Well, old man winter sure doesn’t want to give a break from this cold snap that never seems to want to end. I guess that little Ground Hog might be right about the 6 more weeks of winter this year.
But dealing with the freezing weather, doesn’t mean you must stay inside. With today’s gear being better than ever, it makes the cold easier to be out in. The Clam Vista Link Thermal is one of the new pop up shelters that Clam Outdoors offers. The thermal lining helps keep the heat in, and condensation down. The wide flaps on the bottom also makes it easy to bank the house with snow.
Saturday, I spent mid-morning gathering all my gear and getting it organized for our afternoon fishing trip. I like to know everything is accounted for, working properly, and packed tight, to make sure nothing gets broken or lost along the way. Being efficient off the ice makes setting up quicker on the ice.
Once everything got packed into our old trusty huntin’ and fishin’ suburban we headed off to the lake. Being the sun was out and the wind was not blowing to bad, we decided to check out a new spot on the lake and do a little hole hopping. We were in 15-18 feet of water, I started off with my St. Croix Mojo light action rod with a Clam Jig called the Drop XL in the size of 1/64th oz. in the pink/white color, accessorized with a real nice Wax Worm.
Chris had a Dave Genz Drop-Kick jig on in the Chartreuses/Blue color, with a minnow head. With our presentations we both had luck bringing up nice Jumbo Perch. After catching and releasing these dandy perch, we decided it was time to head to our favorite Blue Gill & Crappie spot. With our line being iced up, we decided it was time to pop up our shelter and settle in for the late afternoon / early evening bite. Chris and I caught a few BlueGills and Crappies which were released to swim another day.
Sunday, we found ourselves north of the Grand Rapids Area, our targeted specie was BlueGills and Crappies. The day started off nice, not much wind and the sun was shining bright. The lake is a simple lake to fish, not much structure.
It is really a big basin with low weeds, so the fish just roam the area following their food source. Being a big basin, the water depths really don’t vary, it is pretty much 18’ feet deep throughout the area. Soon after we set up and started fishing, the wind kicked up and was gusting from 18-20 mph, thankfully we anchored the shelter down to the ice before we started fishing.
Fishing started off slow for us, but with the school of BlueGills coming and going, we were able snatch a few Gills for a Valentines Day’s dinner. As the sun was setting the BlueGills moved out and the Crappies moved in. With not having a good success rate on Crappies, Chris & I were discussing to pack it up and head home for the night.
Just than a nice solid mark appeared on my Vexilar, I stopped all jigging motions; I let the jig sit still and let the fish do its own thing. Soon enough, the tip of my Mojo rod wiggled and I set the hook, putting up a good fight I knew I had something decent on the other end. So, I took my time reeling up the fish, before you know it a beautiful Northern Minnesota Crappie came up. A couple photos and a high five later, this big lady was released back into the waters which ended our night of fishing for another weekend.
With temperatures looking to improve slightly I am looking forward to not needing a shelter, and enjoying hole hopping again!