Tuesday, February 28, 2017

When A Plan Doesn't Come Together

Out for a fishing trip on a grey snowy day.
4:30-7:30PM Rock Lake My Spot
Conditions: 33-30℉, Cloudy, Some Snow, Light N wind
Lugging the stuff out wasn't to bad in the fresh 1" to 2"
The plan was to set up on the waypoint holes then watch and catch fish.  Problem was the fish weren't there. I never put the camera down because I didn't mark anything.  After 20 minutes of that I left the minnow with the Fish Trap and went out and hole hopped making my way South.  I had 5 sets of holes drilled.  I didn't mark anything until I got to the 4 set.  I dropped the VMC Fly down on it and it showed interest for a few moments and then left.  I marked something in the 5th set and as soon as I dropped on it the fish swam off.

I drilled some single holes going back North hoping to hit the 12' to 9' foot range.  I ended up still being in 14' or 15' feet.  I did have one fish that was kind of hot, but I didn't detect a hit.  I then drilled  some holes in 9' to 10'.  I think I had some perch in them.  I went to one of the 14' holes and had a good bite that I didn't hook up on.  I drilled a couple of holes in 6' to 8' with weeds.  It was to dark to sight fish by then so that was a waist.  I ended up going back to my original sets of holes and missed one bite in them.  There was something causing interference in the area that has been the sweet zone.  No crappies came in on the Demon and minnow.  I gave up at 7:30PM.
Rock Lake Public Access as I was unloading

The ice heave that has been there all winter long.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Another Skunk at the GOMH

Swans and ducks

A little more open than last time
5:50-6:30PM GOMH
Conditions: 33℉, Mostly Cloudy, Light wind, water level was up slightly

The wind had calmed down.  It was above freezing and the sun was still up. I thought what the heck.  I'll give the GOMH a shot.  Nothing doing, but the swans, some ducks and two Canadians that flew in as I was packing up.  Totally worth it for the sunset and the birds.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Night Fishing With Peter W.

9" Glow Demon w/minnow
11:00PM-2:30AM Rock Lake my spot
Conditions: 31-28℉, Cloudy, Windy NW W, 16' of water

Peter Woitalla got a hold of me on Facebook and we ended up meeting out on Rock Lake last night.  He found his way to my holes before I got there.  It had snowed about an inch, so traction on the ice was pretty good.  I arrived at about 10:30PM and was fishing by 11.  We started at my waypoint holes.  I got one small crappie there.  I went out and drilled some more holes.  Didn't get anything in those.  I went and drilled some more holes.  I marked a fish in one of them and I caught 4 crappies there on the Demon with a minnow.  I drilled a couple more sets and Peter got two in the last set we fished.  At least that's how I remember it.  We stopped fishing at 2:30AM
9" Glow Demon w/minnow

7 crappies

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Skunked Again, But I Was Fishing Open Water

The GOMH when the swans arrived
4:30-5:00PM GOMH both sides
Conditions: 44℉, Mostly Cloudy, Windy NW, water level low

When I arrived at he Grumpy Old Man Hole the wind had come up and it was cloudy.  I'm surprised I didn't get rained on.  There was an otter laying on the edge of the ice that jumped in the water when I turned to truck around.  As I was getting ready to take pictures two swans arrived.
I tried a Piranha and a couple of different STX's.  Didn't have a hit.  I'll be back.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

1st Skunk of 2017

Looking SW

4:00-6:30PM Sullivan Lake West Access
Conditions: 48-40℉, Mostly cloudy, Wind SSW, Fished from 7' to 42'
We were not fishing very close to that point at all
Pete decided to stay another night and go fishing, lucky me.  So I didn't go to the Grumpy Old Man Hole like I planned.  Dad using the Kia had something to do with that as well.  I ended up choosing to go to the West access on Sullivan.  I didn't put a whole lot of thought in to what we were trying to accomplish.  It would have been nice had Pete remembered to grab his jacket.  I gave him my hoodie and fleese sweatshirt, thus leaving me with two base layers and my Clam Jacket.  There was enough of a wind that I ended up getting pretty chilled.

There was a guy with a four wheeler fishing the area I wanted to go to.  I didn't think to go and talk with the guy and amazingly enough Pete didn't either.  We started out fishing open holes we found.  Pete started getting a few perch and he kept a couple that he found acceptable size.  He moved holes and an eagle came and stole the biggest one.  I couldn't hook a perch for some reason.  I wasn't detecting any bites.

As the sun started going down I took notice of the beautiful sky.  I went out and drilled some holes over 40' of water.  I marked some suspended fish, but once again couldn't feel if they were biting.  They just weren't aggressive and didn't stay long.  Pete couldn't get the suspended fish either.  The the guy with the 4 wheeler left and Pete went over in that area and marked a ton of fish.  Couldn't get them either.  The batteries on my GPS had quit and I forgot that I had the battery back up in my coat, duh!
I was cold and it was pretty dark so we left.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sullivan With Pete

10.75" VMC Fly w/Jamei (purple)
4:30-6:30PM Sullivan Lake
Conditions: 53℉, Partly Cloudy, East Wind, 25' of water

We finally got out on Sullivan.  The access wasn't in that bad of shape. I wasn't really sure where we were going to fish.  A lady was waiting outside her wheelhouse for her husband to show up with the truck to move it away.  We stopped and she told us they had gotten some sunfish and perch, so we stopped right there.  Basically in the area where I've caught sunfish and tullibee in the past.  I drilled some holes to the West and Pete went to holes that had already been drilled.  I caught a 6" gill first.  Then I got the crappie.  Which Pete wanted me to keep, so I threw it on the ice.  I caught another couple of gills and Pete caught a spottail shiner.  That gave him walleye on the brain.  I gave him my bobber rod, thinking that is what he would use.  His thinking was to get rid of the bobber and tie on a spoon.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize that was what he was doing until it was to late.  I, of coarse, had my jigging rod sitting in the bag I took the bobber rod from.  I was pretty frustrated by that development.  I went back to fishing after locating my bobber rig in the truck.  I caught a couple of nicer sunfish.  Fortunately Pete was a ways away and didn't see me catch them, so I threw them back.
8" VMC Fly w/Jamei and spike

9" VMC Fly

Me looking to see if Pete's saw me with the bull
After that I had a few more bites that I missed and Pete had the shiner stolen.  We had a flock of swans fly over when it was getting fairly dark.  Our Vex's went blank so we packed up and left.  Good thing, because I was getting hungry and I had that fish to clean and Pete had my crappies from last week to cook.
They were delicious
1 Crappie
7 Sunnies
1 Spottail Shiner-Pete

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lots of Fish on Aqua-VU

Not the greatest picture and the only one I took of the Aqua-Vu.
 The sunny at bottom middle had a nasty gash on the top of it's back
3:45-7:15PM Rock Lake My Spot mostly the waypoint holes
Conditions: 51-40℉, Cloudy, Very light to no wind SW

Pete wanted me to meet him at Garrison to fish after Bucks for Ducks, but I wasn't having any of that.  Good choice for me, as it was a total cluster for people trying to get off, not to mention all the standing water.

I ended up getting out later than I wanted too.  There were several trucks on the ice and the ice at the access seemed solid, so I drove on.  Obviously no problems.  I didn't use the Ion.  I was pretty much immediately marking fish in the waypoint holes.  I put the camera down and it was a mixed school or crappies and sunnies; I was really on top of them.  I got a few crappies on the Demon with the minnow and on the Fly with Jamei.
9.75" Demon w/Minnow
 Mostly the fish just milled around.  I did get a few sunnies and 1 perch.  I had 1 pike come through.  It disappeared by the time I put a spoon down. The fish pretty much split by 5:30PM.  I did pick off a few more.  Once it got dark it got tough.
5" VMC Fly

6" VMC Fly
I saw and heard some swans as they flew over tonight.

24 Crappie
13 Sunfish
1 Pike
1 Perch

Friday, February 17, 2017

Smashin' Biggen's

19.75" VMC Fly w/Maki Jamei (purple)
4:00-7:30PM Rock Lake My Spot
Conditions: 56-40℉, Mostly Sunny, Light SW wind,  16' mostly the waypoint holes.

I drilled a total of 4 sets of holes with the one's at the waypoint being triples, instead of my usual double, so I could put the new Aqua-Vu Micro 5c down.  When I went to use the MoPod the batteries were dead, so I had to position the camera manually.  Today there was better water clarity than the first time I tried it;  On that day it was basically unusable visibility was so poor.  I had a few sunfish and perch come in at first then nothing.  I stopped looking at the camera for a minute as I straightened out some things in the Fish Trap.  Next time I looked at the camera there was a fish looking right at the camera.  It was far enough away I couldn't tell if it was a pike or a bass.  It then swam right up to the VMC Fly as I was jigging it.  It sucked it in and spit it before I could react.  I kept jigging it and it sucked it in again.  The battle was on.  I pulled out the ducer and got the camera pulled up as well.  It did get tangled in the minnow line, but I was able to land it without a problem.  She put up a great fight.
19.75" VMC Fly
I was like dang, this fish is a really good one, almost 20 inches.  Unfortunately I didn't think to take a picture of it in my measuring cradle.  I released her down a different set of holes.  I would say it went a bit shy of 4lbs.  

I went back got the lines untangled and put on a new minnow and got the camera back down the hole.  I put the Rippin' Rap down the hole for doing the camera centering.  I had it almost right on, just needed to make one little adjustment.  When I got that done, low and behold there was another good bass staring down the Rippin' Rap.  Sure enough it could't resist and took a bite. I had it hooked for about 5 seconds then it got off.  

I'm not sure if it was the same fish or not, but almost immediately after it got off a fish came through and took my minnow.  I  set the hook and the battle was on.  I thought to switch off my anti-reverse switch so I could back reel my baitcaster.  There was not going to be a repeat performance of me breaking a fish off like a couple of weeks ago.

17.75" Glow Demon w/minnow
This fish was much more chunky and I thought to get the picture in the measuring trough.

I went back to fishing.  The visibility started getting more difficult due to little things in the water, not because of lack of light.  I missed the first crappie that came through and I started catching some sunfish and perch.  Mostly I just played with sunnies because they weren't very big one's.  I did get this 7", which was my biggest for the night.
7" VMC Fly w/Jamei & spike
I finally landed my first crappie for the night. Didn't think to take a picture of it.  When it bit I thought it was a sunfish I was looking at on the camera.  Not long after that I gave up on the camera because the visibilty was so bad.
    I caught this one potato chip.  I started moving around to my other holes and picking up crappies on the Fly and the Demon.  I finally thought to take a picture of a crappie.
9.25" Demon w/minnow
I decided I was on my last minnow at 7PM.  I caught a couple crappies on the Fly before a crappie came and took the minnow; I landed that fish.  I got a couple more crappies on the Fly and then I packed up.  I think I got fish in each set of holes.  It was a bit sloppy on the ice, but not to bad.  All in all a good night on the lake.

13 Crappies
19 Sunfish
8 Perch
2 Bass

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

It Wasn't AWWWN But I Had Fun Anyway

16" VMC Fly Jig w/Maki Jamei (purple) & spike
I had a close call on the way to the lake this morning with some deer.  I was really lucky to the first one crossed so far in front of the others so I slowed way down quickly.  I had to come to a complete stop to avoid hitting the second one.  There were several other deer in the ditch looking at me.  Whew!

7:15AM-1:30PM Rock Lake mostly at my spot.
Conditions: 31-28℉, Mostly Sunny, Windy to Very Windy NW, waypoint holes to 11'
When I first got out of the truck

I fished in the morning because of the forecast for high winds in the afternoon and evening.  The plan was to fish with my old Aqua-Vu so I drilled out the waypoint holes first thing.  I sent the transducer down the hole and immediately was marking fish.  I sent down a minnow on the Glow Demon and was bit immediately.  I maybe got a little anxious with the hook set and lost the fish and minnow half way up.  I quickly put on another minnow and immediately got bit again.  I landed a 9.5" crappie and thought to myself.  It's AWWWWWWWWWWN.  By the time I got the next minnow down the crappies had moved on.  That was my only crappie for the morning.  I saw one other come through on the camera.
7" Tubby Jig w/Jamei and wax
 I started getting some sunfish and also had spottail shiners nibbling at me.  The sunfish started only pecking and staring at my bait and a few perch showed up as well.  I had a pike come in a couple of different times, but it didn't show any interest in hitting my baits.

I went and drilled holes on the four hole house spot and in 11' of water.  There was nothing but perch in the four hole spot, so I moved on to the shallow spot.  I was seeing perch and had a small pike come through once again showing no interest in hitting my baits.  The wind started cranking up and I was just about to give up when a bass appeared out of nowhere (it came in from behind the camera) and came in and hit the Fly.  I set the hook and she immediately started peeling line (2lb test Gamma).  I went to pull the transducer out of the hole and the Fish Trap started moving so I had to sit down immediately.  It was a real challenge getting the transducer out of the water.  I thought the bass was possibly hung on the Aqua-Vu cable because something didn't feel right, so I pulled that up as well.  The bass finally came up the hole.
I stayed and fished for another hour hoping another bass might come through, but all I saw was perch.

I then decided to tow the Fish Trap just to the South of the access.  I fished there in 11' to 6' of water and didn't see any activity on the Vex.

I brought the Fish Trap back to the truck to pack up.  It was pretty warm out so I wrote in my notebook when I quit fishing  and went to put my jacket in the truck and pulled the Ipod out of my pocket so I could continue to listen to it while I broke things down.  I decided to reposition one of my pole clips, then got everything in the car.  I went to put the Ipod back in my jackets inner pocked and my cell phone wasn't there.  What?  Crap!

I went and looked at the holes I had been fishing, nothing.  I went back to the truck and my notebook wasn't in the pocket either.  I could have sworn I put it back in the pocket.  I looked around outside and didn't see anything.  I was really puzzled.  I was in a semi-protected area and it wasn't really windy enough there for my notebook to get blown away.  I got in the truck to go and drive back to where I started to look for the phone.  I grabbed to inspect my jacket one more time.  That is when I realized there are interior pockets on both sides of the Ice Armor Jacket, not just one like the Arctic Armor jacket.  The phone and notebook were right where I left them. Doh!

1 Bass
2 Crappie
2 Pike
5 Spottail Shiners
12 Sunfish
14 Perch

Monday, February 13, 2017

Same ole Same Ole

10.5" Glow Demon w/Minnow
4:15-9:45PM Rock Lake My Spot
Conditions: 40-31℉, Partly Cloudy, Light SW Wind
7" Fly Jig w/Jamei and spike
I started out in the waypoint holes using my old Aqua-Vu again.  First fish was a crappie before I had the camera down.  First thing I saw on the camera was a pretty good sized pike.  It was interested in the camera not my presentations.  It stayed for about 5 minutes before moving on.  Eventually some sunnies and crappies showed up.  The fish didn't want anything to do with the minnow and sunfish weren't real big on taking in the Fly so I could get a hookset.  The crappies that came through were very aggressive on the Fly for the most part, except for a really big one that nipped at it once and then left.  I'm guessing it was a 13" fish at least.  I did get one decent bluegill.
8.5" VMC Fly

Got a couple of perch
   I started hole hopping after it got to dark to see with the camera.  I picked up maybe 1 more sunfish.  The rest of the night was spent on crappies to 10.5" and down to 6".
6" VMC Fly
10.25" Glow Demon w/minnow

I'd pick up 2 maybe 3 fish then I'd have to move on.  It was warm enough I never used the heater.  I stayed out until 9:45PM

30 Crappies
18 Sunfish
4 Perch
1 Pike

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Rock Again

8" VMC Fly w/Jamei
4:00-9:30PM Rock Lake My Spot
Conditions:  33-27℉, Sunny, Windy West turning calm after dark, Moon was up after 7PM
10" VMC Fly w/Maki Jamei
I picked up some more minnows and Bear Trax and forgot the maggies and wax worms, so I bought some waxies as well.  I started out by setting up the old camera at the waypoint holes.  All I saw at first were a few perch  and I was almost ready to give up when a school of crappies and sunnies showed up.  I had a sunfish hit the Rippin' Rap but not hook up.  First fish was a 10.5" crappie on the Demon.  I caught quite a few sunfish do to being able to see them on the camera and a few crappie on the Fly and the Tubby Jig.  I took my eye off the camera for just a moment and I had what I assume was a pike hit the Fly and then the Demon; I didn't lose either, but the fish came off.
8" VMC Fly
Once it was almost to dark to see from the camera a couple nice bluegill came through.  Once I pulled the camera out I got a couple more crappies then I went out hole jumping.  It got really slow.  I would get a bite about every 15 minutes or so. I stayed later tonight with the nearly full moon. It was cooler today than forecast, supposed to get to 40℉ tomorrow.
Smallest Crappie of the night
24 Crappies
26 Sunfish