Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2/9/13 Hot Water, 2/10/13 Ice Adventure

Last weekend we had some decent weather, at least for this time of year, so we took advantage and went out fishing both Saturday and Sunday. We weren't sure if the lakes were still iced over so Saturday we decided to head down to our local warm water discharge to do some hybrid striped bass fishing. The day started out pretty slow with only a few small hybrids and a small spotted bass. I was using spoons and white grubs while Sean focused on larger swimbaits and smack tackle baits he recently purchased. The water temperature in the river was 36 degrees while the water from the discharge was 76 degrees so the water was plenty warm. The skipjack were also no where to be found. Later in the day I hooked the only decent fish of the trip on a 3 inch salt and pepper PowerBait grub on a 1/8 jig, one of my recently homemade jigs actually. The hybrid striper weighed 2lb 9oz.
2lb 9oz Hybrid Striper
The day only got slower and we called it quits before sunset.

Sunday we were pretty confident that the lakes would be clear of ice so we headed to Rocky Fork Lake to do some crappie fishing. We arrived and quickly found out that there was still plenty of ice on the lake. The boat ramp we chose had ice well over a half inch on all but one section and the best section still had over a quarter inch. The ice was also not limited to just the boat ramp, it extended hundreds of yards out from the ramp into the main lake. Sean didn't hesitate to put the boat in anyway with intent to plow right through the ice. For the first attempt Sean decided to bust through some of the ice solo, I took the opportunity to film it.

It's safe to say I wasn't thrilled about riding through the ice myself. Sean circled around and picked us up and we were off. The ride was rough and loud. I took another video of the mayhem.

Once we made it out of the ice and into the main lake we found that many of our favorite crappie spots were also covered in ice. Originally we cleared them off by making several passes with the boat through the area. Some of the ice was up to 1.5 inches thick but we still managed to bust through it. Fishing was even slower than the previous day. It was several spots and hours before we found our first crappie. The water temperature was a chilling 34 degrees. We tried the traditional crappie baits such as minnow jigs/floats, small tube baits and swimbaits, and wax worms. On the day we only caught 6 crappie and 2 largemouth with only 1 of the crappie being keeper size.

Later in the day we learned a pretty effective way of clearing ice from a spot. Creating a large island or iceberg as I called them by cutting through the ice in a big loop and then pushing the island out with the boat was quite effective. I took a couple videos of Sean pushing out some pretty large pieces of ice.

We didn't catch many fish over the weekend but we still got out and enjoyed some decent weather and learned a thing or two.

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