Monday, December 12, 2022

2022/23 First ICE

 It has finally arrived, the ice fishing season has started here in Northern Iowa!  As many of you know I love fishing 12 months of the year, but each and every year there is something special about that first time walking on the ice.  This occurred December 10th in Northern Iowa for my friends and I.  It really is like Christmas morning pulling up to the lake with anticipation.  All four of use were anxious and ready to get the year started.  After a huge cold front in late November, followed by a warming trend, it seemed like the day would never come. 

The four of us took to the ice after going over some safety items.  Even though there were a few people on the lake, David led the way with a spud bar.  I brought up the rear with a rope and flotation device in my sled.  The ice was good everywhere we went that day, however the first time out should be a wake up call to anyone.  No ice is SAFE ICE, proceed with caution... always!  We quickly found our first spot, which was a channel break.  We drilled out the section and the Vexilars went to work finding the active fish.  We found fish near the break and also on the flat.  It was a fast paced first couple of hours with crappies and bluegills cooperating.  Jigs and spoons were used evenly throughout the group, and I am not sure one was preferred over the other on this particular day.  I do know that spoons were less likely to get bit by smaller gills, which is typically the case.  A few bass came to the ice as well as one large catfish, that was quite a battle for Mike, but he played it out perfectly!

The first trip is always one to test out equipment and make sure things are working properly for the, hopefully long season ahead.  I was able to put to test the new Dead Meat Midnight Rod by Clam.  I was using the 36in model made of fiberglass.  This model is just like the original Dead Meat Rods but a different color rod and tip coloration too.  It performed like advertised, and when paired with a Quantum SmokeS3 reel, the day was flawless.  

Testing out new equipment, spending time with some friends, and catching some panfish for a fish fry...needless to say it was an awesome day on the ice!  Thanks for joining me Dan, David and Mike.

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