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|
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.
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.