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Lot of fun and a couple big fish over the holiday break.


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So Christmas has come and gone, and we rang in a new year last night. I picked up a few goodies, helped a buddy assemble his new Jason Mitchell Thermal X, caught a few fish, and had a good time. The day after Christmas I picked up a new Fish Trap Pro TC and Ice Armor Edge suit. The new suit is a good deal warmer and a lot more comfortable than my old Arctic Armor suit. Pockets in all the right places, nice liner on the inside, 3/4 length zippers on the bibs, heavily padded knees. Very happy with this new suit.

We brought my buddy's new Thermal X out on Friday night and set up an a perennial crappie spot. Before the sun went down we were getting some light biting perch action, enough to get the skunk outta the way. Then when dark rolled in, the crappies did as well, but they were finicky and smaller than usual for that spot. We managed a few eaters and called it a night. A gentleman on a wheeler towed us back in, awesome as it was a good 3/4 mile walk out there. We had 10+ inches of crystal clear ice and I probably could have driven my S-10 out there.

Fast forward to Sunday... The new Pro TC house is nice and toasty. Had it out on the same lake with my son. It was about 8 degrees when we set it up, full sunny sky, light wind. Drove out there and popped the first hole, 12" of clear black ice. Set Hunter up over the hole with the Pro TC and put the Vex in there for him to fish right away while I popped a bunch more holes and set up the Fish Trap Guide. By the time I had punched about 25 more holes and went back to check on him, he had his hat and gloves off and it was quite warm when I unzipped the rear door on the house. I was shocked, and there wasn't a heater in the house.

I was a bit bummed Sunday that my dad didn't get to come out cause he was sick with the Flu. Been in bed for 5 days now, and finally today was able to get up a move around a bit. He had it bad. I was particularly bummed because I made matching rods for Hunter, my dad, myself, and my buddy Rob for Christmas gifts, attached a Sienna 1000 to each of them and handed them out. I was hoping we would all get to put them to use Sunday and each catch our first fish on them together.

Hunter did his part and got his first fish on his new rod, a perch...


I wasn't concentrating much with my new noodle rod I made cause my cousin's husband James had already iced a few toothies, a nice 17" eye before we got there along with a 31" pike. Shortly after we arrived, he put another nice pike on the ice, this one about 32"...


A while after that Hunter and I switched positions in the Trap Guide cause he wanted to watch the Deadstick while I jigged for perch. Hunter knew we had a big minnow on that rod and was excited to see if anything would eat. Pretty soon I saw a giant red mark come up on that minnow and I quickly reeled up the small jig I was using, knowing a tangled mess would ensue if I didn't. He watched the minnow make the tip of the Deadstick go crazy for about 5 seconds, and then bam, the rod bent over and the drag was peeling. He grabbed the rod and set the hook and after about 15 seconds of peeling drag and tug-o-war, he told me to take the rod cause it was way too big for him. 36" Pike ate a 5" shiner. First fish on my new 30" Deadstick. Great way to break the cherry on that rod.


And the release...


That made for a great start to my ice fishing season. How is yours going? Almost forgot to mention, even a six year old knows that fishing equals trash talking. On the way home from the lake Sunday he says to me, "Dad, you know I caught a fish on my new rod, how 'bout you?" I had to bow my head in shame as I didn't catch one on my new rod, but I promise I will.

Take care,


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