A 32-Inch Surprise

Tony, Bear, and I went to Half Moon Pond on March 29 for what we hoped would be our last trip out on the ice this season.

Bear's First Ice Fishing Trip

Bear’s First Ice Fishing Trip

Well, if we are to do any fishing over the next few weeks, it will definitely be on the ice. I couldn’t believe it as I drilled the first hole.

Drilling the First Hole

Drilling the First Hole

I thought the auger was not going to be long enough.

We're Going to Need a Bigger Auger

We’re Going to Need a Bigger Auger

We finally broke through and hit water after 32” of ice! That’s easily the most I have ever seen this late in the season.

Three years ago, I was open water fishing on March 12 in central Mass., and many years I have been open water fishing on the Cape the first weekend in March. I have often fished open water in lakes like Granite, the first week in April. Not this year. I had earlier predicted ice out here to happen on May 1. I now think that is being very optimistic.

So it became clear to us that we were in for a lot of work—not just drilling the holes, but clearing them of ice so we could get our bait through the holes. On average it took us about 5 minutes to drill and 15 minutes to clean the hole. We never got the 12 traps in that we could have had legally.

That said, as we were working on the second hole, the flag went up on the first hole. We were rewarded with a beautiful 13” black crappie, which I prefer to call by the name I grew up calling them, calico bass. I think that is a much better and accurate name and description.

Black Crappie (aka Calico Bass)

Black Crappie (aka Calico Bass)

All in all, considering we were fishing by bankers’ hours, not fisherman hours. Starting just before noon, we had a great day. Tony caught a beautiful 18” largemouth that had a 12” girth putting him at about 3.24 pounds.

18" Largemouth Bass

18″ Largemouth Bass

We caught a couple of pickerel, including a very fat 17-incher.

17-Inch Pickerel

17-Inch Pickerel

We managed to jig up a small yellow perch and miss a few others.

Monster Yellow Perch

Monster Yellow Perch

In all we had 17 flags. That would normally be good full day.

We missed many of those fish, largely because our bait was too big. This late in the season, and with the best local dealer retiring, we could not get the bait that we would have preferred.

All in all, it was a well spent 3 hours.

Unfortunately I think there will be ice fishing going on for at least another month. We’ll have to make lemonade from this lemon of a winter.



One thought on “A 32-Inch Surprise

  1. Nice,

    I spend a day on HMP two months ago, same time and same place by the look of the pictures with vastly different results. All I caught was some nice sun as it looks like you also managed to get that day. John


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