Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hickory Grove- Dec. 28th

With reports of ice up to 5 inches thick, I just had to get outdoors and try some of my old stomping grounds at Hickory Grove.  Packed real light for day, as I only had about 2.5 hours to fish.  With the Vexilar 22hd, rod case, power auger and GPS in hand, I quickly found my first "can't miss" spot on the lake.  Well, miss was more like it.  Not a fish was to be seen.  Off to spot #2.  Another zero.  Spot #3 paid off though.

Spot #3 was a brushpile in about 17 feet of water, deeper than the previous two.  That may have been a piece of the puzzle, and it was located on steep drop-off as well.  Although I was after bluegills and crappies, only bass were coming through the hole, and they were light biters to say the least.  Numerous fish were being marked on the Vexilar, so I decided to give them a little something different.  I changed my jig color from black and red to pink and white. 
A nice gill, just shy of the 9 inch mark.
First drop down the same hole, BOOM, a nice hit and round and round my line went, I just knew it was a bluegill.  Sure was, and a nice one too.  Things continued in similar fashion, catching some gills and bass.  Then the Vexilar went blank for awhile.  I decide to try another brushpile, just 20 yards away. 

A quick move, and another dozen holes or so and the action was on once again.  There was about a 30 minute time period when there was always a fish moving into the view of this brushpile.  Fun, to say the least.  I ended the day there with totals for the day at; about a dozen bass, 20 bluegills and two of the famous Green Sunfish.  Many of those fish came on plastic baits, the rest on live bait spikes.  A great little trip, with a lot of fish coming to the ice, just what I needed.

First time on the ice

December 24th was the first day on the ice for me.  I made it to two different public lakes with friend Chad.  We had a plan to start out and just check the ice to see if it was going to be a fishing day...or a day wishing we were fishing. 
My first "ice fish" of the year, a smaller bass.
The cooler nights and no wind, made perfect ice.  We stopped at a small pond in Marshalltown first, and found about 4 inches of ice...PERFECT and clear.  We popped a few holes and started catching a few fish. 

A nice crappie from the "town pond".
My first one on the ice was a bass, after that a bluegill, and then a crappie.  Chad picked up his first fish of the year too, a bass.  After I caught the bluegill, making a grand slam for the lake (those are the only 3 species in the lake) I suggested we pack up and look at another lake.

We quickly moved south of Marshalltown to another public lake. 
We started out in the deepest basin of the lake, but nothing, not a light on the Vexilars.  We continued to drill holes (finding 3-5 inches of ice each time) until we made our way to some structure.  This was the key, as our time expired we kind of found the sweet spot for the day.  A channel that bent towards some structure.    For the day we caught about 10 fish at this pond.  Next time we will continue to look around this lake and catch more gills. 

Christmas came a day I have been itching to get on the ice, and WALK ON SOME WATER!