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Joined: 02/25/2011
Posts: 34
There really isn't a off season

I had the privlage of meeting a guy that ice fishes and ask him to take me some time he fiinally took me and it was a blast i have to admit i was a little worried about walking out on a lake but once he showed me it was a foot thick i lost my fear and it was game on we cought a 5 gallon bucket of blue gill and crappie in about 3 hours i have to say i'm hook for life now. I never would of thought you could catch so many fish in such cold weather. We cought them on wax worms and a 1/32 jig head. i learned that you have to find the depth of the fish and once you catch your first fish you want to keep your bait at the same depth and you will catch them every time you can be a foot to high or a foot lower then the fish and not get a bite. I learned you have to find the brush piles and get above them the panfish like to hold up around the brush. I will tell you one thing they might not of all been big fish but it sure was alot of fun and better then sitting at the house watching fishing shows on the outdoor channel.

hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
It's amazing how much weight

It's amazing how much weight the ice can hold when it gets that thick. I remember going out with my grandpa when I was a kid. Truck and trailer with the ice shack all out on the ice ready to set up just like at home.

I've never even gone out here in Colorado but have a friend that goes quite a bit. I'm gonna have to give it a try next year and see what I've been missing. The ice will be gone soon this year and he just got married so has very little time for extra activities right now.

jaybe's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: S.E. Michigan
Joined: 10/19/2010
Posts: 832
It really IS amazing at how

It really IS amazing at how much weight GOOD ice will hold. I'm sure that most everyone has seen the TV show, "Ice Road Truckers". These guys drive fully loaded semi-truck and trailers over a road that is plowed on the arctic ice.

Back in the logging days of the early 20th century, they used to lay railroad tracks across the ice of large lakes to get the logs out on a more direct routes than going around. Yes, they used a locomotive to pull the loaded flat cars.

However, GOOD ice is the key. Once the ice starts to get honeycombed, even a foot of it can simply dissolve under the stress of added weight.

I have ice fished since I was a little kid, going out with my dad and sitting in a shanty watching him fish. A few years ago I was fishing with a friend, and it was getting on to late winter when the sun starts getting a little higher and the snow and ice melts a little more easily. We decided to walk out and not take a chance, even though there were quite a few trucks and cars out there. As I was fishing, I saw a guy come out in a brand-new pickup with dual rear wheels, and thought that maybe he was pushing his luck a little. Five minutes later, a guy rumbles past in a 30-foot motor home! I guess the pickup was safe! lol

Ice fishing can be one of the most productive times of the year. With the advent of electronics, you no longer have to guess what depth the fish are at - or if they are even there. Just cut a hole and drop the transducer in the water. You will instantly know if fish are there, how deep, and even how large.


groovy mike's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2539
What off season?

The best way to deal with the off season is to not have an off season.  I started turkey hunting just to fill the gap between the year long wait for deer season.  What a ball!  Now I have a spring turkey season and a fall turkey season.  I discovered that I could actually keep HUNTING another 2 months making my off season shrink from 10 months to 8.  Then I discovered a September waterfowling season and shrunk my 'off' season by another month.  Add in upland game - chasing pheasant and partridge and suddenly you off season is no longer 10 months long, you get to be in the field and putting food on teh table a full half of the year! Woohoo!  Now along with that is trap shooting all summer - one day a week for me - and loading up my shotgun shells for that week - plus reloading rifle cartridges etc. and cleaning and sorting gear - then writing and editing the stories of my memorable hunts an d pairing them with photos lets me relive those fond days many more times and record them not only for future generations but also for ME when the details have faded after a decade or so. Maybe I'm slipping into senility but reading the details of a half remembered hunt brings me right back there with the scents and sounds and lets me TRULY appreciate that mount on teh wall again in a way that I had forgotten.  Speaking of mounts I have also tackled taxidermy.  The cos of gettinmg my trophies mounted was soaring as I became better at bringing game home so I began to tan the hides myself - so fat deer, moose, rabbit and coyote and I have some very nice rugs at almos zero cost except my labor.  For me, wasting any part of teh animal is sad, so I want to utilize every bit of it.  Which brings me to post season butchering when I convert my tag filling game into freezer bags full of big chunks of meat.  When I can not be afield I bring them out and work them into burgers, steaks, and jerky! Yum!  There really isn't much time left for reading the great hunting stories and watching the occassional hunting program on TV - if only there were a little more time in each year to enjoy the "off season" ;)

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