Went out this morning with Dan Small from Outdoor Wisconsin. Fishing for Crappie on Crystal Lake in Sheboygan County. Expectations were high, I had been on fish for the last 3 weeks, 8-9" bluegills, 10-13" crappies even the occasional largemouth bass would appear on the end on the line.
I had all the lines rigged, ready for us to fill the day with a bounty of fish, the top of the line soft plastic tails, Little Atom Wedgees, and Optic Jigs set to tantalize.
Now the thought crossed my mind that because we were doing TV that it would be a bad day of fishing, but everyone around didn't think so, they had faith that I could catch fish, in fact most had more faith then me in that regard. Come to think of it, how do they know? Most of them don't even fish!
We ventured out, a beautiful morning, temps in the upper teens, a brisk north east wind, the kind of day your glad you took off work to go ice fishing. There was the ever nagging fact though, a snow storm had just hit us last night, dumping a couple of inches of snow, the barometer was doing all kinds of crazy stuff, and that brisk north east wind? Yeah, north east, not great for fishing, winter or summer.
As the drilling of holes commences I notice something out of place in my sled, a spot void of a crucial tool, a true cause for concern, I forgot the ice scoop at home. Oh boy. Time to find a make shift ice scoop cause our hands would not last long dipping into the wintry water.
Problem solved, the cap to the ice auger blades, that should do the trick. Time to fish.
Now I don't care how pessimistic one may be, the first time you drop your bait down the hole while ice fishing your anticipating the mother of all fish to be the first one enticed by your delectable treat.
I was no different, though after the initial drop, I noticed we may have to work a bit harder then in days past to find fish, drill a few more holes, and maybe even change our presentation.
After getting all the TV introduction out of the way, I wondered from hole to hole looking, searching, scouring the ice for the fish that I had caught only days before. Knowing full well that they were still in the lake, and there is even a good chance they were hungry.
Wow, these fish are....Finally! Fish On!!! You know that feeling you get, your heart racing, your judging the size of the fish long before you see it? Your never reasonable about it, its one of two things, "Ahh, this one is small." Or "Ooo, this is a good fish!" Never an in between, you know something like "Yeah this one feels like the other ten 8" crappies felt like." Well needless to say, it was small, 4" in fact. Not the fish I had grown accustomed to finding in "my spot."
Oh well, it will have to do, this is TV time so any fish is a good fish.
Nearly 3 hours went by, hopping from hole to hole looking for anything bigger then a Fish-O-Fillet sandwich, something I could be proud of, something that will lift the spirit of everyone involved.....
Such was not the case this day, when all said and done 4 small fish, one "ok" TV segment, 2 very cold TV crew members, a straight forward TV host, and a very disappointed and humbled me.
I thought I could do it, I thought I knew how to catch those fish, they stood no chance against me. I guess that is why they call it fishing, it may be boring if all you did was catch, but I will say this, it would have made for a much more exciting TV segment.