I fished the SF of the Snake this morning with my friends Kyle and Gabe. Gabe had to get to class by 11:00 AM so we started out pretty early. By 8:00 AM we were on the water and it was still pretty chilly. We were cleaning ice off the guides every few casts for the first little while until it started to warm up. The fishing wasn’t too fast but we ended up with a few browns and a whitefish. Not too bad for a couple hours on a pretty cold morning. Most of the browns were between 14″- 16″, with one dinky guy. Most of the fish were caught in pretty slow water on a rubber legs. The first three browns were caught out of the same slot within the same 10 minute period as well. It was my first time out on the open water in a while and I am looking forward to spring quite a bit now and not having to clean the ice off my guides. I think the higher flows on the South Fork have been helpful to the fish this winter. Most of the fish I have been catching are fat and healthy compared to last winters skinny browns. I also think it’s crazy how much each fish’s appearance can vary from one another even though they are in the same river system. The first one I caught had a lot of Gold and a normal amount of red spots. The second one wasn’t quite as gold, but its spots had some great color. The third one had very little spots at all almost had a blue tint to it. As I was leaving I also saw a few bald eagles sitting in a tree waiting for an easy meal to swim by.
After the great success on Friday and Saturday, I was excited to have a whole day to devote to perch fishing at one of my favorite reservoirs. My friends Gabe and Kyle met me at the reservoir and we were on the ice and fishing by 7:30. Within the first couple of minutes we were already getting fish to bite. I ended up with the first perch of the day, a fatty around 12″. Gabe started catching fish soon after as well and even hooked into his first large mouth bass. Kyle forget something in the truck so he started a few minutes after us but as soon as he dropped his line he started getting into the fish as well. The morning bite went like this for half an hour or so and then things started to slow down a little. We continued to pick up a fish here and there and decided to go grab some lunch around noon. We were back on the water by 2:00 and back in to the fish again almost immediately. The fishing wasn’t fast and furious but it was good enough to keep us all entertained. We continued to pick up perch and even a few bass here and there. I also managed to pick up a couple of trout, both around 2.5 lbs and great fighters. One of the trout hit the rod so hard it nearly fell down the hole. Around 4:30 the bite really started to pick up again and we couldn’t keep them off the lines. We had a couple of cameras down and could see that the school was traveling through on a regular basis. At times it took the school over a minute to pass through. This went on until it was too dark to see. All together we ended up with over 40 perch, averaging 11″-12″ (1.25 lbs), a dozen bass, all around 12″, and a couple of nice trout. We all kept a few perch for a meal and threw the rest back to get bigger and make a few more perch. This was one of the best days of ice fishing I’ve ever had and was a great way to finish President’s day weekend. Between Friday, Saturday, and Monday I caught more nice perch than I ever have before in such a small period of time. It is great to see a healthy reservoir producing such great perch.
My Haul For The Day
This weekend has provided another great round of perch fishing. I have spent a lot of this winter focusing on learning how to be a better perch fisherman through the ice. One of the key things I have learned is how important your location is. If you aren’t getting into any fish in the first 5-10 minutes, there probably aren’t any perch where you are fishing. This is not always the case and a camera or flasher makes it much easier to determine if you are fishing in the right spot. With that said, I decided to hit another one of my favorite lakes for perch the past couple of days. It took me a couple of hours to find the fish but as soon as I did the fishing was pretty fast. Last night I kept four and through the rest back. They were averaging 11″ and up.
Since the fishing was so great last night I decided to go back again early this morning. As soon as I dropped my line down I started getting into the fish. I ended up landing a dozen or so perch and a nice trout. Around 10:15 or so the fishing started to slow down and I packed up and headed out with another four that I decided to keep. I’ll be back again Monday and I am hoping I can catch some over the 13″ mark.