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.