that stockie went right down a hole. to no avail. they only like fallfish.
by this point in february, you tend to get a little sick of the cold. keeping an eye on the ten day to see what's gonna maybe happen. ice fishing isn't really something you can get a quick fix on. it isn't like you can grab a rod and 2 streamers and fish for a half an hour to scratch an itch. it takes time, and blocks of it. i've been incredibly lucky this winter to have found a good number of blocks to fill with trips out on the ice.
you never know if it is the last one you are going to get, come late winter. and you start thinking about a real rod again. some years in march i am bass bugging, some years i'm still standing on some ice. we got a big january thaw after all that cold.
so we looked for walleye. it was fixing to rain. the ice was sloppy as hell on top, but a hard black 6" of ice below the slop. which i knew would hold through the rain. it was a useless night, but good company and good eating.
then it rained like hell. then it immediately got cold again. i got out on a different walleye lake. the ice was beautiful. we got flags, just not any walleye.
i sat there well into the wee hours and no blinking lights went up. worth a shot. worth a lot. so deathly quiet and calm.
then it snowed again. my boy mikey blew out a skating rink on one of his ponds. so we all threw out some traps and let the kids skate and ice fish. its communal fishing this way, and very much fun.
my boy gravitated to the side of the pond with the traps laid out. he and me, we two peas in a pod.
i snuck out jigging for perch and gills. but i found mostly bass.
after a while, i stayed at one hole and deadsticked. sat back and soaked in the quiet.
the calendar flipped to february. one more pike trip was on tap. i got out with captain windflag, who showed up 4 hours late at 8am. he missed me getting bit off on a sunrise flag. luckily, he was well prepared to fish.
it was super slow. windflag claimed a pickerel. we sat by the fire and bullshitted.
no sooner had we begun to boil some sausages than i had a lunch flag. i thought it was a monster, but it was just a good fish.
it was fixing to rain again, and that was it. we sat around and bullshitted till it was time to pull off the ice and go watch the super football game. looking here at the ten day, and its fixing to rain yet again, and i'm thinking that may well have been my last drag off the ice on what has been a very good winter. hardlife.