First Ice Fishing Trip of 2015

My first day of ice fishing since I got off the Disabled List was today at the invitation of Harold and his father Dave.

It was a strange day of weather, considering it has been bitter cold for a few weeks because it was a balmy 29 degrees as we loaded the machines.

The first surprise was the thickness of the ice—15 inches! I would not have been surprised if it were twice that because of the recent temperatures and the lack of insulating snow.

We made our way to the middle of the western shore. We set tip-ups in 2 feet to 20 feet of water. We baited them with shiners, worms, and salmon eggs.

Checking a Tip-Up

Checking a Tip-Up

It wasn’t long before we had our first flag. It was an eating-sized yellow perch. We would catch several of those and many more smaller ones. Most of them were caught by Harold with his jigging rod with a 1/16-ounce tungsten jig.

One of Harold's Jigged Perch

One of Harold’s Jigged Perch

The best fish of the day was a fat, 18-inch pickerel that Harold caught on a shiner.

Harold's Pickerel

Harold’s Pickerel

I managed a 15-inch pickerel and a few perch caught jigging.

We had a nice brunch of venison steak from Harold’s first deer, sausage, peppers, onions, and potato salad, perfectly prepared by Dave.

Not long into the morning, we were greeted by a light drizzle, which would turn into a full-fledged rain before noon. Cold is one thing; cold and wet is another.

So we broke camp, loaded the snowmobile and ATV, and headed for our trucks.

It wasn’t a great day, but is was a good day to spend with good friends, good food, with a few fish thrown in for fun and supper. It felt really good to get out after weeks of being house bound. Times like this take the sting out of winter, and helps the wait for spring pass more quickly.

Thank you guys.