Sunday, December 20, 2020

First time on the ICE

It wouldn't be 2020 without another "first".  Today marked the first time on the ice for me in Iowa, most likely the latest ever for me...2020 just keeps stinging!  Anyway, with several small ponds and lakes above the Highway 20 line I had to give it a go.  After several plans were made and scratched I decided to head west and try a small lake.  I had heard the ice was a solid 4 inches and people had been fishing on it all week.  Now it was my turn!

I studied the lake using the Navionics app on my phone and the DNR website.  I had never been to or seen this lake before, only knowing that the bluegill and crappie population were solid.  It was like Christmas Eve all over again as a kid...I couldn't sleep.  I really enjoy trying new lakes and areas to fish, that curiosity of where they are living still puts me in a trance to this day.  

I made the most of this trip, I arrived in the parking lot just before the clock turned 7am.  I was a bit surprised to see 7 vehicles already parked there as I got my ice gear on.  With a small sled packed with my day gear I was once again "walking on water".  I knew where I wanted to start, but instincts took over and I was once again staring at the map on the phone as I paced out to what I thought would be a good spot to start.  I got there rather quickly, the lake is under 100 acres and soon began to drill a grid of about a dozen holes.  I went around with the Vexilar FLX30 and I noticed some marks flying high off the bottom, that's always a good sign!  I quickly grabbed my rod with a spoon on it and started dropping it down the holes.  I rotated around the grid for next two hours picking up bluegills and crappies at a regular pace.  The gills and crappies were very healthy and I decided to keep 10 of them for a meal and put the rest back.  Things slowed down a bit so I grabbed the auger and started to expand my area.  I picked up a few fish here and there, but as the morning disappeared the fish seemed to do the same.  After drilling another 50 or so holes around my starting grid, I ended up back in the same general area as I began.  

While back at the original grid for the second time I was able to tangle with two very large bass.  I was fortunate both times to be holding my spoon rod which I had teamed up with a Quantum Throttle reel.  This reel is equipped with 9 ball bearings and most importantly a very smooth drag.  That drag got a workout with the bigger of the two bass.  It took several runs and took a couple of minutes to bring the bass through the hole using 2# test line.  I got a measurement of the fish, it is my biggest through the ice for sure!  A beautiful fish that someone else will hopefully have the chance of catching someday.

Oddly enough, around noon the bite seemed to pick up once again.  Typically this is the slow part of the day, so my energy level increased and it was hard to pack up!  All in all it was a great first time out.  The plan and method of searching out fish and catching them worked perfectly today, I can only hope the next outings will be as fun and easy!


1 comment:

  1. Nice! Still waiting for good ice in the Southern half of the state.