Monday, January 7, 2013

Early 2013 Ice Fishing - Trip #2

Ice-fished some brushpiles on a local reservoir on Saturday, January 5th.  My buddy Jay joined me, as well as our friend Chris and his son Nathan, and another friend Jim.  The ice was 9" of  solid, clear ice, with just a dusting of snow on top in most places, and bare ice on the rest.

A Conservation Officer checked up on us, which was nice to see.  He visited for awhile, hoping to see us catch something.  We'd fished for over an hour before he arrived, and drilled plenty of holes over several brushpiles, but hadn't even SEEN a fish yet!  I finally caught a Largemouth Bass before the Officer left us.

Jim was the last to arrive, soon after the Officer left, and located a brushpile that hadn't been fished yet this season (no old holes over the top of it), and he started catching fish.  He called us over.  He caught more fish. I caught a few Crappies up to 11", another bass, and a bluegill  here.  Then the action died.
Black Crappie

White Crappie

We drilled more holes around that brushpile, but no more fish were located.  Eventually, Jim, Chris and Nathan left.

Jay  covered a large area with his electronics, and located another brushpile that hadn't been fished yet.  We were on fish immediately.  I caught another crappie or two, a couple more bass, and lost a nicer bass just under the ice when it tangled in my transducer cable.  The action here ended abruptly, just after both Jay and I had some huge 18"-2' of solid red (fish) show up, then disappear.  Whatever it was spooked the other fish away.  We couldn't find a single fish after that.

It was odd how few fish were on these brushpiles.  Last ice-season, the fish were stacked on them.

I used only jigging spoons tipped with ice-fishing plastics (no live bait), and ended up with 7 Crappies in all, plus the 4 Largemouth Bass and 1 Bluegill.  It was fun, but considering how much time we spent, the catching rate was not good at all.


  1. Never been ice fishing. Did you know where the brush piles were or did you find them somehow through the ice?

  2. A little of both, Kevin. Our fishing club, Central Iowa Anglers, has helped the US Army Corps of Engineers place cedar trees in the lake over the past 3 years or so. We have GPS waypoints on most of them, but some of them are a little off. We knew there were several trees in the area, and there were signs that holes had been drilled in the ice over some of them already. Those produced no fish at all for us, so we had to find some that hadn't been fished yet. One guy in our group found one brushpile from a GPS coordinate he had saved. And another guy found one just by looking around the area with his Vexilar flasher. The ice was clear, and once the snow melted a little and left some water sitting on top of the ice, he was just walking around setting his tranducer on top of the ice when he located that last brushpile. We also drilled a lot of holes while looking around. Once a brushpile was found, we had to drill quite a few holes to find the edges of the brushpile, since the fish seemed to be along the sides rather than on top of them.

  3. Looks like a lot of fun. I have my ice gear ready down here but it has yet to get cold enough. May have to make a trip up north.

  4. Great article! Thanks for sharing and more power to you!

  5. Wow! This activity has piqued my interest; ice fishing is very interesting indeed! I’ve watched family movies where I’ve seen penguins which we know solely prey on fish, dive under the iced ocean to look for food. But this is the first time I actually read people doing the similar thing. I wanna try it soon!

  6. Its really a fantastic place for kids for fishing.I enjoyed your pictures and article..I plan for summer vacations.