Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Raising the Bar

I have hooked and landed longer brown trout through the ice, but never one so heavy. This fish was stuffed yet still had room for my pike shiner set 30-feet down. By the time I had reached my tip-up, it had ripped dozens of yards of Dacron from my spool. Then I gained it back, hand over hand, and it froze on contact against the bare ice. Luckily most of the long battle was between the last 20-feet of line, half of which was 10# test fluorocarbon that gave me a little more confidence during the final throes around the hole. 

When my fishing partner reached down and helped scoop the trout topside, there was a sense of joy and relief, followed by fast action to document the new personal best before its healthy release. It is moments and fish like this one that become seared into our memory and drive us out into the elements each winter.


Saturday, February 12, 2022

Return of the Jig

I really enjoy ice fishing with tip-ups, but there is something special, and different, about jigging. Hooking and fighting my quarry through the ice with a rod and reel is such a thrill to me. When the target species is a quality trout that rushes 20 feet up the water column to eat a metal spoon I am pulling away, well, even better. 

It had been 11 winters since my last trip to this favorite body of water. Like seeing an old friend, we picked up right where we left off. I already can't wait to get back there, and God willing it won't be as long until next time.