Monday, February 1, 2016

Weekend Fun

This past weekend was a break of some sorts for me during the busy ice fishing season.  A break during winter just means a chance to go fishing without all the seriousness of a bigger tournament or guide trip.  This past weekend started with the annual ISU Fishing Club sponsored tournament at Hickory Grove Lake.  I have fished this lake ever since moving to Central Iowa and I had so many great days on the ice there.  Saturday was no different as I partnered up with Mark Anderson once again to see how we could match up.  I have fished a few hours this winter at Hickory Grove and knew we would be able to catch some bluegills.  We set out to hit deep brushpiles and channel breaks in the first few hours and then try different areas throughout the lake. This task is pretty easy when one person is drilling the holes and your teammate is checking with the Vexilar FLX-28.  It was a good plan, but looking back we probably never should have left the first area we fished, but learning is part of the tournament experience.  We ended up in 5th place out of 17 teams, which wasn't what we were hoping for, but we were right in the mix and only 0.6 pounds out of 2nd place.  We caught bluegill after bluegill but just couldn't find the crappies which eventually won the tournament, as the winners had all crappies in their bag.  Something to work on in the future at Hickory Grove now that the crappie population has made a good comeback...I must locate them and get back to focusing on that species in this lake.  One pointer I can give any competitor that fished that day was a finesse technique that was responsible for most of the fish we weighed in.  Very small jigs and plastics or small live bait was the only way to keep getting bites as the day went on.  Something to remember for those bright days on the ice when the pressure is high.

 Sunday brought another beautiful day in Central Iowa, so it was time for my kids to hit the ice and try to help them catch some fish.  It didn't take us long at a local pond to locate the gills and crappies.  The kids just love using the Vexilars to see their jig and fish come up to it.  They are so simple that they caught on in minutes.  It was a fantastic day catching fish and playing on the ice.  They won't soon forget their time on the ice and catching fish.

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