My buddy Jay called me up on Saturday, asked if I wanted to go ice-fishing. He had hurt his back the previous week drilling holes in the ice with his hand auger. I have a hand-auger too...and if I went, I would need to drill a few holes for him. If you haven't tried it, drilling holes in the ice with a hand auger is hard work when the ice gets over 8" thick. Plus, its motions you don't normally use, so your body doesn't know how to do them properly without hurting itself. That being said, we've been doing it for years, be we certainly aren't in our 20's anymore!
Jay wanted to go to Big Creek, an 800+ acre lake about 20 minutes away. Although I have had some good days ice-fishing there over the years...the past 2 years have NOT been kind to me there, so I hadn't planned to go there anytime soon. Jay likes Big Creek, though, and he knows some places to go that sometimes produce well. I say "sometimes produce", because Big Creek is notorious for "good one day, nothing the next".
Since I'm writing a report, obviously I said "yes"!
We got to the lake around 2:15pm I think, parked, unloaded, and pulled our sleds/shacks across the snow-covered ice to the far side of the lake. We had barely left the near shore when I spotted a couple deer up bank of a steep ravine on the far side of the lake. I watched them as we walked nearer, and soon they couldn't take it anymore and took off. There must have been over a dozen there that I hadn't been able to see until they moved!
Jay had his handheld GPS out, and zeroed in on his saved waypoints. He cleared snow from a couple spots and said, "Drill here and here." While I drilled, he located a couple other spots and had me drill there as well. These 2nd pair of spots seemed to be what he was looking for, and we we marked fish, so we set up and started fishing.
Jay quickly caught 2 bluegills and a small walleye. He lost the first fish up at the hole. He claimed it was a bluegill that was too big to fit up the 6" diameter hole I'd drilled. NICE FISH!
I switched to a jigging spoon tipped with a waxworm, and soon I started catching fish too. We eventually made short moves of about 4' each, trying to zero in on the "spot on the spot".
It was really fun, I caught about a dozen nice bluegills up to 9", most averaged around 8-8.5"...and I also landed 3 small walleyes.
Later in the afternoon, I was getting a lot of good hits, but kept missing them. I counted at least 12 strikes in a row that I missed! I don't know if they were striking short, were small fish that couldn't get the hook in their mouth, or my reflexes weren't firing when they should.
We fished until about 5:15, then packed up and headed back for the car. Pulling our sleds up the steep grade towards the parking lot was KILLER, at least to me. Apparently I could use some physical conditioning!
Anyway, here's some of the fish I caught:
And here's one of the little 10" walleyes. I suspect these were stocked by the DNR earlier this Fall.