worm on the hook above the jig and a wax worm on the small hook below the jig.  The picture isn't the greatest.

On the end on my fishing pole is a spring bobber that is very sensitive to fish bites.  The pole is only about 30" long so it fits inside the shanty.

The bobber jiggles and I set the hook.  Out comes a 4" perch that could hardly get the hook in his mouth.

A couple more small perch and I am ready to leave.  This was just an exploring trip.  I found the area but want to fish in deeper water next time.

Another day, I decide to try some new lakes that I haven't fished before.   I see that it will be a little tricky getting into this fishing spot.  I am going to try a new place.  Blacksmith Bayou!  It is not plowed but has a two track headed in and down to the fishing area.  I hope I don't meet a car coming out.  There is only one car here and I head out on the ice.  I will have to use 4 wheel drive to get out of here.

The ice is about 4" thick but the depth is only 3 feet.  The other guy out is down in the back bay.  It is probably deeper there but I don't want to crowd him.  I only take the yellow pail and carry my gear as the portable shanty is too big to take down the stairs to the Bayou.  I get a bite.  Now that feels like a better fish.  I haul in a large rock bass.  I let him go and fish for another 45 minutes without a bite.  Time to move on.

Next I try a small lake near my home.  The ice wasn't good three days ago but I see two guys out on the ice so I stop.

Ia m back in the water.  You can see the spring bobbers if you click on this picture.

I finally start getting some bites in 24 feet of water.

Now that is more like it.  A couple of bluegills.  I hope I can find some more.

I forgot a couple pieces of gear.  I always carry a hemostat, a whistle, and nail clippers.


The last piece of safety gear are the ice picks I wear around my neck.  They are used to pull yourself up on the ice if you fall through.  I also have a long rope to be used to help in case of an emergency.

Well, back to fishing.  i kept the baits right next to bottom.  I can see my bait on the Vexilar screen as I lower it down to wards the bottom.. Fish show up on the screen and i just try to present my bait just above the fish.  If I am lucky, I can see the fish rise up towards the bait.

It looks like snow clouds are coming in so I better pack it up for today.  How did I do?  Just take a peak on the cleaning board.

I brought home six medium bluegills.  It is just enough for a meal for me!  Are they tasty?  You bet!  I hope to be fishing more each day after Christmas.  Any questions?  Want to go out ice fishing,  leave me a message, I might not be home and I might be

Friday, December 10, 2010

Winter Sports

What to do in Winter "Up North?"  It does get a little slow when the ice and snow comes and stays.  I did fish a few days but the snow has slowed me down.  I started checking the newspaper for things to do.  Boys and girls basketball is starting.

I went to the Brethren girls BB game last week and enjoyed it. This week, Brethren boys were playing Manistee Catholic Central. 

The Brethren Bobcats Junior Varsity fought a tough battle but didn't win.

Number 4, Gary Lodin, has a brother, Eddie Lodin, on the varsity.

The game was close but the Bobcats couldn't catch up. The final score was Bobcats 38 and the Sabers 47.

The pep band was comprised of students from both schools.  I thought that was a nice idea.

The Brethren Bobcats had only 6 members suited up for the game.  One boy had torn his ACL, and 3-4 boys didn't make their grades so it was going to be a long night for the Bobcats.

You can see all 6 Bobcats in the white uniforms.  Everyone would play in rotation in this game.

The local newspaper had printed a release that the boys team wanted  people to bring in mittens, hats, scarfs, and jackets for youth in the area.  It stated that when the hometown Bobcats scored their first field goal, the crowd would throw the winter items onto the court.

The team was ready.  Roddy MacNeil, the local bagpiper and baseball star, hits a nice practice shot.

The game was ready to begin.

The boys get ready for the National Anthem.

The cheerleaders were ready also.

The tip off was ready and the game will start.  It was nice to see the cheerleaders actually cheering for the team.  At some schools, cheerleading is just a sport and they don't cheer a games.  I like the old idea better.

Manistee scored first and finally  Brethren hit their first field goal and suddendly winter clothing was in the air and on the floor.  No technical foul, just a great community project the boys BB team got together.  Everyone helped to round up the winter wear.

It was nice to even see the local mascot helping out!

Manistee got ahead by over 12 points but the Bobcats kept fighting back.  Manistee had 10 players and they could keep fresh players in the game.  Manistee had Nick Doyle, a great forward who could really jump and score.

The Bobcats were getting tired.  JR Theodore, the tall, lanky center, hit some threes and several baskets to keep the game close.

Somehow, the score was tied at the end of the game and now it was a 4 minute overtime.

It was fun to watch a boys BB game where they still ran plays, not just 'run and gun'.

The overtime resulted in Manistee getting the lead right down to the last few seconds.

The Bobcats were getting tired and time was running out.

Four seconds to go and the Bobcats down by 2 points.  Guess we know what the plan will be as time resumes.

The ball goes in and the point guard, Eddie Lodin, big brother to the VJ point guard, throws up a 3 from the top of the key.  Going, going, .................

The Brethren Bobcats win in overtime by one point,   having never been ahead in the scoring.  They only had 6 players, they organized a community clothing event, the cheerleaders were cheering and the small town supported their players.  I love old fashion, small town basketball.  I guess there is something to do on a cold winters night!