So, I’m sitting in the office late yesterday afternoon and get a phone call from home. It’s my 10 year son, who tells me that he’s already done with homework, chores, etc. When I ask what he really wants, he says “It’s not raining yet. Can’t we go ice fishing one last time tonite?” Well, let’s just say I made it work out. We had to work a bit to find willing biters last night, but it was still a good way to end the ice season for us.
Overall, this winter was decent for us on Menomin. Crappies in general ran a bit smaller, but we caught more “slabs” over 13″, with several passing the 14″ mark. Gills definitely made a jump in the right direction, with steady action on big fish. Never hit the 11″ mark, but had at least a couple dozen passing 10″ and many over 9″. Perch were streaky, but decent size structure and numbers when we would get into them. Didn’t do much fishing for walleye this year, as the early ice Gill bite was so good that we concentrated on that.
Highlights for the year were a couple of PB’s. Ben is pictured with a 9 1/2″ gill, which he topped twice later the same day with PB right at the 10″ mark. We were being watched closely from a distance that day, so the others were quickly put back down the hole without any pictures. Everything over 9″ is measured and then released without question, and it’s very fun when the kids get that.
My Dad doesn’t do a lot of fishing, and his mobility is limited. We did manage to get him out a couple times for short manageable trips, and he capped it off with a PB crappie that was just under 14″. This is the only fish over 12″ that was kept all season, as he wanted to show Grandma. Very fun when he was just as excited as the kids!
We had some great days, and we had others that we had to work hard, with little to show for our efforts. But I was reminded that we never had a trip where we were skunked completely. Looking forward to first ice next year!