I had arranged to meet up with the family of a co-worker of mine out on Stockade Lake this past weekend to get them on some bluegills and perch. After getting a tip from some friends about the possibility of catching some smallmouth bass at one spot, I had them meet myself and another friend there early in the morning.
As I started drilling some holes with my Clam Conversion Kit, they arrived at the parking lot on the other side of where we were and brought their gear over to the spot. Having forgotten to bring my Bigfoot XL2000 hub, I'd hoped that the nice weather would hold out, but as usual in South Dakota, it's very rare to get a nice day and no wind.
The wind started picking up a bit after they arrived, but not before Stephanie, Brian and Bricey had caught some nice bluegills and perch. Though he didn't really want to fish, I had Colby help me drill some more holes further along the shoreline, which he seemed to enjoy. As I've said before, anyone can drill holes with the Conversion Kit with little guidance.
We fished in 6' to 10' of water off a rock face as well as along the weedy shoreline using jigs tipped with maggots or various Maki plastics. I caught a number of perch and 'gills on Northland Tackle's new Mitee Mouse jig tipped with a pink Maki Jamei.
This combo did catch me my first smallmouth I've ever caught through the ice! While it wasn't a huge bass, it was still a fun fight and I was happy to have iced a smallie finally.
I also used the Demon Tongue spoon from 8 My Bait with good success. The fish were a little lethargic, but with some subtle twitching of the jigs, they could be convinced to bite our lures.
Once the family had gotten cold a bit later and were packing up to leave, I recognized a fisherman on other side of where we were at. The "godfather of ice fishing" Dave Genz was there looking for perch and bluegills himself.
He was in the Hills for the “Hooked on Hardwater” event that had taken place the day before and wanted to get out one more time before heading back home. Brian had wanted to meet Dave, so I told him to go up and talk to him as Dave is very friendly and always up for talking about ice fishing.
They did just that and even got a family picture with him. I'm glad that they were able to meet up with the guy who has inspired so many of us to get out on the ice. They all caught some fish, but I'm sure meeting Dave was probably the highlight of their day!