Monday, January 21, 2013

Thin Ice Here Thin Ice There Making The Best of Midwest Weather

The Midwest has been cursed with weak winter weather. Cold weather woohoo! 50 degrees son-of-a!! This has made ice fishing a challenge in our local area.

Ted Yates aka Soonerbass of Taught me to Kayak last season so I decided I would return the favor and take him ice fishing. I was extremely excited because I re-connected with a friend from college on FB, her parents back in the day let me fish their private pond! She was nice enough to call them and asked if I could fish there again after 12 years and the answer was yes!

We got there as the sun was coming up but walking up we noticed two big holes of open water in the middle of the lake. I walked out on the ice drilled a hole and it was only 3 inches. I took a couple more steps and had cracking. We would not be able to fish this great lake this weekend. We went to two more ponds and the shores had open water. Man! Really? I call Steelie Pete another DA member and he says to try a lake not far from his house.

We get there and 6 inches of solid ice!  We are marking a ton of fish but they just won”t pull the trigger. Then sooner gets his first fish!!! I apologized for the slow bite and Sooner happily says that he just wanted to drill a hole and catch a fish so he is all good.

The slow bite was bothering me so I decided to move. BIG mistake the next 4 ponds or so no safe ice. We finished the day on a small pond that had just over three inches (most winter state suggest 4 inches) and the bite was just as slow. We managed to catch one more fish and leave not feeling secure and not getting hits. We should of never left Pete’s.

 Sunday I wanted revenge and Dark Star and I head out to a pond which is surrounded by buildings and houses hoping that this would protect it from the warm south winds. Man! I was wrong again! It had the most dangerous ice I have seen yet. So we cut our losses and head back to Petes neck of the woods.

The bite was still very slow and it is very cold, BeardHead cold. Jason (DS ) manages to start picking up crappies suspended in 11 feet of water using a Lindy Toad. We change spots after Pete told us to move to another area. In 8 feet of water I am now marking plenty of fish suspended in 4 feet of water. I started with live bait because it is very slow and my minnow gets slammed without any time to react my 6lb snaps in a heartbeat. (insert baby crying noises) I manage to catch some small gills on waxies but they stop. So I switched to a Little Atom Micro Nuggie and quickly nail another four or five small gills! Thank you Little Atom.

With the conditions being crappy and not having the time to travel up north, I was happy to find a pond with good ice and catch fish. I also had fun with Sooner and DS. The Little Atom Micro Nuggies saved my bite and the Beard Head saved my face!. Please when temps are up and down be careful out there. No fish or great lake is worth your life. 

Practice proper safety steps, stay warm, talk some smack, and maybe catch a few small winter panfish.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Fishing Goes On - Tom Walsh - Redhook

Written by Dupage Angler: Tom Walsh - Redhook

It’s been a while since I posted, but the fishing goes on…it never stops.

It’s my 2nd year of winter river fishing. Last year at this time, I had 1 creek chub as my tally for the month of January, and I only caught 1 more fish, a foul hooked carp, to finish the month off.  This month I’ve caught about 75 fish, all small walleyes. But I’m enjoying every second of it, and can only mention the  ½ hour drive to my spot to complain about.

I guess I’m a minnow guy now. I’ve been fishing fatheads for the last couple weeks and my success rate has increased dramatically. I’m hooking them on a 1/32 oz pearl gumball jig head.  The jig head keeps the minnow from sliding up my line when I catch something.  I look forward to breaking out the lures again, when I can, but for now, I’m just jazzed to be catching fish every time I go out.

It’s funny. At times I shudder at the thought of being out there in the wind, with temps hovering around 20 degrees. Sometimes that keeps me in my warm bed a little longer, but when the fishing bug overcomes that, the cold isn't much of a problem. I've got some super warm boots , some snow pants to wear over my jeans or dockers(gotta do something before work!), 2-3 jackets over a long sleeved shirt and sweater, neoprene gloves and my Beardhead Barbarian Vagabond hat. As long as I keep my fingers moving, I’m good.

Here’s me before a recent morning outing, geared up and ready. The other shot is my first fish of the day. I’ve been getting anywhere from 3 to 8 of these little walleye in the 45 minutes I have to fish.

Redhook out.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Father and Daughter Pond Ice Fishing

When my daughter was very young 5 or 6 she would join me fishing whenever I asked. Now that she is nine her interests are more on friends and boy bands! (Insert father yuck face). So when she said she was excited to go ice fishing this year I could not wait to get her out there.

 The day before I had a guided trip with a friend and his two boys. The results were great 20 fish apiece. ( if you’re interested) 

Since we did so very well I knew we would do ok. We left about 7 in the morning and I wanted to be a bit of a dandy daughter day so I stopped at McDonalds on the way and even stopped at Dunken Doughnuts for a snack to eat later!

I took her to a pond in my old stomping grounds that I have been ice fishing for years. It is not know for size, but numbers are pretty good. The water is fairly clear and perfect for my Fish-TV. My daughter Rachel loved seeing the fish on the tv! This unit is the most affordable on the market, easy to use, and stands up against others in its class.

She caught on to using a spring bobber instead of a small float very quickly. She caught over a dozen gills and a couple crappies. I soaked a minnow while I helped her. I could have had more then the few crappies I caught had I been paying attention.

We laughed, made up songs, and ate doughnuts. After 2.5 hours she was done. We stopped by grandma’s house and stopped for ice cream on the way home.  If you have not taken you child out fishing yet you should. If they say no, don’t get your feelings hurt. You have to just keep asking. The memories are worth it.

If you would like to learn how to ice fish, fish, or need help teaching the kids and you are in DuPage or surrounding counties of Illinois visit DuPage Fishing Guide Service. We will get out there and get you on an angling adventure of your own.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Kids and Ice Fishing What a Great Combo

Chunsum Choi gave me a call and wanted to take his kids Ice fishing for the first time. He had not ice fished since college and wanted the PB’s Angling Adventure crash course to get back up to speed in a short time. Chunsum has two awesome boys, Brendan and Matthew. Since my shelter will only pack three people like sardines I needed some assistance, so I bribed JasonJelinek to lend a helping hand.

I pre-fished the lake a couple nights before hand to check the ice safety and locate fish. Steelie Pete met me and we caught about a dozen night fish between us. 

Jason and I reach the pond at about 8 we wanted to locate fish and have the shelters and equipment ready before Chunsum and the boys arrived at nine. We stepped out and walked a few yards when we had one of the HUGE cracks that shoot by shaking your legs as it travels down the lake. I really hate those. After a few holes Jason and I found fish and Jason even caught a quick couple.

The Choi family shows up, we get the boys settled and it is off to the races!! We each had our cameras set up and fish were every where! Having a underwater camera is great especially for kids. They LOVE seeing those fish down there. The fish started coming in and never stopped the Chois were catching fish sometimes on every drop. Fun and laughter soon followed. The boys took turns fishing with Jason and I. Chunsum got to see two very different setups and how both were effective. We taught the boys what to look for and do. Each person caught at least 20 fish. 75% were gills but everyone had a crappie or two or three.

I could not of asked for a better day or better clients. I could not have been as successful without Jason (aka DarksStar) there to help. Kids and ice fishing go together Like cookies and milk, just a great combo!

If you or your family would like to catch fish in the Dupage county area or surrounding counties please contact me and we will create an angling adventure for you to remember.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Darkstar72's Fishing Blog: First Day of 2013 First Fish

Darkstar72's Fishing Blog: First Day of 2013 First Fish: New Years Day   9:00 AM   rrrrrRRRRRING goes my phone. (fumbling) Me:  Hel, um  hello?  Dan? Pondboy:   Ok, there's 3 inches of ice at le...

Last 2012 Weekend was not a Weak End

Last 2012 Weekend was not a Weak End written by Redhook(Tom W) Member 

 This weekend went from weak to great for me. On Saturday, I got an early start at the Fox. Not as early as Pondboy and Darkstar who arrived at the spot just minutes ahead of me. They were wading, I was shore fishing. I struggled and shivered for about 2 hours, catching 2 walleye on Berkley gulp minnows. The wading guys did better on live minnows. Made note to self, buy minnows! 

 I spend the afternoon out shopping with the missus. Happily this included a stop at Bass Pro for some additional walleye worthy baits. On Sunday, I thought it was going to be too cold to fish. But when I learned that my wife had shopping plans with my girls, and the temperatures rallied to the twenties, I decided to head back to the fox for more walleye. I managed only one in just over an hour, but it was a beautiful day. (Used a BPS Squirming grub)Sunny skies and low winds helped me stay toasty warm in my many layers of clothing. I’ll take that all winter, thank you. Just give me more fish. On the way home, I stopped for a dozen minnows. They don’t count the minnows that they net and dump into the bucket, but I did. I ended up with over 2 dozen! 

On Monday, I started my fishing day pre-dawn at the Salt Creek in Hinsdale. The DuPage County FP Outdoor Report suggested trying minnows below the dam for walleye, northerns, etc. I struck out and headed back to the Fox after about an hour and a half. The Fox treated me much better. I hit a small walleye on the first cast. I had 8 within a half hour. All on minnows. I tried a Berkley Powerbait minnow for the next ½ hour and only managed 1 walleye. I moved spots and went back to minnows, finishing my morning with 13 walleye. Nice! 

 Unexpectedly, my phone rang with Pondboy on the other end. He was weighing his options for shore fishing and wondered how well I did on Saturday. When I told him how I was doing at present, I could practically here is car tires screeching down his driveway. He showed up about 45 minutes later. Before he arrived I took the opportunity to warm up in my car, find some food and to pee. After that, all was right with the world. PB and I managed to squeeze into a shoreline spot. A couple more groups had arrived while I was away, but I ended up in the same spot where I’d had my great run earlier. In about 2 hours, I added another 6 to my total, for 19 on the day. 

 Pondboy thanked me for staying to fish with him, but in truth, I’d planned to continue anyway and it was nice to have some company. He’s quick with the camera and a good talker. He started a conversation with a nearby angler and proceeded to tease me about how quiet I was. That’s okay, I’m used to it. I’m more of a written word kind of guy.

 Pondboy had a few catches and we both had several misses. Most notably, near the end, we had a double between us. He handed me his fish for a quick picture. 

 I’m not a fish kisser, but I think fish on fish kissing is fine. I’m a Cupid for fish. What a great year ender to a great year! My total fish caught for 2012 was1556.