Friday, December 19, 2008

First Ice!!!

Well, the time is here to start fishing the hard waters of Michigan! I headed out to a local lake to test the ice and see if my season of ice fishing could start. I ventured out on Little Seven Lake in Seven Lakes State Park and was happy to find 4+ inches of good, solid ice! It was only an hour or so until dark, so my time was limited. I popped a hole in the ice, set up and sat down. For the next hour, it was all I could do to keep my hands warm because I never had enough time to get my gloves on! Now when I went out, I didn't think I would find good ice, let alone find a hot-spot on the first hole. I was pulling gills up as fast as I could put the line back down to the bottom. Out of the 30 or so fish that I caught, 15 were definite keepers along with a 15 inch bass, my first taken through the ice. But, I didn't feel like cleaning any fish that night, so everything made it back to the hole.
A couple of days later I went out to Big Seven Lake and found a solid 5+ inches of good ice, but lady luck wasn't with me that day and I went home with an empty bucket.

Then this past weekend, I decided to take my two youngest out on the ice with me. I was also accompanied by Mikey from the Up North Journal. We decided to hit Little Seven Lake again and try our luck. I got my kids set up and, at first, the bite was slow. We really didn't have any action for the first hour. But then things picked up and the spring bobbers on the end of our rods were starting to earn their keep. In between bites, the kids were taking turns spinning in circles on the buckets and making snow angels, as well as a quick game of "fishball" (it's just like football, just with a frozen fish).

Every couple of minutes they would come back over to the poles and fish for a second before finding another game to play. One of the times they came back to fish, my daughter, Caitlyn, was holding the rod and the tip bent right down. She fought and fought like it was the last thing she was going to do. After a minute or so of reeling, I saw the flash of silver in the hole. When she finally pulled that fish out of the hole, I couldn't have been more proud. My daughter had pulled her first bass out of the ice. At only 12 inches, we had to let him swim away, but not before a picture and alot of praise. Later that night, I cleaned the fish and tried a new recipe. But that will have to wait until next time...

The kids and their catch from our day on the ice

Caitlyn and her first bass

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