Tuesday, February 15, 2005


This time I'm going from New to Old

2/14/05 I really blew it this day. I spent to much time putting together my brother Steve's B-Day blog. It was beautiful all morning and for much of the afternoon, but by 4PM when I finally got out the clouds had moved in and it got super windy. I wasn't fishing when the front passed through and the weather was perfect for scouting Bass with the sun helping Aqua View visibility.

I did go out and check around an area that I think could hold Bass and what I saw in the limited time I had to search was at least encouraging. The right kind of weeds on this spot. While I did not see any Bass or Sunfish I did have two different Pike take a look at the camera. Last year it was not uncommen to get Pike with the Bass. I had one of the Pike on but only for a second or two. It was pretty cool as I got a great look at the second Pike I saw. It looked at one point like he was gonna charge the camera and then he was suspending to profile right in front of the camera with his mouth slightly open so I could see his toothy grin. Kind of the Pike version of "Leon."

This reminds me of a story I didn't tell from 3 or 4 nights ago. A couple of small Crappie were about 6ft off the bottom looking at my minnow when all of a sudden a "solid red" came flying off the bottom and disappeared with one of "little reds" that had been looking at the minnow. On the Vex that translates in watching a Crappie get "Whacked" by a Northern Pike. It was pretty cool. Wish I could have seen that with the camera.

Anyway after missing the Pike it was starting to get dark and I wanted to see if the front had the Crappies going or not. It was seriously windy on "The Hole." I was in the West holes again tonight cause I didn't have to auger. I got one 10" keeper and a couple that were just short of 9", most were 5" or under and it was kind of slow, the fish were not aggressive and wanted the little minnows tonight. I did find a propane bottle in the garage and so I had light tonight.

Fishing in the Sleet and Rain how interesting. When I got out to the hole there were some friends of Don W. who had just set up and so I went over and talked with them for a couple of minutes. They ended up catching about 10-15 that they kept but they were keeping 7"- 8" fish and they had one near 11" which is as big as any I've gotten this year.

Anyway I set up in the West Holes and was fishing by 5:15 cause I didn't have the lantern thanks to running out of Propane last night. The fish came in bunches and I three separate doubles. I got a probably 7 fish just short of 9" and 4 Crappies between 9" and 10.25." I lost a couple of good one's as well. Got a couple of mini's but not many small 4"-7" Fish. When they came in they were very aggressive and the bigger the minnow the better. I even put down a rogue 2.5" shiner that was in with the Crappie minnows and a 8" fish took that. Things really slowed down about 7PM and by 8PM I was off the ice.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Feb 12, 2005 Contest and Platte

What a beautiful day. Temps were in the mid 40's and I had a to wear shades it was so sunny.
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I started the day by heading over to Bulldog lake for the annual Holy Family Church Fishing Contest and Raffle. As it turns out Don Weinmeister and I drove separately for this one, but as I was pulling down the drive way Don passed right in front of me. The contest would run from 12:30-2:00.

We headed out to the lake together, and discovered that NO ELECTRONICS OR SONAR was a rule. Needless to say I was not a happy camper. To me Ice Fishing without electronics is like having dinner without having something to drink. Sure you CAN do it, but why! I find it hard to accept that the electronics give me an unfair advantage when I've used it in two previous Ice Fishing contests this year and won nothing; last week I got skunked. Electronics won't catch you the winning fish, but they will help you catch fish or more fish than you would have otherwise. Basically, the rule excluded one of the main reason's why I enjoy ice fishing. LAME.

Anyway I headed out to what I thought would be the deepest water and when they honked the horn I started fishing. I figured I was in about 23 feet of water which was less than I wanted to be in. In Bulldog the main hole goes down 36 feet or so. I started with Maggots on a Fat Boy but got nothing. Some fish were getting caught just to the South of me. I also watched a girl fishing right by the weigh in car catching sunfish after sunfish. It appeared that lots of small sunnies and perch were being brought up. Also some people to just to the South of me brought up a couple of almost half pound Crappies. I switched to a spoon and jigging a minnow figuring a Pike would be the winning ticket. In the last half hour I switched to a minnow hoping to get a Crappie as that no pike had been brought in and there was a 3 way tie with Crappies.

With about 15 minutes left I took this pic figuring I wouldn't catch anything.
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With about 10 minutes left, I missed what appeared to be a Perch bite. With about 4 minutes left I got another bite and it looked very Crappie like so I took my time before setting the hook. It turned out to be a small Bluegill, but hey I wasn't skunked. I took a picture but apparently it didn't transfer into the memory card. I didn't win a door prize at the raffle ohh well.

In between the end of the contest and 4:30 Raffle. I took the VEX out on Bulldog to hole I'd been fishing and discovered that I was over 27 feet of water. I fished for about 10 minutes and saw nothing on the Vex and so I took off. I headed out to clear holes for night fishing on Platte and to check "The Bass Hole" on Platte for weeds with the Aqua View. Didn't see any sign's of life in "The Bass Hole" so I went to the raffle.

After the Raffle went out to "The Hole" and my main holes and got into several suspenders that were just under 9" and few that were smaller. It was fast and furious from 5:45 to 6:30, I started hole hoping once action slowed in the main hole. The lantern went out and I was out of bottles and so I fished by head lamp and fired up the propane heater. I finally did get one keeper but the night bite was really off and I caught fewer fish than most other nites. I DON'T like fishing at night without the lantern fired up, I think the light tends to attract fish to the area and keep them there. It seems like some nights those later fish are there and some nights they aren't and this nite they weren't.

Ohh well I have enough fish for a meal now.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

More Crappie Fishing 2/11/05

Last Nights Haul!
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(Smallest one in the pic is exactly 9inches)

Yes Yes another night on the pond that I live on. Finally it was nice enough out that I drilled myself 4 more sets of holes; one to the North, one to the East, one to the West, and one to the South of where I've been the last few night.

I started in the same holes I've been fishing out of and probably made the mistake of staying there to long. I caught a fair number of small ones, but should have utilized the Prime time dusk bite to move, move, move. It was around 30degrees and I really should have tried to scare up a hot hole, but instead I spent the 1st 45 Minutes from probably 5:45 to 6:30 on that spot. Finally I went to the North hole and got into some little dudes right away. Managed to get 1 that was almost 10. After that hole slowed down or was only giving up smaller fish I went East. I got a few small one's but it was really slow. I then went to the South hole and marked a few but they wouldn't bite, so I went fairly quickly to the West hole.

On the West hole it took a little while but fish started coming in on the bottom and suspended about 12-16ft over 22ft of water. The higher up fish were bigger, but I kept dropping the better one's. I probably lost 5 good one's just before they came into the hole and the one's I did catch that were suspeded were mostly just short of 9", my minimum keeper size. I stayed at it and eventually landed 4 Keepers along with a few shorts. I stayed out past 11PM and had a pretty good bite in that Western most hole set from about 9:30 to 10:00 with even a couple of doubles.

I was using large minnows under the bobber and mid sized minnows on the jig line, of coarse with Custom Jigs Glow Demons

Friday, February 11, 2005

More Crappie Fishing

Before I get into the report here is pics of the holes cut in such a way as to make landing the fish easier. The 1st is the farther West hole I've been fishing and the 2nd is the father East hole; I like the 2nd set up better cause it had a "ramping" option (to the top) as well as a "holding pool" (to the left). The 1st only had "ramping" and a poor ramp at that, I think the "holding pool" is the way to do it.
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(Once again Oldest then Newest Report)
2/9/05 After Listening to FLW results and Tutts not having Maggots in I was ready to head out to "The Hole" for more whacking and stacking. I caught lots O Crappie, but only 1 was between 9-12inches and so a keeper in BP's system.

For those who don't know this is the BP's unofficial system:
0-8.99inches Go Back
9-12inches are Keepers
12-14.5inches Go Back
14.5 or Bigger may or may not got back depending on camera availability and how much I feel like showing the fish off.
(My personal best Crappie is only 13inches)

The big one came on a big minnow and I think I lost one other keeper sized fish. The minnow head and Custom Jigs&Spins Glow Demon was a killer on the "Bulldog Specials." Fished from about 6-8PM the fish just shut down around 7:40 or so. All in all I bet I brought up 20-30 and almost none were suspenders. Most were fairly aggressive with some coming up rapidly and missing the bait completely.

Where are the big dudes?

Once again headed out after Toho FLW results were done. Earlier I headed up to Tutts and got some Spikes and I a went into Bear Trax to get some minnows. Bear Trax didn't have much to report; some sporatic Crappie action on Sullivan but apparently they are having to weed through the little one's over there as well, if they are getting any at all. I was heading back to "The Hole" and my super two that I have been fishing all week. It was a wee bit windy out of the South, wind opposite of what it has been so my house was facing Nort, and was it snowing a little when I first got out there so no moving around tonight.

Today was a little like yesterday in that I only got one keeper and the number of fish was about the same with maybe a few less tonight, around 20 or so. However, there were suspenders and I got several fish tonight that were just shy of 9inches. I didn't use minnow heads much and got the 1 keeper (10")on the jigged Glow Demon and a whole small minnow. Got several small Crips on large minnows under the Ice Buster Bobber. I tried the maggots but the fish wanted nothing to do with them, several times they came up and swam away quickly. For whatever reason Platte Lake Crappies seem to love minnows way more than Maggies. At least I have the Maggies for Satuday's contest on Bulldog, those Bulldog Special's love maggots.

After getting off the Ice it was time to clean some fish and have fresh fish for din din.

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Actually I did clean these tonight plus 1 but didn't eat these. I ate the one's I cleaned the other nite. I'm giving tonights fillets to the neighbors. And No I was not overlimit, I had 5 already cleaned and then I had the 5 I cleaned tonight.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Crip, Crip, Crappie!

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Platte Lake Monster at least until you realize that Custom Jigs&Spins Glow Demon is about 3x bigger than the actual size. This guy was one of those O so cute 2" Crappies or about half the size as in the pic.

Note: These Reports are being written oldest to newest which is the opposite of normal blogging appearance if they were written in separate entries.

2/6/05 I headed out about 4PM on Platte over to the area where we caught lots of Bass through Ice around this time last winter. I brought the camera with as that it's shallow and the important factor last year seemed to be the weeds. I drilled about 6 sets of holes and started looking around with the camera. The bottom was mostly clear with only a few sparce weeds sticking up, which was nothing like last year where the bottom couple of feet looked like a jungle. I decided that if there were no weeds, there were gonna be no fish so I headed out to
the hole hoping to get in on some deep Crappies as the dusk prime time bite arrived.

On the way over I discovered that the batteries in the GPS were dead yet again, so I headed to the house to get the batteries so I wouldn't have to drill a lot of holes. It was kind of cool and windy this day and I didn't want to get it wrong. Once I got out I drilled holes and had some perch action right away. As the sun went down some suspended Crappies moved in and I got a good 9.5" Keeper. I then proceeded to miss a big one and then get another keeper. I started catching some smaller one's near the bottom. It seemed like anytime I got a good bite that I would lose the fish just before I got it up the hole. From 5:45 to 7:30 I caught about 10 Crappies but only 3 were bigger than 9" and the biggest was just over 10. I probably missed 3-5 other keepers. I was using minnows.

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Headed out to "the Hole" about 5:30 to the same holes as last night. I decided to try a little trick that Cyberfish told me about where you drill a shallow hole that connects to your fishing hole and you use the shallow hole to move the fish into so they are easier to land. I should get a picture of this cause it works great.

I ended up getting the 3 in the Picture, the small one in that first picture and 3 other keepers with the biggest being 10.5"; I probably caught 25-30 or so total. with most being 5-7" Bulldog Lake Specials with a couple of mini's. I probably missed 4-5 keepers. The fish were mostly towards the bottom; they wanted a small minnow or minnow head and the fish were not very aggressive for the most part. I got several of the keepers after 9PM and it seemed like a group would move through about every 15-20 minutes and then there would be a lull.

Unfortunatly I have no Maggies right now, which I think they would just love. Another key was keep that Glow Demon glowing bright.

2/8/05 I cleaned the fish and then headed over to Jennie's so she could have fresh fish for dinner. From there it was out to "The Hole" and those same two holes I've been fishing. Sure enough the Crappies came in and they were very aggressive at times. Unfotunatly they were almost all "Bulldog Specials." I probably caught 50 or so Crappies but only 3 were over 9" and I think I only lost 1 keeper. I also had a 2lb Pike give me a tussle, fortunatly he didn't steal my Glow Demon as that he was hooked right in the snout.

I fished from 5:30 to 8, came in to watch The Amazing Race Final and then went back out at 10PM. Didn't get anything, a few fish came in but were only sniffers.

I think I'll head out again tonight, man I love them fresh Crappies and any bite in this lake could be a huge one or maybe a bonus Eye. Haven't gotten a single Wooly Bully (knock on wood).

Pine Center Sportsman Ice Contest

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On 2/5/05 the Pine Center Sportsman hosted an Ice fishing Contest on Erskine Lake that I fished with Don Weinmeister (Picture) . The Prizes were $300 for the biggest fish, $100 for the 10th biggest fish, and $100 for the first fish. I didn't qualify for any of those cause I got skunked. The Contest had probably 200 to 300 people and only 5 fish were caught total. I don't know what they did about that 10th biggest fish. However, I did win two candy bars as door prizes, Woohoo! A Milky Way and a Twix.

Erskine is a little dishpan lake about 5 miles North of Platte. I've never fished the lake except for a few casts in the spring off the public access. The fishing area was about 150 yards out from the access and seemed to be barren sand bottom. Probably not the best choice of spots on the lake to have a contest. Don says it's a pretty good bass lake, I might have to check it out next summer.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Aitkin Jaycees Ice Fishing Contest

Try your Luck on the Dead Sea?

Not too Crowded.
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Well it was a beautiful morning when I and Don Weinmeister set about after fame and fortune on the Mille Lacs Lake glacier. Ok it was a little hazy, but the temps were good and there was very little wind. The Contest was sponsored by the Aitkin Jaycees (duh!) and was held out of Barnacle's Resort on the NE corner of the "Big Pond."

We arrived a little over an hour and a half early and did some scouting with the Vex. We immdiately found water 26ft deep and marked fish. We basically decided that was good enough and set up shop in the NE corner of the designated fishing area. Sure enough as soon as the contest started I had fish looking at my offerings.

Unfortunatly I didn't catch anything until about 45 minutes in when I seriously downsized to maggies and then all was catching were 2-3" perch. Finally I got a couple of perch I thought might have a shot at the prizes. I weighed the biggest, but by then he wasn't big enough to make the Top 25 for prizes. I gave it a good effort in the last hour but just could not get a bigger fish to go. I pretty much had crowds of little perch around the whole time from start to finish.

Since it was so nice out, Don and I decided to fish while the crowds made there way off the ice. There are a few more Ice Contests I hope to hit this winter. Maybe if I was able to weigh all the Perch I caught, I would have had enough to get a prize. Oh well, it's just a Ice Fishing contest and the money goes to the community.

Here's Don Posted by Hello