Sunday, March 28, 2021

COLD Start to the Year

 The weather in Iowa just warm up, but looking into the long forecast that should change by the next blog update.  Today was only the second time out on Wapsi this year, but the largemouth didn't disappoint.  With the water temperature at 48-degrees, I knew it would be another "pitchin" day.  The water clarity on this body of water is really clear right now, so I went with a custom Wig's Jig in green pumpkin with a green pumpkin jig chunk on it.  I rigged the jig chunk in a compact way to decrease the profile of the bait in hopes of enticing more bass to bite.  Pitching and making long casts to the shoreline, laydown trees, and points proved to be what the bass wanted.  A perfect combo for this is the Quantum Special Issue 7'6in Med/Hvy Rod paired with a Quantum Tour High Speed Reel.  The bass remain lethargic in this part of the river, not much of a bite to detect, but like march bass fishing every bass I caught was a solid keeper.  Get out there and enjoy it if you can, you never know if that "big one" will be the next bite.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

The 1st Time on the Open Water

13 days is a long time...without fishing!  In the whole scheme of things not really, but I am always a bit sad when the ice gear is put away for the year.  However it didn't take long before I was able to get the boat out and enjoy some fishing with the long rods.  Like the past several years, the Wapsi River was quick to thaw and made it simple and easy to enjoy an afternoon casting for bass.  Typical for early season bass, the bites were not numerous but they were quality fish.  It felt good to make long casts with the Quantum Rods and Reels, and to pitch a jig up against a log, and that first produced!  A few bass were had on this first time out, all on slower baits including Wig's Jigs and Hot Rod Baits tubes.   Water temperature was hanging between 44-47 degrees, making for some very light bites.  A great first outing, everything worked as it should and some nice healthy bass hooked and released. 

Monday, March 8, 2021

The Last time for 2021?


Brushy Creek was a lake I have not visited this year yet, so it was time, as our time for ice fishing was winding down.  Brushy Creek is one of the deepest lakes in the state, and is also full of wood, standing timber, and brushpiles.  It is a fish factory!  

Warmer weather has hit Iowa this past week and the shorelines are starting to disappear.  The first 4 areas that we tried to access the lake were not going to allow us.  The shore had melted away and we couldn't get to the safer ice out in the middle.  Our fifth and final try we found a good access point that allowed us a place to walk right out onto the lake.  With all the safety gear in tote, three of us walked to our first destination.  As we walked I had my eyes on the Navionics GPS app on my phone.  I noticed a spot too good to walk over, so we stopped and gave it a try.  A wooded area that was just a little ways from a deep creek channel.  After a quick search with the Vexilars, we had found numerous holes will fish movement.  We started pulling up gills and crappies pretty regularly for the first couple of hours.  I even got tot angle with the large bass in the picture, it measured 17.5 inches.  It was great fighting that fish on a 36-inch rod with the Quantum Throttle reel.  I fully believe that without a reel that had such a smooth drag, I would never have seen that bass, let alone catch it.  That was the highlight of the afternoon/evening as we tried a lot of different areas but never found a huge school of fish.   Gills, crappies, bass and couple of perch made their way topside to the ice, and we kept about a dozen panfish for a meal.  

Will this be the last time...I sure hope not, but as I glance at the forecast for tomorrow, the high is set for 65 degrees and the low for the day is 49 degrees.  Be safe out there friends as the ice slowly melts away. 

Monday, March 1, 2021

SW Iowa Ice Fishing

 The last weekend of February took me to Southwest Iowa, a place where I have never iced fished before.  3-Mile lake was the destination for a weekend getaway.  I have fished on the boat for bass on numerous occasions here, but have never drilled a hole.  I always find it interesting and intriguing at the same time when I visit a lake after being on it in a boat.  Things are so different while ice fishing, and while scouting for fish.  At no other time of the year do I have my nose pinned to contours map than on the ice.  This particular trip was no different.

3-Mile lake is known for its big bluegills during this time of year, as well as the plentiful population of walleyes that seem to swim all over the lake.  These were the main targets for the trip.  With the bite being very good this winter in the area, it was a busy place.  With crowds congregating near the channel cuts, I found myself getting away from them a bit in the larger flats adjacent to the channel.  A large 19-20 foot flat is where our group did most of the damage, just off the 28-foot creek channel.  Stumps and old trees litter this lake, and it seemed the best flurry of bites were in holes that held some of that cover.  With temperatures in the forties and fifties, hole-hopping with a 36-inch Jason Mitchell Dead Meat stick with the Quantum Drive reel was the way to put a lot of fish on the ice.  Bouncing around from hole to hole with the Vexilar FLX30 made it easy to pick out brush from the fish.  I fond myself rotating between a couple different colors of the Reins Palpuntin Tungsten spoon loaded with spikes.  These spoons have caught me so many panfish this year, the slim tungsten design sinks like a rock to get back down to the school, and you won't find another spoon with as sharp of a hook.  Bluegills were roaming the flat most of the day and a few crappies came to visit too.  A half dozen nice, keeper walleyes couldn't resist the spoon either.  

It was an enjoyable trip with a lot of holes cut with a lot of fish caught.