Well hello again!I sure hope that you had a very merry Christmas vacation. Actually, I'm sure many of you are still enjoying your break from the office or school. If that's the case, then I suggest you make it a point to get out on the water and catch a few walleyes.Here's a tip, theyare biting! This update spans a stretch of several days, so bear with me as I highlight the latest and greatest on the ice.
Last Tuesday evening I was joined by a newcomer to the sport of ice fishing. Jeremy hopped on the back of the wheeler, and we were off to the shack. Jeremy is fairly new to ice fishing, and had only caught one walleye through the ice in his entire life. Ironically, that came only a few days prior to our trip, but he said it was very small. I was hoping to increase his totals drastically, and teach him a few things to help in the future. It was a fairly relaxed tutorial as we set up in preparation for the afternoon bite. I call it the "afternoon bite" instead of an "evening bite,"because the day before, we had 3 walleyes in the jar before the sun even thought about setting. Anyway, we were ready to fish by 3:30, and played the waiting game. Similar to the previous day, we had action before darkness set in. Jeremy learned how to catch a walleye on everything but his jigging rod, and even found out what it was like to lose a nice fish in hand-to-hand "rattle reel" combat. He went 2 for 3 on the rattle reels, and 1 for 2 on the tip-ups. Throw in a few dozen perch, and I would call this a successful excursion. By the time we wrapped it up that evening, Jeremy had tripled his lifelong totals for walleyes, and hopefully will be well prepared for the big trip in a few days. Jeremy will be back for 4 days on the water. Joining him on this will be his wife who has been stationed in Iraq, and 3 buddies from Texas. Stay tuned for these reports late next week!
Jump forward a few days to Saturday. The time between Tuesday and Saturday were filled with Holiday gatherings and family time. Ok, so we pulled out Mike's house and geared up for the first over-night stay of the year. Obviously this is my favorite way to ice fish, so I was pretty jazzed to get the house on the spot. Katie and her pup Woody joined me, and she was first to land a walleye. Not a giant, but a nice lead-in to what Mike was about to catch. After I dropped Katie off on shore, I returned to the house to nestle in the sleeping bag.I didn't even get zipped in, and Mike was out of the bunk. Ding, Ding, Ding! The beautiful sound of the rattle reel turning. After an intense and well fought out battle by Mike, we were high-fiving and all smiles as we hoisted the first 10 pounder of the year. Talk about a good way to start the over night season. The fish was 29 inches long, and had an 18 inch belly. A true Minnetonka Fatty that is still out there for the next guy. Before the sun rose, we were greeted by a few more ding's from the rattle reels, and we put two more eaters in the jar. A great night on the ice, and a congrats to Mike on the trophy!
Last night Katie and I returned for an afternoon bite. Before the sun could set, we battle two nice eaters onto the ice. It was pretty hectic as the perch and walleyes were mixed, and the rattles were dinging like crazy. The funny part is you never know what to expect when its such chaos. One time it's a small perch, and the next you set the hook on what feels like a rock. Good stuff, and made for a great sunset picture. We left for evening church shortly after that, and I returned with Mike to spend the night. The wind picked up in the middle of the night, and the fish locked their jaws. Oh well, there's always next time. I will also add that I don't know if I have ever been in a fish house during that kind of wind. It felt like we were going to blow right over. I think it slid my truck a few feet across the glare ice as well. Crazy Wind! Well, now that the ice is in good enough shape to move the houses, I anticipate many photos and stories from Mike and I. Stay tuned, and remeber, Keep on Livin' the Dream!