This Ice Season Started for us early! A good old fashion winter, who would have thought it after last year’s warm short season. Looking for safe ice was our first concern. We drove north because we heard of safe ice up at the top of the county. Every small pond Sooner Bass (Ted) and I stopped at my spud bar went through( this is a heavy bar use to test ice before you walk on it). Surprisingly, it was the large ponds or small lakes that had safe ice. I believe it was the lakes with wide open areas where the frigid winds aided the ice creation.
We had checked several places all unsafe. When we were about to give up Sooner who said hey it cannot hurt lets check this bigger pond I fished once a while ago. This lake is surrounded by cat tails and is sort of hidden as well as old. When the spud bar could not break through we ran to the car to get our stuff. It was about 7pm and dark. Right away we started nailing huge gills! The small ones would be considered ok at many of the ponds we fish! The night bite ice fishing historically has not been good to me so this was awesome.
Since this was the only safe ice, I and other DuPageAngler.com Members returned a few times. Beard Heads on and every time produced something. I even took my daughter in seven degrees. The heater was blasting as she caught 17 gills and loved using the Fish TV. Five trips I fished with JC Crappies (Chusum), Dark Star (Jason), Crankin King (Scott), Brim (bob), and Fluke (Alan) all hardcore DuPage Anglers. All had their Beard Heads on and we were all staying warm.
We used many techniques. Straight lining, floats n jigs, floats n minnows, Little Atom plastics and our new weapon, Magic Maggies from Aurora Lure Company. The Maggies are awesome, if you put one in your hand next to a real wax worm there is not much difference except one is trying to get out. These come in red and white and caught a ton of fish. We are field testing these now and are excited at the early results. I will revisit these plastic baits once Aurora Lure Company has them on sale.
Getting out more then a couple times in December was awesome. Catch and releasing a pile of full grown bluegills was the star on top of the angling tree. I am looking forward to the rest of this season.