Monday, December 29, 2008

Ultimate panfish league contest

Jack and me fished the ultimate panfish league put on by Matt Johnson Outdoors and Thorne brothers.
It was on Linwood lake, a metro lake that has tons of panfish, the key is to try to find the biggest ones, everywhere in the deep water the sonar would light up with fish. the object is to catch the biggest 5 crappies, sunfish, and perch. we pretty much did not try for perch, since the lake doesnt hold many past the 6 inch cutoff.
We started looking for the crappies, hoping for some mules that would be the money fish! I started using a lindy fatboy jig with the biggest ratso to try and attract the slabs and discourage the small fish from biting. It didnt work perfectly as those tiny crappies were very agressive and had big heads for their size with big mouths, so some time was wasted pulling in lots of dinks to get to the keepers.
We got our 5 keeper crappies, and a couple of sunfish, and I started to focus on the gills, i forgot my maggots in the fridge,but i had some waxworms, and that worked good for the gills, almost too good, got lots of little ones, plus the little crappies and big northerns were likeing the smell of those! I caught my biggest pike of the day on a waxworm, I also got some nice pike on the ratso, wasted alot of time playing them, but it was fun though. I finally got on a hole where I popped three good sunfish. We had our ten keepers. We thought about trying for perch because if you get the trifecta of 15 you get a bonus pound added to your weight.
We decided againts that and when to finding a big 'kicker' mule crappie that would seal the deal. We saw another contestant bag a 13 inch slab near us, and we went to work hole hopping for the big one.I got a good eater sized crappie, and another nice pike, and helped jack ice a 6 pound plus pike, but the big crappie was not in the works for us today. We got our fish together to pick out the best ten and went to the weigh in.
I didn't think we would win because we didn't get any whoppers, but it turned out that the guys who got the big slabs didn't get their 10 fish, so we ended up winning by around 5 oz at 3.6 pounds for 10 panfish.

The UPL Linwood contest results and pics HERE

Sunday, December 14, 2008

MT bucket fan club?

wow, I had a good crowd watching me ice this pike!

CKOutdoors ice outing

A bunch of us got out for some good fun, fishing, and food, despite the wind, we had a good time.
the fish were scattered and really had to be worked, I found some in 24 ft and caught quite a few pounding a lindy fatboy jig with maggots. Others caught fish on hair jigs, and plastics got a few.
as well.
I also got to do battle with a nice pike on light line. I also got a nice burbot, my first in a few years. I played tug o war with that on 3 pound test mono, but now its in my fridge!
CK got some pics I will post here when I get em!
I think the most fun what saturday night recapping the day at CKs place looking at the pics and videos and laughing about how various fish were pulled through the hole.
And the food was great too, that spicey chilli and hot brats on the grill! mmmm!
it was good to see some of the anglers from the summer outing, and meet some new ones as well.
Andy gave me a jar full of delicious pickled crappie to take home too! more yummm!
Mabye more fish were caught, I left before noon sunday to avoid possibly getting snowed in!
here are my pics for the weekend.

CK, always up to teaching others his secrets, puts on a jig and sonar clinic

I got this beauty on 3 # mono, it was likew catching moby dick on that tiny rod !

Nice big sunfish!

nice crappie

Team ice heave works some bluegills out of the depths

one for the pan

Chilli time1

dig in!


none on the water went hungry today!

yikes! too early for there out there!

some more good keepers

Who needs a coat? a big ol slab likr this will warm your heart!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Iceing some largemouths

me and jack hit the Mississippi backwaters looking for some crappies today, jack had a nice slab before I could get my line ready, (whats new.haha) but we thought it was a good sign, but it was not to be, they were really finiky, only one crappie for me today. tried all different sized jigs, plastic, hair, waxies, maggots, it was a tough bite, got into some largemouths though, good to hear the drag zip and the rod bend!
Then we went to another spot that was loaded with bluegills, they were biting good, but on the small side. I kept ten. I think jack got a few crappie there too. the wind was howling all day but my Arctic Armor suit kept me toasty warm.

First larry of the day on the Jig

Chunky bass

This one had some battle scars, and also someones hook in its jaw, I removed it before release.

pretty bucketmouth


pretty bluegill

I went in jacks fishtrap to take a break from the wind and right away nabbed this nice bass! :)>

Bassin, hole

Monday, December 1, 2008

Water, Ice and Land Vehicle

I was invited to go out on the ice with an old friend Don, sunday afternoon.
We were going to try prior but it was only half frozen, so we headed to Spring lake in the south metro. we got there and found it completely froze over.
Don opens the trailer and pulls down his ATV? Car? Boat? called a Wilcraft.
I know that there are a few vehicles made that can go in the water, but this one had my interest because he said you can go through and drive back up on the ice. I had to see it to believe it. We drove out on the ice and it was thicker in the bay, 4 inches, once we got out a ways from the landing it thinned down to just over 2 inches! It seemed to do just fine, making some crack noises and all.
I gave it a try and it was easy to get the hang of. I drove around a bit, til I saw a big crack up ahead! I decided to let him take the stick for that. We drove over it near shore and crossed it fine, I doubt someone could cross by foot though! water came up through when we did it.
We turned around and I egged him on to go back across in the same spot, i wanted it to break some ice, i figured since we were close to shore, if it didn't work I could at least jump in and wade safely to shore.
We got almost across and down we went! I dont think I am scared of water or thin ice, but the suddenness of it almost took my breath away!
it took a little work but we were able to get back on the ice! whoo hooo it works!
I was satisfied that it does what they say it does so I said lets stay away from those cracks!
We decided to go arounfd the lake near shore over to the winter access and take a few pics and mabye even try fishing.
We were almost there when without any warning down we went! This time I was a bit more concerned, we were in about 20 feet of water surrounded by thin probably unwalkable ice, plus in full few of a dozen houses on the shore. I was also worried one of them would call 911 thinking we were gonna sink!
But Don did a good job of getting us out of that one. the Wilcraft floats well and is sturdy, but doesnt go too fast in the water, you would have to put an electric trolling motor on it if you wanted to go anywere far on open water.
We got up halfway about four times only to break through again, finally we were out all the way, I took a pic of the big black hole we left, but I did not enough battery power in my camera to take a video of that part of the adventure!
Thanks for the fun outing Don! Mabye next time we might even wet a line!

Driving on thin ice!

In... and out!

in the trailer ready to go

The big black hole, after about 4 attempts I was really glad to be out of there!

Loading up! a fun evening..