Sunday, December 11, 2011

First Ice Report

Ice Fishing 2011 has officially started. We just returned from the St. Paul Ice Show which was an absolute blast. I had the chance to share the stage with my good friends Dave Genz, Jason Mitchell, and Jim Hudson talking ice fishing and about all the new products from Clam Outdoors.

I had the chance to hit the ice the other day with my good friend Paul and what a day to remember. We headed North and found some good ice. We decided to walk out since this was the first ice mission of the season. It was a crazy cold morning with blowing winds from the Northwest and a temperature around 5 degrees. You all know that I'm a firm believer of the IceArmor Suits and products and those feeling didn't change today. The IceArmor neck gator was a must and I'm pretty confident to tell you that without it, I'm not sure, I would have made the trek out on the ice. Paul and I drilled our first holes and found a solid 8 to 10 inches of ice. I was surprised to see that amount! Normally I like to fish outside and tried for the first few hours as we were trying to pin down the largest and most productive area. It didn't take long and I started marking fish on my brand new Vexilar FL-22HD. The problem was I wasn't getting bites! I was fishing with a rattle spoon and the fish seemed to come up to the spoon and dart away. I made the switch to a non rattling spoon and went to a full minnow. This is a dramatically different approach then the aggressive rattle spoon with half minnow technique which is probably the most common one with ice anglers. I also switched my cone angle on the Vexilar FL-22 to 20 degrees which was a key component to me catching fish and let me tell you why. The walleyes would react to the jig, fly up to it so fast and if I was moving the jig when they came in they would dart away. The wide cone angle of the FL-22 HD allowed me to see those fish sooner then a normal transducer which gave me the advantage and just about the right time to stall the jig. The walleyes attitudes changed dramatically with this small change in our presentation and it was fish after fish after fish. Paul and I just giggled with each hook set as these days don't happen too often.

Just as we were about to leave, Paul sets the hook, and the battle was on. The funny part was we just had asked each other what could make this day any better. Well I think someone answered that question. Paul with a 28 inch walleye rod and 6 pound test line knew he was under-matched for the fish on the other end of the line. It was a mix of emotions from a joyful giggle, to a serious silence, to anxious tension, to humor but after all that and a 35 minute battle a 43 inch northern came through the hole.

We took some quick pictures of the fish and let him go to fight another day. Paul and I sat in our Yukon TC fish house, with a large deep breath and a smile, we looked at each other and said lets go home! These are the type of days outdoors men and women live for and for me they just don't get old!

Where did we fish well tune into Clam Outdoor found here (Clam Outdoors Fishing Reports ) and I will tell you exactly where we were fishing in this weeks fishing report.

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For Now!

"Make a Memory and Get Hooked"
Jeff "Breezer" Andersen

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