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Drive to Find Ice

With our unbelievably warm winter that we have been having, we still have yet to be able to ice fish locally. So this past weekend found us driving 2 hours north for finding good ice once again, there definitely is a line from where the ice isn’t safe to having no issues for ice thickness.

As with many of the lakes that we fish, we have favorite areas that typically hold the fish we are looking for but at the same time, we want to learn more about every body of water that we fish. So we typically will pick a different area to fish and if it doesn’t produce like we feel it should, then we may move to those more proven areas.

This particular lake has a good population of nicer sized crappies and they hang around the 30 foot water level. The area that we started in was from 18-25 feet deep, many of the holes we were marking fish, but we definitely had a lot more lookers than biters.

The weather was damp, cloudy with an afternoon breeze that started up. At the same time, on the other side of the island, there was car ice racing going on, so at times, trying to communicate to each other was nonexistent.

The fish really made you work for getting them to commit into biting. Using the Kenders tungsten jigs, tipping them with either wax worms or plastics, it would come down to the jigging presentation that would get them to bite.

Key feature on the Vexilar flasher was the zoom mode that allowed you to really fine tune exactly where the bait was in relation to the fish’s position. These fish were fairly reluctant to move and the only way that we could get them to hit the jig, was to drop the bait down below them and then quickly bring it up past them and stop it as the bait went past, this typically got them into committing to the bait.

The fish at this location were 9-10 inch bluegills and are always a lot of fun coming through the ice, but since we weren’t seeing any crappies, we had picked up after a while and moved over to a location that we typically will find them.

After drilling many holes, these fish were scattered as well as about every 5th hole or so you would find a couple. Same approach as the bluegills, of dropping the bait past them and ripping it back up was what it would take to getting them to bite.

We never really found any of the bigger crappie, but still able to catch a handful of decent ones. The fish today really made you work, but, once you figured out what was required to getting them to bite, definitely still was a productive day. Definitely learned a thing or two and that is what fishing is all about.

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