Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve Ice Fishing

As a tournament ice angler, you get very busy, in a very short period of time. Its obvious you can't ice fish without ice, so when it happens its game on. It does not leave much time to stop and smell the ice crystals if you know what I mean.

In 2012 I will be traveling to 6 wonderful cities across the ice belt, and also across the world to Kazakhstan for the World Ice fishing Championships. From January 8th-March 4th I have one weekend home, not fishing in a tournament. It does not leave a lot of time to get out and fun fish, so I had to do it early
This past Christmas eve day I gave myself that chance to fun fish with a couple of special guests. My Father and my Brother accompanied me on the ice Saturday. It was the first time my brother, August, had been ice fishing in what we could think of was 15 years. My Dad and I seem to get out once a year together. None of  us live very close to each other, my Dad loves to fish, but keeps himself extremely busy, and my brother really isn't much of a fishermen.

Saturday morning was a perfect morning for ice fishing in so many ways. The pressure was steady, the solar/lunar calendar pegged it as the best day of the month to fish, and when we arrived on the lake we found no one had drilled a hole yet! Nothing! 4" of virgin ice with just a light snow cover on top.

We brought the hand auger out, be it a very fast / expensive hand auger and I started to drill holes as I do (20-30 at a time). When I was finished drilling I gave August an instructional on how the flasher worked so he could see fish, we grabbed a bucket for him and placed him in 9 feet of water with standing weed 3 feet high. The fish were there, but it took August a bit to get the hang of jigging, then setting the hook. He moved to a couple different holes and I came over once again to help him out. I talked him through the process and BAM! He hooks up with his first fish! That was a moment and a smile I will never forget! After that, he had it down, moving from hole to hole, catching fish after fish.

August caught the biggest fish of the day, a 11" Largemouth Bass and also added to the catch we brought home of a few bluegills and a perch. My Dad did well for himself too, I don't have to coach him at all, I just rig his rod the night before and send him off, no matter what, he catches fish.

I had a great day too, not only sharing the joy of August catching fish, and fishing with my family, but I did well fishing too.

The fish (mostly Bluegill) wanted all meat, tried plastics but there didn't seem to react. Orange HT tungsten Marmooksajigs tipped with 2 red spikes worked well for my Dad and August. I was using my Jonttu Palm Rods with a Russian Mormyshka tungsten jig tipped with 2 red spikes.

Good Luck fishing!!- Jeff

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