Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A day on the ice


It’s easy to say ice fishing equipment has changed over the years. Mostly for the better. Due to these changes there are a large number of anglers who prefer hard water fishing to open water. It’s nice to be able to fish deep water without the hassle of hauling a boat out and for some, if you have no boat, then hitting the deeper water can be truly great!

The best thing about the new advances of ice fishing equipment have allowed the angler to have the upper hand in many ways. However, having a technique is just as important today as it was years ago. The fish still go throw their stages of biting aggressively to being extremely picky. When the latter happens, no amount of fancy equipment seems to help.

Jigs have changed too for the better. They are one of the most important pieces of equipment an angler can have. Using the newest tiny heavy jigs, designed to get into deep water quickly to a waiting school of panfish is one of the greatest inventions! Having a variety of colors and sizes are also important.  It’s also important to have a couple different rods rigged up and ready for action. Gone are the days of using just a single rod. There are several different brands of rods on the market today that can fit anyone’s budget.

I love crappies and bluegills. Crappie are my absolute favorite and am always willing to go the extra mile to get the big slabs. Like many ice anglers, I get super excited when the lakes finally freeze over enough to hold people and their gear.
The early ice always is an exciting time to fish. The fish are aggressive, they will eat just about anything and for the most part, they will swim longer distances for food. Since the bite is hot, the angler can still be aggressive with jigging.

One a recent day trip to one of my favorite lakes, the bite was real slow. I literally fished for five hours and caught only three fish. It seemed no matter what color I used or how aggressive I jigged, it just didn’t matter. The fish would not cooperate.

I ended the day by using one of my favorite Lindy jigs in the Viking color; it worked on the two large 9 inch bluegills and one 13 inch crappie I caught. Other than that, noting was interested. It happens, that’s why it’s called fishing and not “catching.”

While it’s always fun doing the “catching” it’s not how things always go. However, no matter what, it was a good day on the ice, like most are and I was able to use my electronics to watch fish follow my jig, but not bite. Frustrating yes, but still worth the time spent on the hard water.

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