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Eastern Early Ice

Where: CT, multiple lakes

When: last week of December 2017

Ice conditions: 3 to 5 inches

Weather: extremely cold!!

In CT it is very rare that we have fishable ice in December, but this season is looking like it will be one of the best we have had in years.

I started out fishing a small body of water that has some big crappies in it. One would think that with constant temps in the teens and single digits, that the ice would have formed very fast, but a snow storm that dropped about 5 or 6 inches of snow came when the lakes only had about 2 inches of fresh ice.

This snow slowed things down dramatically as I was not able to fish a part of the lake that I knew held big fish, so my friend Brian and I stayed where it was thicker and managed to find a nice school of eater size crappies with some nice yellow perch mixed in.

Day #2 - we went to a larger lake again looking for crappies. We found the mother load, however, they were all very small, there were some nice bluegills mixed in which kept us happy.

Again, very surprised to find only 4 or 5 inches of decent ice.

Day #3 - I was alone and was going to go back to the first body of water, with 2 more days of frigid temps, I knew the spot I wanted to fish would be good to go but I was still hesitant to go alone, I knew there would be other guys there but if they left before I wanted to stop fishing, I didn't want to end my day short.

A friend of mine posted on social media that he had just caught a walleye and was planning on fishing all day and into the night, so a last-minute decision was made to join him and go for my first ever CT walleye, I've caught many walleyes in my life but none in CT.

Walleye waters are few and far between in this area but I was willing to give it a shot....and it worked!!!

A key bait for the crappies and perch, was the new "Pinhead Mino" from Clam Outdoors tipped with the new Maki Plastics "Neki", a Eurotackle "Drop X" jig with a "Eurogrub" and a Clam Outdoors gold "Dingle Drop" tipped with a motor oil "Leechi".

For the walleyes, I had one rod set up with the Clam "Leech Flutter Spoon" and the new Jason Mitchell 36 inch meat stick with an 1/8th oz Drop XXL jig and a tail hooked shiner as a deadstick.

Overall no big fish but lots of fish and one crossed off my bucket list!! Definitely, a great start to the season.

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