here in new england, come late november you start watching the ten day forecast. if your a fella like me, you dust off the traps.
suddenly, it was proper cold winter.
i sincerely enjoy fishing with a worm for fallfish, by far my favorite pike bait. the key is generally a bridge in a dirty filthy river. its highly technical angling.
we scouted a few days, and fished for me what was the first day i'd go out on the ice. i fell in through 2" of ice scouting, but only up to my balls, which sucks terribly. i just climbed out and muttered my way back to the truck. when i told this to raekwon he calculated that we'd grow another 1+ inch of ice that night. we'd go out in the morning. i insisted he bring a life preserver for me.
so cold its blue. and we spudded our way out onto some low rent water since a shit ton of other assholes beat us to the good water. either way, i didn't think the good water had safe ice, so i was ok being tucked in close to shore. and we drilled in.
rumor. false dawn come and gone and we're fishing again.
we watched those assholes who got the good water run to flags all morning. then one of them fell in. luckily he had on a zillion dollar floaty suit and he was out pretty quick. they must have been running live bait, but we were pike fishing.
then, we got a flag. i immediately proceeded to lose a fish that had run off 200 or so feet of line. shaking the cobwebs off. cursing silently, likely our only flag in this b water.
lo! behold! before we could get back to our sparse camp another of my flags went off and i managed to land the first pike of the season.
we celebrate and then sit and wait. a great thing about fishing with others is that you tend to do so with folks you genuinely like, and in ice fishing you get some good laughs in all the slow down time. we were out about 10 feet on the ice and a trail was just behind us. a couple of ladies came trotting down the path in their expensive winter jogging gear. their conversation was lively, as they were running. which shocked me.
i'm so out of shape dude. i whispered.
oh, so am i.
the ladies turned the corner where they saw our slumped forms in foldy chairs and immediately stopped talking. i think i pitifully raised a mitten. it was silent and we could hear their footsteps on the path. a crow called. they ran on.
you know they're going home and telling their rich husbands: oh my god, so kayla and i were jogging.......we saw two bears!
we chuckle. and its funnier on hour six of an ice trip.
i was disappointed that raekwon didn't get a single flag. we broke it down well before dusk. we're getting to be old men, but old men make the best ice fishers.
i warmed my achy bones. and started plotting when i could get back out there.
christmas was an insane blast of presents and such. we did all the family stuff, ate ham and pirogues on the eve. it really felt great to give them stuff. we didn't overdue it, but i felt blessed. it snowed on christmas morning, and the kids had so much fun.
with the whole week off there was plenty of time to do fun stuff, like take a hike and explore an old mill. the little lady dressed like a wolf to better commune with nature.
i wanted to trout fish it, but i didn't want to trout fish it since those little 8"ers make a delicious pike snack.
the weather turned brutal cold, and even with a savage forecast i got out with my friend dave. he had a horseshoe up his ass this week as he took a nice male fisher in his trap line.
i didn't let any assholes beat me to the ice. of course, it turned out that no other assholes were dumb enough to fish with gusts to god knows what and temps that didn't leave the single digits.
i arrived at the crack of 4. it was brutal.
we trekked in the makings of a fire, and it was crucial. we tucked into the bracken as out of the wind as we could get and built a fire. every trip out onto the ice reminds you how many calories you burn in cold like that. you just move so slow. the fire makes things bearable, a beacon.
hole covers were useless, we had to walk half the spread every hour or so to clear the ice from our holes. by the end of the day, the holes shrunk two inches in diameter.
incredibly, dave proceeded to have a great day, unheard of even. he was on fish from the get go.
i was just glad to have seen fish, pretty animals.
my primary contribution was sausage, onions, cheese and syrup on a hoagie roll. i salvaged the skunk was a measly pickerel. when you are fishing deadbaits for pike, a pickerel is a huge disappointment. my younger brother, home from california for the holidays, came out to meet us. he wisely didn't do any fishing. all of our beers froze to slush and we sucked at them anyhow. it was good to see my brother.
the breakdown and drag off the ice was torture with an evil wind blow directly at us. everything was frozen solid. we had had a great day and sitting down in the car and letting it warm while the wind came down heavy through the trees felt really good. i was sore as fuck, but i couldn't wait to get back out there.
rumors flew around of a couple of genuinely big fish, which was interesting. the lake i fish is in a relatively small fish cycle. i was glad to hear that some of the true giants were still around.
but first.......i had to take the kids. it snowed today, and i badly love fishing in the snow. it is just fun. i took the kids to our usual farm pond.
the company i keep.
the kids collectively did a great job. my older brother, also in town for the holidays, brought his 2 boys out. the kids did their best, however, their hook setting skills and general fishiness isn't quite there yet. luckily, by end of day we had them going hand over hand a little bit. early on, they'd just rip the trap out of the ice, grab the line and run the other way with it. which still worked thanks to circle hooks, about one fourth of the time. hopefully, it slowly teaches them to be careful with the fishing.
we eventually got lots.
they scream FLAG and stampede to holes. which never gets old.
we chuck a football around, and find an enormous bees nest in a tree. and the kids pound down a thermos of hot chocolate and hold our beers for us.
by the time we're done, the snow is stopping and my boy helps me pull the sled back to the car. nothing wrong with a little bass action, but i can't wait to get back on the pike. my boy didn't get to drive, but he rode up front like a big boy.
happy new years, fellas. may yours be as much of a hardlife as mine is. until next time.
enjoy your catch (it died)
Happy New Year!
"Make it matter, fuckos." jhnnythndr
" Herre jävlar vilka fiskar!!" P-A
"I'm no saint though, nor a judge. Rock that shit good and hard, and on your way out, wipe your dick on the curtains." - Kyner
Cheers, Chadroc. HNY, fukko.
And the rest of you guys.
"I took a Japanese whaling approach to panfishing as a kid." - Boomin
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