First ice is always a special time and all of the excitement has finally come to a realization that we are going to be wetting a line on the hard water once again. Ice season is a very special time and I get to spend many days out there with my fishing partner, my son.
We typically have to drive north for first ice and have a few lakes that we will target at first and last ice and there is a good population of crappie that swim there.
Upon arriving at the lake, we were fortunate to be given a pull out to our location by a friendly angler and that is typical of the folks that you are going to find out on the ice.
We start in the deeper holes of the lake and were fishing in areas that were around 32 feet deep. My son was the first at dropping a line and before I could even drill my first hole he had a 13.5 inch crappie ice side.
We started seeing a trend as to where the fish were relating and thinking they would be suspending higher in the water column, but these were only a couple feet off the bottom. A number of them were on the bottom and would come up a couple of feet to inspect our presentation.
Baits that were working were the Clam Outdoors Caviar jig and the Guppy Flutter Spoon tipped with a Maki Plastics Maki. With the Guppy Flutter Spoon, you had to add a couple of small split shot to the line for getting the bait down to those depths a bit faster.
One thing about fishing at these depths is that when you are hooked up, you have to be easier on the fish bringing them up for letting their bodies adjust to the varying water depths. Coming up to fast can be detrimental to their health and possible killing quality fish that otherwise could be released.
When we started the day, the sun was shining and that had the fish very active and biting, as a front moved in, the clouds thickened and the fish’s mood definitely changed to making you work a lot harder for more searching had to be done.
For the first ice of the season, we were very happy with the results and had a great day on the ice. Now that the season is underway, one can never get enough time on the ice and every trip out is a new adventure.