Friday, January 18, 2013

Catch-M-All's Ice Fishing Panfish Guide!

We are ice fishing maniacs, and arguably the most fun fish for us are panfish
 (blue gill, pumpkinseeds, crappies and yellow perch).
This suits our ADD because the action is fast and furious and always changing.

 Here are our tricks.

 First and most important: Choose a pond that has a lot of fish, we love small ponds or river impoundments.

Second: Once one the water drill a lot of holes in 6-12 feet of water.

 Third: Use electronics if you have them: We fished for years without the help of electronics, so skip this step if you don't have them, but if you do... trust them! Move around a lot until you mark fish. No point fishing where nobody lives! If you don't have electronics spend no more than five minutes jigging in each hole.
With our showdown sonar you can see fish just off the bottom and suspended at 7 feet!

Fourth: Using a small jig, tipped with a waxworm or small piece of night crawler. Jig from the bottom up, some fish suspend a few feet off the bottom. If you are marking fish and not getting a bite, jig differently, try dead sticking (just hanging the bait still) or really high slow jigs.
Sorry Ladies, Dave is married...

Fifth: Once you catch a fish, reel it up, let it go and get your bait in the water! These schooling fish get in an eating mode and you can catch dozens out of the same hole.

Clay likes to use a Hali Jig, which is a heavy jig, with a chain attached to a small hook

 If the bite suddenly turns off, jig a little slower, their might be a pickerel lurking...

 If the bite shuts off for more than ten minutes the fish have moved, chase them!

Sixth: Take lots of pictures, eat a couple and have fun!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Gefilte Fish... a little late but here it is..

In the summer we caught this carp and cooked it up, the recipe has already been shared here...

 But We finally got around to putting up this video. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Nice to see some old friends

Thanks to a week of bitterly cold temps, we were able to get out on ice this weekend and it felt good.  About 6 inches of good ice was set on a familiar pond that we know holds panfish galore. The trick is finding the channel that runs through the center. Even though we have been fishing this spot for years, it is still tough finding the deepest spots.  We drilled about a dozen holes before we found water over 10 feet deep.  Our Marcum Showdown sonar unit showed life was stirring near the bottom.  A jig, waxworm, and a prayer went down the hole.  On the digital screen we saw the jig make a steady decent. As it neared the bottom a fish rose to greet the morsel from above. Thump.  Fish On.  It was a small black crappie whose great, great, great, grandparents were probably stocked in this pond no more than 15 or 20 years ago. He was small but spunky.  A friend we have not seen in many months and a welcomed catch on the first ice of 2013.  We caught about 10 more fish, a mix of small crappie and bluegill.   

This pretty black crappie was kind enough to say hello.   Nice to catch fish.  
The Marcum Showdown is a great sonar unit that has excellent sensitivity.  We saw this small bluegill rise from the bottom to take this small jig. 
We would have like to have caught a few of the monster crappies that we know live in the pond, but playing with their kids was fun too. 

Reports from Suds-n-Soda bait shop indicate that people are fishing for smelt on Great Bay. Hopefully we will get another cold snap that will make the tributaries safe. If all goes well, we hope to post a successful smelt fishing trip soon.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year! We tested out our new fishing licenses!

We went to the Ossipee River with our friends from North Country Anglers to fish below the dam at Lake Ossipee.

It was 20 degrees with a strong wind that put the wind chill to neighborhood of -8 degrees. We don't like that neighborhood.

We have never fished a river in January, but we put our faith in this little fly. We can't remember the name, but it looks like a brass bullet-headed furry leech bugger.

It was a beautiful hike down to the fishing spot and as we got out of the wind our hopes rose with our body temperature.

We fished for almost an hour but saw no sign of fish and our line guides kept icing up. We felt good about getting out on the water none the less. And we learned a little about fly fishing from our friends. Maybe we'll try again in a few weeks.
Summer the Ice Dog

Photos can't do these crystals justice

After leaving that spot, Dave suggested that we try fishing in one of our favorite small ponds in Conway that we know is loaded with brook trout and golden shiners.

We tested the ice by drilling a hole every few feet. We had 4 inches of white ice. Not ideal, but it was our first chance in 2013, SO it was game on!

We popped up the portable shanty and positioned our underwater camera just above the bottom. We saw weeds and dirt, but no sign of fish. We were in the deepest part of the pond and it was a desert. We wondered if the trout were hanging out in the shallow current near open water. After an hour of nothing, the temperature started dropping and we decided to get off the ice and warm up with some coffee.

Clay (who wrote the blog post about ice safety) decided to take a different route to walk off the ice. Not the best idea. He walked over a shallow, swampy area that must have been slightly warmer. A few steps, crack, plunk!
Never missing an opportunity to illustrate an important point, Clay reminds us all that ice is never safe and you should always test it as you go. Walk off the way you walk on.

After Clay fell through, Dave made him stay in the water while he got the camera (some friend). Clay being a good sport and really tough was able to handle it.

With the cold weather settling in this week, fishing should be great soon so stay with us.
Happy New Year!