Sunday, October 30, 2011

Change of Pace

Ice fishing season sure felt a long way off before yesterday's record-setting Nor'easter abruptly brought New Englanders back to snow mode. Only a week ago I was wearing a T-shirt and stocking up on bait for winter. My quarry on this outing were over-sized minnows called fallfish, which friends and I have discovered are an ideal menu item for a variety of target species, especially northern pike. Unlike some other baitfish that we use, these buggers can be taken on a hook and line and put up a feisty little fight on light tackle. A fun and effective way to catch fallfish is with a two or three-weight fly rod, as they will attack almost any decently presented fly pattern with a vengeance. This particular trip yielded over a dozen fallfish, many in dark spawning colors. Only one of them was what I consider pike-worthy, but it was still a great way to spend a beautiful autumn afternoon in the woods. Several other under-appreciated wild fish came to the hand, mostly small pumpkinseeds and bluegills. All of them fell for a tiny pheasant tail nymph tied off the shank of a dry fly. I hope there are few more pleasant days on tap soon so I can put more free pike bait in the freezer, but if this past weekend was any indication, winter may be here sooner than we think!

The prized quarry. At eight-inches long, this will be perfect pike bait. 

No comments:

Post a Comment