I literally have so many stories and pictures from the past 4 days of fishing that I don't really know where to start. Bails, Mikey and myself (aka: The Tripod) left this past Thursday in search of the grand slam of ice fishing. I call it the grand slam because we target my 4 favorite species through the ice and they are all trophy caliber fish. The list consists of Monster Bluegills, Slab Crappies, Big Bellied Jumbo Perch, and Fat Bellied Walleyes. During our trip we fished all of these species and managed to try 9 different lakes on our quest.
The first on our list was the Slab Crappies, and boy did we ever strike gold. The small puddle in the forest that we fished is one of my favorite holes to fish because we commonly catch crappies up to nearly 2 pounds. If you have ever caught the giants in red lake then you know what size of fish I am talking about. When the bite is going on this particular lake it doesn't take long to wear your arm out, which is exactly what we experienced. We caught several large crappies over a pound with some going over 1 1/2 pounds. We kept a nice meal for our first fish fry, and threw all the larger fish back for next time. This very tiny lake can handle very little pressure, and since I have never seen another soul on it while I have been out there, I like to let the big ones grow even larger.
After catching our crappies for the day we switched to a new lake that produces many species for us while we target the Monster Bluegills. We set out our tip-ups with shiners and ran back and forth chasing the pike while we played around with the giant sunnies. Since we had our meal of crappies already in the pail, we decided to throw everything back and just enjoyed the sight of every sunfish that managed to cover our entire hands. We didn't catch any pounders, but had several up to 3/4 pound, which for a sunfish, is truly a giant and a very rare bread. While catching our sunfish we chased a tip-up nearly every 10 - 15 minutes and caught several northern pike. We also caught Largemouth bass, and a few BBJP's in this short afternoon on the water. All I have to say is that We nearly caught everything on our list in the first half day of fishing for our trip. A great start to say the least.
Day 2 of our excursion took us to Red Lake to get in on the Walleye bite and to cross another specie off our list to tackle. Since we had all the crappie action from the day before, we concentrated on strictly catching the Walleyes instead of searching for the huge crappies that most people chase out there. We fished in the well below zero temps all day and caught several nice walleyes. We landed these fish by getting as far away from anybody as we could and fishing the shoreline break in 11-12 feet of water. On this large swamp once you hit 14ft of water, there is no structure until you hit shore on the other side. It can make things frustrating when sitting miles out on an endless flat, so we stuck to the shoreline break which is actually pretty steep if you go out of JR's resort on the SouthWest side of the fishable water. We caught in the neighborhood of 30 walleyes and had fairly steady action in both the morning and evening. The only downside to our day was our inability to catch up with our buddies on the big lake. Theo, Todd and their crew were also on the water, but with our horibble phone service and the fact that Theo managed to drop his phone down the ice hole, we were unable to find them. Sorry fellas, Next time I guess!
Day 3 had us chasing the awesome Perch bite that can be had on a few of the lakes in the area. We fished hard and tried 3 different lakes before we decided that this wasn't going to be the weekend for the Big Bellied Jumbo Perch. We caught many perch, but they just didn't have the size that we were after. A couple of the lakes that I have done well on, have very drastic up and down times. The thing that makes it worth trying is that when they do hit, they are fast and furious, and they are truly massive. Although we didn't strike gold with them, I will definitely be trying again next time up. We switched gears and headed down another logging road for the afternoon bite for the Bull Gills. We had a great time catching many large fish and hole hopping around all afternoon. This lake is my absolute favorite, and didn't let us down on this trip either. We didn't break the pound mark, but came very close several times. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome bluegill Bite!
The last day of our trip we decided to try another great Bluegill lake for the morning before heading home, We tangled around with many more large Bulls, and closed the trip in style. In the entire time of fishing, we caught trophy fish in all the categories that we wanted. The perch were a little slower than normal but we still had some in the BBJP size category. In my opinion this is the best kind of ice fishing that can be had and with the large variety, every day is a new experience. If you haven't been on a trip like this, I definitely recommend it as one that you need to put on your list. If you or someone you know would like to experience this excitement let me know soon to set up the ice fishing trip of a lifetime.
More pictures from the trip may be seen in the numerous photo albums.
The Grand Slam of ice fishing is AWESOME! Thanks Mike and Sean!