Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Great White Hope..

Winter is drawing to a close, the sap is running and maple sugaring is taking us away from some of the best fishing of the season, but we had to get out after Whitefish one more time before the ice is out.

As usual we stopped into the local bait shop for advice, in this case it was Silver Hardware in Madison. We were excited to see they had a great tank of minnows and plenty of spare fishing gear. Even better than that they had a fish nerd working. Ken seemed to know just about everything about Silver Lake and gave us some great advice on where to find the right waters for whitefish. We bought a dozen minnows, took his advice and headed out the the spot.

One Small Step for Clay
As we walked out on the Silver Lake boat ramp, we chatted with a bunch of old timers fishing for Rainbows, they gave us the same advice as Ken, in fact one of them claimed to have caught a whitefish 3 years ago at that spot. Our hopes were rising!

Walking was easy, the wind was blowing a warm breeze, it was nearing 50 degrees and we were happy to be fishing in the Shadow of Mt. Chocurrua.

Dave started drilling, Clay started measuring the depth and looking for fish on his sonar. We set a couple of fish traps and kept drilling and measuring.
Marcum Showdown Ice Troller, sounding for fish

Now it was jig time, we were alternating jigs with waxworms, minnows and butterworms. We started in water that was 30 feet deep and planned to fish as deep as possible then work our way shallow again. We've been told whitefish like sitting on the ridges between deep and shallow. We were not going to spend more than ten minutes at each hole.
Dave's High Tech Jigging Station

We jigged and moved, moved and jigged, deep water, shallow water... And our efforts were ignored.
Then in 18 feet of water our sonar lit up with fish, our hopes grew again. We knew there was no whitefish this shallow, but we had to catch at least one fish before the day was over.

Dave jigged, we could see the little fish chasing his offerings up on the sonar. But he was having trouble closing the deal, so he brought out the big guns, he was going to jig with two rods in one 4.5inch hole.

Looks like something bigger took a bite of this while Dave was reeling it in

It worked, fish on, we danced, we cheered and we landed the beast. Baby Beast of a yellow perch.

The sun was low in the sky, we tucked our tails and left the ice in defeat. Now that Clay has a boat, we will come back in the heat of the summer and jig in the deepest hole in the lake... We will not be defeated by this fish!