Sunday, January 30, 2011

A New Era Begins

 Well... my first full week of work was completed on Friday afternoon much to my aching body's relief, and with a small wad of cash in my wallet I decided some self indulgence was long overdue. What better way to treat myself than to revisit a new and inviting friend: Puslinch Lake. On this trip Tackle Shop and I were accompanied by a hard water virgin, Dodger, who'd been feeling a little down recently (most likely fishing addiction withdrawal).

  After a brief stop to pick up Dodger we were off to visit another new friend Pat Kirby at Tall Tales Bait & Tackle to buy minnows, swap some tall tales, and trade some of the weight in my wallet for weight in my tackle bag . The morning was a few degrees below freezing with a light snow falling, slowly adding to the 6" covering the lake. Following the well travelled path to our usual spot, we joined close to a hundred other hopeful anglers and managed to stake claim to a good sized area of ice.

A Good Beginning
  There were only a few fish landed around us and it took over 2 hours waiting for our first bite. After a brief battle, Dodger broke the ice and landed his first fish on hard water: a decent 20" + pike. In reality it was Tackle Shop's fish, but he had his hands full working on his equipment and couldn't get to the active hole in time. After that first bite the fish became more active and started to come every half hour with TS releasing an 18 incher and getting another around 24" in short order.

  By this time (over 3 hrs without a bite) I'd started to think my holes were broken, so while waiting for my set lines to come alive, I decided to try jigging for perch with a small Hexi Fly jig tipped with a Honey Maggot Power Bait. In less than 5 minutes my line went tight and I instantly knew that a good sized pike had decided on a tidbit rather than the main course! What turned out to be my only pike of the day eventually ended up being the largest of our catch, edging Dodger's second fish out of top spot by an inch at around 27 inches. 

 So while TS and Dodger were successfully working their holes (and mine continued to be broken), I grabbed my auger and sonar, punched a few holes away from the crowds, and immediately landed a 10" crappie. Between school scattering drive bys by our rapidly retreating neighbors, I'd managed to coax ten slabs to the surface for my first serious hard water crappie haul in five years. The funny thing was that even though my set lines were a few yards away from the other two guys, I never did get a bite.
 As is customary when a group hits the lake, the barbs begin to fly, and this day was no exception. Tackle Shop crowed he was the day's pike champion again, so I felt obliged to remind him that any buffoon can put a piece of meat on a hook and catch a pike, and further more, successfully icing a school of crappie takes a certain degree of subtlety. Dodger stayed impartial, basking in the cold comfort of a successful first time on the ice, although I believe he secretly agreed with my argument.
 So... here I was last week worrying whether I'd have time to get out fishing in the future. Of course I haven't started working the midnight shift yet so it still remains to be seen how well I'll be able to cope. I'm optimistic that we'll find our way up to Simcoe in the near future for jumbo perch, whitefish and lake trout, but I suppose I'll have to play that one by ear, the new job comes first.


  1. Alright man...that looks like a good time out.
    What's with the Coors box? Better fishing will come with a Miller Lite box!
    Great video.

  2. Hi John, really enjoyed the post and video. Sure looks like a good time for sure. Good to see everyone into some fish. See ya' next time.

  3. Just wanted to thank you both John for such a great experience on the ice.And look forward to many more trips and experiences on the water.........and now ice.

  4. Great stuff, John! I LOVE you Blog!

    As part of a prompt to discover new blogs to follow, I've passed along an award to your blog if you're interested.

    Looking forward to following you!

  5. Where there's a will, there's fishing...

  6. Raz - Thanks, a box of Molson Canadian would be more appropriate EH.

    Mel - the blog was initially just an excuse to show off my videos. Your visits & comments are always welcome here.

    Dodger - any time man. Next time Tackle Shop takes the back seat. We'll show him how it's really done!

    Todd - I'm honored. The blog has become an instrument to inform, entertain and inspire (I hope). My addiction to fishing rags has been replaced with the "ramblings" of my blogger friends.