Sno-cone perch

Sno-cone perch

Got out on a favorite chunk of early March ice yesterday. First time since Thursday. last time out there was 22″ of good ice here, and a nice mess of respectable perch which attacked a Slab Rap. On Thursday, I got on the ice about noon, with the hot bite from about 1-3 p.m.

So yesterday, back to essentially the same holes. Walked on the ice about 9 a.m. perch still there. By noon I had iced just six–none of them keepers. Started with the slab Rap, then went to a Forage Minnow on a drop chain, #3 Puppet Minnow, then a Purple Cecil.

The perch had varying degrees of interest. some shooting up off the bottom several feet before ghosting away. Meanwhile two deadsticks baited with minnows produced absolutely nothing.

About 1 .pm I went to the Gold Cecil and hooked into a fat 12′ female. maybe it was time of day, maybe lure choice and presentation. Can’t say. But bite was steady after that with no time to ponder sundry mysteries of the fishing universe.

kept 9 perch 9-11 inches. Several iced were over a foot. Biggest was 12 1/2″. No monsters, but some really nice perch. The males are milting like crazy now. Female perch are putting a lot of energy into egg production, so flesh is definitely not as firm as the males…one more reason not to keep those fat orange egg cannons.

This morning I was lying in bed, mulling fishing options for the day. I KNOW I can go catch a dozen walleyes and saugers in the boat…but that will be pretty much an every day grind once the guiding work picks up. I also KNOW I can go ice a nice mess of perch.

Thoughts turned to the ice. There is still about 20″ where I was fishing. But the first six inches or so no has the consistency of a sno-cone. Ice is already gone or passage is unsafe on the other hidden March hardwater spots. Yesterday there were only three other bucketeers within shouting distance–not that I ever felt like yelling ‘fish on!’

Experience has taught calling out ‘help!’ comes out several octaves higher, with just a hint of desperation in the tone. Not the kind of song a crusty old river rat likes to sing.

So it’s back to the ice for a couple more days, then time to charge the Vexilar and put it on a shelf. Better to see that FL-28 safely stowed than realizing it is somewhere on the bottom and i’m thankful to be safely ashore and alive.

Probably won’t blog for awhile. Will be too busy fishing to jump on the shiny object and tell the world I’m fishing.

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