Thursday, January 3, 2013

Fish On, House Out (Ice & Fishing Report 1/3/2013)

Had a pretty good day today. After finally getting all the work we needed to get done finished with, we finally managed to get the wheel house out for the first time in almost three years.

We put it out on Wayzata after drilling well over a dozen holes and finding nothing but 12"+ of ice everywhere we went. Got it out in a bit over 20 feet of water.

(Edit: Figured I'd toss this in here, but supposedly the areas near Big Island only froze over recently, but because of the snow cover they look the same as the rest of the lake. Much of the lake is safe for vehicle traffic, but I would avoid this area even with an ATV/Snowmobile. As late as Christmas there was still open water, so take that as you wish, but be safe regardless.)

Afternoon till sundown was pretty action packed, but as you can guess, it was nothing but perch. Once sundown hit we managed a total of four walleyes and one loss. People like to embellish stories about "The One That Got Away" but I'll say with some certainty that, if what was on the other end of that line was a walleye, I've never heard a walleye peel line like that. It was non-stop for a good 10+ seconds. Oh well, another time.

We only managed one keeper, everything else was under ~10" and the one we kept was a 14"er. Caught that one shortly after the sky got dark on a Northland Tackle Moxie Minnow-Glo tipped with a minnow head. Two of the others came on the same setup, and the last on a Northland Tackle Glo Buckshot.

I also stopped by Mills Fleet Farm today to pickup a few Propane Tanks and found myself walking out with a new 10" Slush Inhaler. I've wanted to get one of my hands on these for a LONG time, as to me, redrilling and cleaning out the holes every time you get back to the house is far and away one of the most tedious parts of ice fishing. Well, without giving too much away, it's money well spent.

We got a new 10" drill bit for the auger this year as well, so we weren't looked forward to the added slush that comes with using one of those over our old 8"ers. Generally, we'd have one guy running around drilling holes and he'd be done with all 6-7 by the time the guy cleaning the holes was done with 1-2. Now, my father was drilling the holes, and I was always just one step behind him. Drill the hole, shovel the excess snow/ice outside, drop in a hole sleeve, plop the slush inhaler in, out, empty outside, take 1-2 scoops with the normal ice scoop to clear our the little bit of remainder, and you're good to go. Each hole took us less than 2 minutes, and we were setup and fishing within 10 minutes of putting the house on the ice, something that used to take closer to 30 minutes.

It's not at all a good investment if you only use portables, as it's way too large and inconvenient in almost every way, but if you've got a small corner or pickup truck bed that you can toss it in while you're out in the wheeler, I would highly recommend it. It'll save your back a lot of work since you're not constantly bending over to pull slush out, and it'll save you loads of time.

I was skeptical getting one, as all the reviews I've seen were along the lines of "Don't waste your time," "It's too big," and "Too heavy," but I'm extremely glad I bit the bullet and got one. Money well spent.

I also picked up a brand new rod & reel setup, a Thorne Bros Custom Med-Light Tripwire w/ Recoils, with a Tica Cetus LF500. It's only taken me about 4 hours of using it to confidently say that I'm in love. The rod is light enough to work just fine for panfish, yet rigid enough to be able to handle a 14" walleye with ease and make the fight that much more enjoyable. I've been sold on spring bobbers since the first time I used one, so having it built into my rod is a godsend. I also kept the rod in a rod sleeve over night (With the spring bent) and as soon as I took it off it went right back to normal. The amount of action the rod gives you is phenomenal, and the rod itself is so lightweight that even the slightest twitch from a fish and you'll feel it.

Like I said, it's only been 4 hours since I put it on the ice, but I'm sold. Had a hard time switching back to my St Croix Legend rod, and that thing is by no means a "bad" rod, but the Thorne Bros custom comparatively almost makes it seem like one.

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