On the Ice, Mid-Winter 2023

February 8, 2023 daryl bauer

Yep, I have still been on the ice, have been on it as much as possible.  I will give you a quick report of what I have been catching. . . .

I have been out in different parts of the state a couple of times.  Spent a couple hours one evening on a spot, and managed one of these!


Then of course, I could only catch one.  Walleyes through the ice can be frustrating.  I would tell you that most of them I have caught have been like this fish–aggressive, not hard to trigger at all (many of you already noticed the bait, I know you did).  Then, you would think there would be another or three, but that was it.  For a moment though, it all came together.

I helped with our on-ice clinic at Ft. Kearny.  Let’s just say the trout were very cooperative.  I got on a couple of hot holes and for a while caught the put-and-take rainbows as fast as I could get my line back down the hole.  I know, I know, none of those fish were very big, but a couple were particularly purdy!


Some of you are looking close at that photo.  Again, you can see exactly what bait I was using.

As I am typing this, I can tell you ice conditions in southeast Nebraska are deteriorating.  There may not be much more ice fishing in the SE corner of the state.  However, having said that, I have been around enough to know that you do not have to go very far north and west and conditions are a lot different.  I have seen some parts of the state where I am betting there are going to be anglers on the ice for some time yet.

I made a quick trip to one of those areas.  Had just an evening and one day to fish, but touched a few yellow perch!


Whoops.  Looks like I showed my bait again.  Look close.

It appears that I am destined to not get a photo of a nice ice crappie this winter.  Oh I have caught some, but skipped taking pictures.  I dried off some nice crappies again last week, but the weather was so cold that I got those fish back down the hole ASAP.  So far I guess this is the best crappie photo I have, one I caught “live, on-air”!


Then I have a bit of a sad story to tell. . . .

If you see anyone throwing rocks on the ice, please kick ’em in the butt for me.  I was drilling a hole on one of our heavily-used reservoirs here in SE Nebraska.  There had been rocks thrown on the ice near shore.  I looked close before I started drilling.  Unfortunately, the ice was cloudy and the ole K-Drill was a couple of inches in when it came to a sudden stop.  I quit drilling immediately suspecting what had happened.



I looked at the blades, they did not appear to have any damage.  Drilled a few more holes that day and the next.  It still drilled, but something just was not right.  Taking a closer look I saw the problem.


Sheared that bolt right off.  The broken end was stuck in the shaft, and I could not get it out.

Talking to the manufacturer I decided to send it to them, and they quickly removed the broken end and returned it.  As soon as I find a replacement bolt, my electric drill will be back in action.

In the meantime, I was the guy starting up the old gas auger a couple of days!


You might be able to tell; I was drilling 17+ inches of ice there.  I was glad to have the ole Jiffy running again!  But, man, is that thing heavy, especially lugging it around in the 4-8 inches of packed snow that was on top of the ice!  Those were some of the toughest conditions I have ice-fished in the past several years, but I still caught fish!

All fish mentioned in this blog post were caught and released (yes, even the put-and-take trout).

Do not think I am done ice-fishing yet.  Stay tuned.

The post On the Ice, Mid-Winter 2023 appeared first on Nebraskaland Magazine.

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