When I see the lakes frozen over for the first time, there is only one thing that comes to my mind. It's time for walleyes! I tend to fish muskies the majority of the summer, so the chance to relax in a shack with a buddy or two just gets me jazzed. Almost like catching a monster muskie, the thrill of seeing that first walleye light up my vexilar gives me an adrenaline rush. Not sure why that happens, but I can't control it, and yes I will confess to being an ice fishing junkie.
Last night longtime friend Matt Hennen joined me for a quick outing as the sun hit the horizon. We set up quickly on an area that has produced in the past. With the howling winds and blowing snow, we had our doubts about a good bite taking place. Nevertheless, we banked the portable ice shack and nestled in. I chose a green and white Forage Minnow, and Matt went with a glow in the dark Swedish Pimple. Both walleye favorites on this particular lake.
Matt struck first as the daylight started to fade. A small walleye, but a walleye it was. The first of the season, which made for a high five and smiles. Our celebration was short-lived. The bite was on, and the fish were coming in fast. Doubles! Followed by a single, another double, then one escaping my grasp in the hole, and a few more singles. A short window of opportunity before darkness totally covered the lake. When it was all said and done, we had 10 walleyes visit us in our shack. 7 fell victim to my sweet little jiggle, and 3 to Matt's. Matt said I was lucky, but I preferred to label it skill. Either way, we enjoyed the short stint on the water. All of the walleyes we landed were a tad short, so we tossed them back. I guess it was worth battling the wind. Even though we didn't keep a single fish, we had fun catching them. Next time I will have pictures of the big one's as I continue my ice fishing in what I am calling "the year the walleye cries for help!"