One thing I always look forward to when the hardwater season starts, is the couple of times I get to fish with my dad. Normally I fish with him on his home waters when we go up to visit my folks in Lemmon, but on the rare occasion, I get to take him out if they visit during this time.
My folks came down last weekend to Christmas shop, so I asked dad if he wanted to get on some ice since the lakes and stock dams up by Lemmon were nowhere near to locking up, thanks to the warmer temperatures and he, surprisingly, agreed even though I told him the pond where we were going, only had smaller trout and maybe some pike in it.
Being the "walleye purist" that he is, I didn't expect him to want to go, but I think he really just wanted to get on some ice, since he hadn't been able to and it would give him a chance to make sure his gear was still working, since he still uses an older Lowrance unit with just sonar to ice fish with.
He doesn't like flashers and likes to give me a ribbing on using my Vexilar, but I like to do the same back to him on my unit's superiority over his. Typical father-son time on the ice for us.
When we arrived at the pond, I told dad that I would go and check on the ice first before we started fishing. Since it had still been warm, I wanted to make sure it was still ok to be on it.
After using the spud bar to check and seeing that it was taking more hits to break through, I drilled some holes and found that the ice had actually gotten another inch thicker and was at five inches and strong.
So we hauled our gear onto the ice and started fishing. Dad isn't used to fishing with shorter, ultralight rods like I prefer when fishing for panfish or trout since he, again, only fishes for walleye.
Nor is he used to using small tungsten jigs or plastics, so I made sure to tie them on for him since he really couldn't do that given his large hands. But I rigged up a Clam Pro Tackle Caviar Drop for him paired with a small chartreuse plastic and set him off to his hole. I rigged up a couple of Arctic Warriors with worms and set them out to see where the trout might be swimming through. Then I started jigging as well using a Clam Drop Kick jig rigged with a Maki Jamei.
We both caught a couple of small trout within the first hour before I hooked into what I at first thought was a good size trout. I realized that it was actually a pike, as the head shakes continued, as well the running that the fish did!
My dad is no fan of pike since he says they just eat "his walleyes" food (he is a purist after all), but I enjoy whatever wants to bite and the fight from this guy on 4# test line and an ultralight rod was intense!
He is also a big user of braided line and kept commenting on how he would just horse the fish up through the hole rather than using such light line and having to fight a fish for so long, but that's half the fun when using lighter line to me.
After about 10 minutes, he helped grab the pike from the hole and I was very happy to have caught a fish that gave my new Clam Genz Legacy ultralight rod a run for its money. The pike was only about 5 pounds, but it was still fun and that's all that mattered, even with my dad's chiding about these slimy "snakes".
We stayed out another hour or so and caught a few more trout before we packed it up, but I was just happy to have gotten a chance to fish with my dad since he was one who first introduced me to fishing and ice fishing and instilled that passion into me.
I'm sure later on this winter when we go up to visit, we'll be back on the water, fishing for "his fish", but I do enjoy it when I get to show him what he taught me and how we fish in my home waters
I hope that everyone gets a chance to fish with their mentor or fathers at some point this season and make sure to enjoy the time and appreciate what was passed onto you. It's a great feeling for sure.