Monday, February 21, 2011

exchanging lures and techniques

Hi Folks, Guided yesteray morning from my shanty.  Had a angler from Poland who had ice fished for most of life.  It was interesting to learn about his home waters and the species of fish he pursued.  We exchanged some lures that I use ice fishing in Vermont for ones he has used in Poland.  There was 20" of black ice and getting around is really easy with the now being compactedonto the ice now.  We caugth smelt with a reckless abandon and they were hoding tight to the bottom in 30' of water.  Small bibits in silver and glow in the dark tipped with a maggot worked really well and double rig of two was deadly.  Still no trout even though we set out 10 tip-ups.  We be on the hard water later this week and might return to Champlain.  Remember to obey the bait laws and keep VHS at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, February 19, 2011

fishing the big water

Hi Folks, Guided the hard water this week and moved around a bit.  Went to Lake Champlain on Wednesday and fished an inland lake on Thursday.  Fished the narrows of lake Champlain and found 4" to 7" of black ice.  Easy walking as the snow has been compacted.  You really need to pay attention on Champlain due to its size, wind, and current the ice conditions can change in short distance.  We brought all of the safety gear with us including a ladder, rope, and safety lanyards.  Caught a lot of smelt and fallfish, but nor salmon or lakers.  We set-up in 35' of water and had tip-ups in 10' to 100' of water.  Put a couple on the bottom looking for a ling cod.  Pretty awesome being on the big lake looking at the mountains in New York.  Same deal on Thursday we caught smelt and some yellow perch, but no brown trout.  There was 20" of ice where we fished Thursday and all of the slush and snow had firmed up so walking was easy.  Beautiful weather with big sun and warm air temperatures.  Will be guiding tomorrow and looks like winter weather has returned.  Remember to obey the bait laws and keep VHS at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, February 11, 2011

enjoying the shanty

Hi Folks, Plugging away at the hard water guiding.  Keeping me a busy and tugging on fish in the winter.  Still lots of snow on the ice and getting around is tough.  18" plus of ice that is covered by water, slush, and lots of snow.  You have to be a little determined to ice fish right now.  However, having a shanty is great and once inside you can forget what is going on with the weather.  Found smelt yesterday on the bottom in 25' of water.  Hali jigs tipped with maggots once again were the ticket.  Silver and copper colored Halis seemed to work the best.  Did encounter random schools of perch that would temporarily drive off the smelt.  Caught a few larger perch on tip-ups dressed with rosy red minnows yesterday.  We have been setting our tip-ups in deepre water but just under the ice.  The trout bite has been slow but the smelt fishing has been great.  Love eating smelt.  Remember to obey the bait laws and keep VHS at home.  Have Fun, Willy 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

tough going

Hi Folks, Guided the hard water yesterday from my shanty.  Pretty tough going on the ice with allof the snow.  Lots of false ice and water on top of 18" of solid black ice.  Certainly slows down the traffic on the ice when it is difficult to get around.  The snow was knee deep and a lot of post hole walking.  Good boots that are warm and waterproof are essential right now.  We located smelt up in the water column and caught them jigging Hali jigs tipped with maggots.  The smelt schools seem to rise up in the water column as the day progresses.  We found yellow perch towards the bottom and it appeared that they were chasing the smelt.  We had one trout on a tip up run into our jigging lines under the shanty and create a giant mess.  Pretty interesting.  We set tip ups with live smelt from 2' to 10' below the ice.  Will be after trout again tomorrow with guests.  Remember to obey the bait laws and keep VHS at home.  Have fun, Willy

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

cooking on the ice

Hi Folks, Spent the day yesterday chasing trout through the ice.  18" of solid black ice was comforting after walking on thin ice my previous trip.  Still a bit of snow on the ice and more to come with the current blizzard going on outside.  We jacked up the shanty to get it off the ice so does not freeze in.  Still pretty slow on the trout end of things, but the jig fishing has been consistent.  We found smelt suspended in the water column about 12 turns off the bottom.  The perch seemed to come and go.  Hali Jigs in silver and copper seemed to be the most consistent and tipping them with a maggot or two makes a world of difference. We caught enough smelt and had some venison that we decided to have cook out in the shanty.  My dog certainly liked it and the smelt were tasty too.  After the storm I will be back on the ice and will be guiding trips for trout and pike.  Remember to obey the bait laws and keep VHS and home.  Have Fun