My wife and I had friends visiting from the east side of the state last weekend to go to some Rush hockey games and I'd convinced them to come out on the ice with me to Pactola.
Chad had been out with me before a couple of years, but Kelly hadn't been ice fishing before, so I said that we'd start fishing in the marina to see if any bluegills, crappie or rainbow trout were in the area, get them used to using flashers and moving around, then go out onto the main lake and try for some hard fighting lake trout later in the morning. Being hunters, I wasn't worried about them staying warm, but I'd hoped to show them a good time on the ice.
When we arrived at the lake, we were among the first ones on it, but were the only ones in the marina, so I decided to drill a long spread of holes in and around the docks that were left out in the middle.
I let Kelly do some holes too and she took to it with relative ease, another reason why the Clam Conversion Kit is extremely nice to have in one's inventory. Anyone can drill holes with it.
Now normally, the 'gills congregate around the docks most of the year and provide for some fun. Well, the panfish decided not to cooperate on this morning as we couldn't locate any schools around.
It seems that the evening bite is currently better as I've read, but Kelly did catch her first rainbow trout which was also her first iced fish so I was happy to see that she had some success on her first trip and had fun watching her try and reel in the hard fighting fish as it ran and took more line with it. I managed to catch a very nice rainbow after a long fight along with several smaller ones.
When we moved out to the deeper water in search of Lakers, the lake had become a small town as the Laker bite has gotten around town and people are eager to get into them.
After trying for a couple of hours and having only a few chasers, we packed up, though Chad managed to catch a brown trout as he was reeling up. At least everyone caught something which beats getting skunked any day.
Chad came out to Sheridan with me the next day to try for perch. Well our spot certainly had numbers of them, but with the barometric pressure sky high, we struggled to get them to bite.
Constant lure changes and slight tweaking of our cadences only netted us five perch total all morning, but Chad did catch a very nice rainbow, which was the biggest one he's ever caught. It was also fun to watch him try and get it up the hole on an ultralight rod and 3# test line.
It was fun to have our friends visiting for the weekend and I'm glad they enjoyed their time on the ice. Hopefully they'll come out again soon when they're in town for another hockey game in the future.
With the Sheridan tournament coming up, it could be an interesting day as others told me they were having the same issues as we were and it's been that way for a couple of weeks now.
With one more day of prep coming, it's time to try some new spots and find some active feeders. If you're in the area, be sure to sign up and give it a try. Local tournaments can be a fun way to spend a day and meet some new people out on the ice. Good luck to anyone participating this weekend.