When you have so many flags go off, bonus fish becomes the targeted fish of the day.
I've been getting out to chase Bluegill a lot more frequently, I dare say I am addicted. I have been neglecting the Clam Arctic Warriors on a lot of the outings, just because I stay so busy catching Bluegills and Perch. But, on a recent outing, I decided I would get them out and see what's around for bigger fish. As it turns out, everything was around.
I drilled my normal bluegill line in 9 to 12 feet, then drilled some both inside and outside of those holes for my warriors. I set 2 at a time while jigging up some bluegills, just to see if it was worth setting up all 6 or not. With just 2 out, 1 flag went off twice in about 10 minutes. Just some smaller 2lb bass, but still a nice little bonus fish in between the bluegill and perch, so I put down the remaining 4. I didn't get much jigging time in after that.
Flags flying everywhere, several times with 2 up at once. The deeper flags were producing bass, with suspending shiners about 6 feet under the ice. While the shallow flags were producing Pike on shiners a foot off the bottom. Most of the fish were relatively small, however Felicia hooked into a nice Pike, topping her personal best. The best part with using warriors, she got to fight the fish on a rod, verses hand-lining it on your normal tip ups. He put up one heck of a fight. Pike make such cool runs thru the ice, hard fast runs, really get that drag screaming.
Not to be entirely shown up, I decided to just catch 1 on my pan-fish rod with 2 lb test and a Glazba jig. As I had planned it out all along, not luck at all. I'm jigging away for gills, see a typical bluegill mark I’m trying to trigger, then a quick thick red flash and my drag starts going hard. I didn't really see why a Pike would hit maggots, so I thought I just had a solid bass.
After coming to conclusion, it was indeed a decent pike, I never really expected to be able to land it with such a small jig. I was in thick moss, with trees around, which I got wrapped on for 15 minutes and eventually got him to back out and come around it. When I got him out of the hole and seen that the tiny little jig pinning both his jaws together, I lost it laughing. I couldn't believe that tiny jig never pulled out, or hooked anywhere else he would have bitten me off. I love lite tackle fishing, wish I could say that was planned, but I’ll take luck anytime!
At the end of the day the flag count was in the 30's, and even kept a few of the bluegills for dinner. Just don't get many days like that on the ice. With the weather looking like it may hold a bit longer, I hope the late season Pike bite just gets better and better.