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

1 comment:

  1. This is the perfect blog for anybody who hopes to understand this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject which has been discussed for many years. Great stuff, just wonderful!