Beauty is in the Eyes of the Predator.
Saturday mornings walk to the shop was on a crisp squeaky packed snow. The sound snow makes only when bitter cold temps come to the area. To an icehead this sound only brings joy knowing the weather is causing the ice to thicken at a fast and steady pace. Four of us walked out onto the ice around 7:30AM. The hike was in a crisp air, the kind that bites exposed skin. I don’t believe there is any better way to wake up and feel alive! We headed for a drop off, the drop starts at 8ft and slopes into 35fow. The set up was on a small shelf in 24fow. The flashers revealed finned critters using the water column at 10’-18’. It was not hard to pull marks on the locator as predators moved in to investigate the objects intruding on their space but, triggering a strike was a problem. It’s finicky bites like this that I truly believe, if your plastic doesn’t look, smell, and taste real, go home. Use waxies you say, I say, have fun catching dinks and constantly baiting up on these cold days. I would rather spend my time focusing on bigger fish while keeping my hands warm. Fishing this last cold front was tough but we did pull some nice fish fries off the ice. A gold tungsten jig tipped with B-Y Baits mayfly’s and mudbugs was too much for a dozen gills and 4 specks to pass up with my presentation. Changing often between the colors sweet potato, copper, and red kept the pack below me interested. A “tight lipped bite” for keepers on this day would be an understatement. While the bait dropped fish would show up on the flasher but the fussy son-a-guns also showed zero interest in eating. The mark would not come up to the bait and if dropped below, the target disappeared. After studying the reaction of my prey below the zoom on the LX-5 was turned on to watch 10ft vertical and adjusted to the action zone in the water column. The offering was then dropped right on the target and held almost still. A slight twitch/quiver now and then barley moving the rod tip during the stare down between scaled critter and bait, made some nice blue ears and paper mouths open their pie holes daintily inhaling the offering. Line watching was a must. At times the spring bobber moved a bit, others you would see the line move. At the very first sign you better be setting the hook. Patience, persistence, and a great product made locally to our area, teamed up together on this day and made for another great trip to the ice. Good luck fishing people!