In my last blog there was mention about negotiating the River when ice floes are a factor. Bottom line: don’t launch the boat unless you have a solid ‘Plan B’.
Yesterday I wanted to launch @ Army Rd. east of New Albin. Ice blocked the ramp 50′ out. So I crossed the River and launched @ Blackhawk Park, attacking the ice jam from the River side of the Army road ramp. The ramp is now open, providing quicker access to the River for today’s walleye/sauger catching escapade.
Fish are solidly in wintering holes now. Water temp about 35 degrees. Slow presentation w/ plastic or hair like the Northland buckaroo w/ a A STINGER HOOK vertically jigged & hovered just off bottom works well when they feel like eating.
Slowly pulling a 3-way with a Moxie or Ribb Finn on a 1 oz. jig on the short dropper and a shad pattern FLY on a 4-6′ dropper will also tear ’em up when fish are in at least a neutral mood.
If they won’t eat but you’re on fish they will usually strike a reaction presentation like a B-Fish-N B3 blade Northland Puppet Minnow or buckshot Rattle Spoon.
TUNDRA SWANS tell me when its time to lay up the boat for awhile. They have not migrated to the Chesapeake Bay yet. 3 days after they do, the River will lock with ice to the point where a Plan B launch/recover option is dubious. this is when i’ll start ice fishin’.
the Mississippi River is an inherently dangerous place!! ANY outing there needs careful planning with redundancy for every aspect of the trip. Today’s mission: catch 4 saugers for dinner. This should take about an hour.
Mary “fishing Machine” Christoffer has the best walleye recipe of all time; equal parts bisquik &Corn starch. 1T Vanilla, salt & pepper. Beer and a FORK. Mix the batter til it clings to the back of the fork but not between the tines. Fry for a couple minutes. don’t burn your mouth!