Friday, February 28, 2014

Ice Fishing Question

When going to a lake, what or where do you look to start fishing during the ice season?

Answer at the following link:

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ice Fishing Question

Q: In your fishing reports, I see a variety of fish species that you are catching on the same outing. How are you able to catch a variety of fish on one trip?


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ice Fishing New Hampshire 2/23/14

Conditions: Cloudy, low to mid 40's air temperatures and low winds

Since yesterday was a slop fest in Massachusetts and is only going to get worse today as the temperatures are still warm and more slush and water to form. So we decided to take a road trip to New Hampshire and see if we can try and get away from the slush and visit a lake that we frequent a lot in the warmer months and haven't been there this winter yet. Upon arriving at the lake, first thing we noticed was that the ice top layer was more stable than Massachusetts and also noticed that the snow covered areas were a bit softer than the bare ice areas. For the most part the top ice layer held up for most of the day and was starting to get soft by the time we left. We started setting lines in water depths of 5 feet deep out to around 12 feet deep. We were not even half way done setting lines and we were catching fish and the fun was already starting. Not sure if these fish have seen much for anglers this winter as we could not see any sign that anyone had been out there and that is always a good thing as then the fish are not as aware as they are if they are highly pressured. We typically set our lines roughly 2 feet off of the bottom and that way if there are any weeds down there the minnows are going to be able to stay swimming above those weeds. It is always a lot of fun when you are already getting biting fish before you are even setup yet and the second fish that we had caught was a nice 3 pound largemouth bass. While I am tending lines and sorts my son will work the set lines and when he starts yelling and screaming about the fish he has caught, I know that he has a good one on. This went on for the first few hours of the days and there were numerous pickerel and largemouth bass caught. Once we were able to get all of the lines setup, and things started to calm down, then it was time to start jigging the area and see if we can entice more bass into biting on the rod and reel. Right away we had fish in the jigging holes but those fish were reluctant to hit the bass lures that we had down there. So my son put that rod down and grabbed his panfish jigging rod and started working that. It didn't take long and he was into the jumbo perch which always put up a great fight. There was a period that we caught a number of jumbo's between the two of us as there was a good wave that had come through. As we are jigging our set lines have slowed down a bit but we were getting consistent bites throughout the afternoon. As the perch slowed down, and it was getting into later afternoon, the bull sunfish came in and the fishing turned into fast and furious once again. He typically fishes sunfish in this lake in the warmer months but has never caught the size that we were now catching. I don't think that I had ever seen this sized sunfish in all of the years that I had fished this lake. We really wish the sunfish would have started a lot earlier as these fish fought as hard as the bass did and were a lot of fun to catch. As the sun was getting lower in the sky, they just kept coming in thicker and thicker as you could see them on our flashers as we were fishing. Unfortunately, we still had a drive ahead of us for going home and it was time to start packing it up. He really didn't want to leave and I didn't either but the day had come to an end and was another stellar day on this particular lake. We went thru 3 dozen minnows, caught 4 species of fish and also a nice wind burn on our faces. We will definitely be coming back here before the end of the ice season as this lake never disappoints.

Not sure if we will be doing a road trip next weekend as the weather is going to be turning cold once again and that is going to firm everything up in Massachusetts and set up for another couple weeks of good fishing there.

So tight lines and may you catch that trophy of your lifetime...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ice Fishing Massachusetts 2/22/14

Conditions: Sunny skies, upper 40's air temperatures and moderate winds

All we have been having this week is snow storms that are followed by rain storms and that is doing a number on our local ice conditions. Upon driving past a few lakes, you can see that there is a good amount of slush coming through the snow on top of the ice. But, with the warm weather and the need to fish, we headed out and went to our favorite crappie pond to give it a whirl. When we arrived you were able to get onto the ice, but the shoreline was starting to open a bit. It didn't take long and the slush was greeting us as there were certain areas that the top layer of ice was strong enough to walk on and then other areas you would go right through the top layer. What was setting up was there is a 2-3 inch layer of ice that was followed by a 4-6 inch layer of water that was followed by 6-7 inches of solid ice. The morning wasn't too bad and was bearable but as the day wore on, between the sun shining and wind blowing, you had to wear snowshoes just to stay on top of the slush without sinking down. To keep our feet somewhat dry we had to put plastic bags on our feet into our boots and at least then you didn't feel the cold of the ice water. With these kinds of conditions we were hoping for a repeat of the last time that we were here but the fish had other ideas. The day was fairly tough and only a few fish were caught. The set lines only produced a couple fish and we were able to jig up a few as well but we really had to work for the fish that we caught. By the time that we left the top layer of ice was getting to be junk and it was time to leave before getting to wet.

So for tomorrow we are planning a road trip back to New Hampshire and hopefully the ice conditions are much better up there. So may your lines be tight and you catch those trophy fish that you seek and we will see you next time...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ice Fishing Massachusetts 2/16/14

Conditions: Sunny skies, upper 20's air temperatures and high winds

There has been a lake that we have wanted to go to for quite some time but just have never gotten there until today. Upon arriving, we were the only ones there and didn't take long to find out why. With the winds howling and once you got onto the ice, the slush factor was very evident once again as we are seeing on most of all the lakes we are fishing in Massachusetts. We had our snowshoes and these are a must at this point in time and for the most part keeps you on top of the snow and slush. Having not fished here and there is no lake maps of this lake, picked a lake point to fish and concentrated all of our lines around that area. For the stationary lines they were very quiet for most of the time with a few bites but nothing was landed. For our jigging lines it only took a few moments and we were into perch and a number of them were very good sized and were a lot of fun to catch. We took some time and lowered the camera down towards the bottom and watched as the fish reacted and took our baits and was a lot of fun watching them as they looked at and took our bait. We were using the Northland Tackle Mooska Tungsten jigs again tipped with Euro Larva and watching the Vexilar/Humminbird flashers, the fish were there in numbers. There was another party that had come out to fish and had a four wheeler that they eventually buried into the snow and slush and once they freed that they loaded up and left. The winds really picked up in the later afternoon after Saturdays storm and the bite totally died off and after a while of not marking anything, we decided to pull the plug and head out.

We are definitely hoping that we can get out soon again and with another snowstorm and also rain in the forecast, it is going to be quite messy on the ice. You need to get out there and fish as the ice season here in New England can and will come to an abrupt end before you know it, tight lines and may you catch that fish of a lifetime...


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ice Fishing Massachusetts 2/15/14

Conditions: Partly cloudy to cloudy, low 30 degree air temperatures and light winds

With the weather that we have been having here in New England, it is getting harder for getting around the lakes with all of the snow and slush under the snow. Our ice season was shaping up very nicely with solid black ice and was moving along great. But in the last few weeks, with all of the snow accumulation, if there isn't over a foot of ice on a lake, then we have slush underneath the snow and making travel by foot very hard. We are using snowshoes to get to our spots now but once we reach the fishing area, we are always hoping that there is little slush. So I wanted to get out this morning as another snow storm is coming later in the afternoon. We have been going to many lakes that we have either never been to, or haven't been to in a long time. So I picked another local lake and wanted to target the crappies that are in there. Many people will fish the shallower waters looking for pickerel and bass, so I had the main deep part of the lake to myself. I started fishing in 24 feet of water and that pretty much was the depth of the day out there. It only took a couple of holes to find the crappies and they were ready to bite. I was fishing the Northland Tackle Mooska Tungsten 1/57 ounce jig and tipped it with Euro Larva for added scent. Most of the holes had fish in them and it seemed that the first drop was the enticing trick to getting the aggressive ones to bite. There were many holes that had fish in them but they were only sniffers and would not commit to taking the bait. So I continually drilled hole after hole looking for the active biters and it is a lot of work, but if you want to constantly keep catching fish, this is what you have to do. Sitting and waiting gets old very quickly and our philosophy is to keep moving and looking for the actively biting fish, we are not ones to wait for them to come to us. Many days drilling 60 holes is nothing but fishing is like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it. Was very surprised a number of times that the sunfish were suspended to high off of the ground as they generally are not at the heights that the crappies are at. There were many crappies caught during my time out there, nothing huge, but a consistent 8-10 inch fish. I only had so much time to fish so there was a lot of water that I never got to touch so that may be on the agenda the next time we go out there.

Don't let all of this snow put you down for getting out there fishing, it is going to be some work but the fish are there and waiting for you, may your lines be tight...



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ice Fishing Massachusetts 2/9/14

Conditions: Partly cloudy skies, upper 20's air temperature and light winds.

After the previous day of not finding the crappies that we were looking for, we decided to head to a pond that we frequent that has some very nice crappie in as well. Of course this pond has a good amount of snow on also and made it tough getting around on the ice. Another issue that we had to deal with was there was a fair amount of slush under the snow and some areas you were standing in water while fishing. We ran our lines in water depths from 5-6 feet of water out into 12 feet of water and that allowed us to cover a wide variety of water depths. Once those allotted lines were set, we moved out into 18 feet of water as the crappie generally will suspend around twelve feet deep. One nice thing about the crappie in this pond is that when there are fish on the flashers and they are at 12 feet down, you already know that those are the crappie swimming through. We drilled holes all over the ice and were only able to locate and catch one lone crappie but it was a nice fish at 12 inches long. It was caught on a Northland Tackle Mooska Tungsten jig that was tipped with a couple of Euro Larva for added bait attractant. While jigging we had another very exciting moment as we had a good fish go through and strike and the battle was on. We were hoping that it was one of the giant crappie that live in the lake but after an exhausting battle, we finally seen that it was a big largemouth bass. As I was bringing it to the hole, instead of its nose coming up the hole, the fish went sideways underneath the hole and at that point the line snapped and the fish was gone. That fish really gave a great battle and it is always nice to get your hands on them, but at least we were able to see it and it was definitely very nice. We were able to jig up some sunfish and perch as well but the jig bite just wasn't going to be happening on this trip. But, the other lines were very lively for the day as there were a number of largemouth and pickerel caught and it always made for an exciting battle when they would bite. All in all for the day we probably caught 20-30 fish between the 5 species that we caught that day. As we were packing up as the sun was setting, one of the lines that never let us know there was a fish there, had our biggest largemouth of the day and was a solid 3.5-4 pound fish. For the conditions of snow and slush, we had a great time out there and should be able to get onto this pond again before the ice starts its thawing process.

The next trip will probably find us in New Hampshire again at a lake that we frequent quite often but haven't been to it yet this year.

So till next time, may your lines be tight and handle those fish with care and release what you don't need so that others can enjoy that experience as well...


Monday, February 10, 2014

Ice Fishing Massachusetts 2/8/14

This weekend definitely is not going to be warm like it has been for the last few weekends and I picked a lake that the wind always blows and is cold in the winter. Today's conditions were upper teens for temperatures, clear sunny skies and stiff winds. The last snow storm has left around 12 inches of snow on area lakes and ponds and this is making it difficult for getting to your fishing locations. The lake that I was on today has great bass, smallmouth and largemouth, in it and when you locate them, they are always of a very nice size. But for some reason they are difficult to locate in the winter months so typically don't fish for them as the crappies in this lake are of a large size and that was the target for today. These fish are another variety that you really have to search for as well but once you locate them, the fish that you catch are of large size and well worth the efforts in locating and catching them. Typically here I generally fish the middle of the lake but with all of the snow cover, it was too much work getting out there so stayed in an area that has good 30 feet of water and started my search. After the first few holes I could see that I was going to have to work at it once again as the crappies were not going to come easy. One good thing there was fish in almost every hole but they were perch and when you would catch one, they definitely put up a good fight. The perch that I was catching were very nice and big and I was catching them on the Salmo Chubby Darter and would work the lure a couple of feet off of the ground. After a while I started tipping the hooks with some grubs and one fish that I caught was one of the biggest sunfish that I have caught here in New England at nearly 12 inches long. I thought for sure that it was a crappie when I was fighting it but was pleasantly surprised to see such a big sunfish. At one point I did have some crappie come through the hole as they were at around 17 feet of water and when they are that high of the bottom that is the only fish that swims so far up. I was able to get the fish to look at the lure but as hard I as tried to entice them into biting, it just wasn't happening. All in all it was a good day of fishing but when is there a bad day when you are fishing. May try and get out there once again when the snow gets knocked down a bit because after you catch one of those crappies, you really want to do it again.

So until the next report from the ice, may your lines be tight...


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Ice Fishing New Hampshire 2/2/14

Time for another road trip and we headed for New Hampshire bright and early with a destination for a lake that we have not seen or fished before. It is always fun fishing and exploring new bodies of water and we have a lot of fun going out there and trying to figure out what and where the fish are and what they are looking for to eat. So today was no different and we had a variety of weather that had plagued us as well with cloudy skies, temperatures were in the 30's, no wind at all and later in the day we had a pretty good rain come through. Upon arriving at the lake, there were already a number of anglers scattered around the ice and they were actually driving cars on the ice. Since we have not been able to drive on the ice here in New England, I choose to park at the landing and we walked. Seeing the area that I wanted to fish was too far for walking, we picked another area that was an underwater point that came out about 40 yards from shore and was covered in rocks and boulders. This lake has produced some nice smallmouth and largemouth bass and that was the target that we were looking for today. So we set our lines in a variety of depths and seem that the most productive was in the 12-16 feet of water. To start off the pickerel were biting very well and some nice ones in the 2-3 pound range. After about an hour and a half, we finally had a targeted fish on the line and when the 3 plus pound largemouth bass came through the hole, my son's eyes almost popped out of his head as the fish looked very big laying there on the ice. He was very happy and it was great seeing the excitement that he has when he catches a nice fish and this is what keeps him coming back for more. We had taken pictures and video of the fish and released it back into the water. It wasn't even 15 minutes and he had another fish on the line and when this one came through the hole it was a solid two and a half pound smallmouth bass and he was screaming with excitement once again. Now he was really jacked up and was so glad that we made the drive to this lake as he was having a banner day. Once again we took all the pictures and video and he released that fish back into the water to fight another day. The day was shaping up very nicely and the pickerel kept you busy in between other bites. The bass never really got going and those were the only two that were caught but numbers of pickerel and also nice perch were caught. Later in the afternoon a front came through and dumped a good amount of rain on us and luckily we had our Clam popup fish house with us to stay out of the rain. You could definitely see after that the bite died right off and so once the weather stabilized a bit, we packed up and headed back home after a very enjoyable day of fishing.

Not sure where you are going to see us next but we will definitely be out there again very shortly, may your lines be tight...



Monday, February 3, 2014

Ice Fishing Massachusetts 2/1/14

We had a few hours in between a variety of things that needed to get done this day to hit the ice and stayed very close to home. Conditions were very nice with air temperatures in the mid 40's, partly cloudy skies and a light wind off and on. This particular pond we haven't been to for a few years as the ice never gets thick enough if there is any as it is a town's water supply and they have an arator in the pond that keeps part of it open during the winter. When we arrived there were a number of local fire departments there and they were practicing their ice safety and rescue operations and were fun to watch as they would get into and out of the icy waters. We made our way towards the back of the pond where the deep water starts coming up to the shallows that the back half is. We wanted to target crappies and generally find them on this break transition area. We were fishing mainly waters that were 12-16 feet deep and we were marking fish on the flashers but a lot of them we just plain lookers and didn't really want to take any offerings. We drilled many holes around this location and could find fish but tough to get them to bite. When it was time to leave we had caught some fish, pickerel, perch, sunfish and bass but we never were able to locate the crappies. Not sure if we are going to be back to this pond as we were fairly disappointed and we have many other options around the area so chances are, unless we only have a couple of hours, we won't be back this winter.
Hope everyone had a great day on the ice and may your lines be tight.