Monday, January 20, 2014

Desperately Seeking Bass

I was off work this MLK Day.  I received a tip about an ice fishable pond that was reported to have nice size bass.  I enjoy catching bass and any chance to target a different species is welcome. Not that I mind catching bluegills mind you but today I was seeking bass.

I arrived at the pond and it was exactly as it had been described. A non-descript retention pond like many others I've fished on hard water.  I normally haul my Frabill shelter around with me but I checked the weather before I left the house.  We were supposed to have at least 32 degrees and no wind to speak of.  That made it comfortable to fish light; run and gun style with a sled and no shelter.

Time for bass!  I dragged my sled behind me and walked down to the ice's surface.  My battery jacked in to my ION auger I drill three test holes and check bottom depth with my Vexilar. 9'5", 10', and 9'5".  I was looking for a depth transition and I didn't find one.  I looked for fish on my flasher but none were there.  Only one thing to do, drill more holes. I walked the length of the pond drilling a hole every ten to fifteen paces. Next I followed up with my flasher.  Depths stayed about 10' and all my holes were fishless.  All but one.  Jigging a Fiskas Tungsten jig tipped with two wax worms in this hole made the bottom get thick with fish, well-up, chase my jig and tap, TAP.

I like bluegill but I was hoping for bass.  Still bluegill are fun and this is a magic hole.  It has fish while all others like it didn't.  I put on a red Aurora Lure Company Maggie plastic waxworm and two white spikes above the Maggie for the meat smell.

You can barely see it in the above picture.  The red inside the bluegill's mouth is the Aurora Lure Company Maggie.  I use Maggies in two ways. Either as a complete maggot replacement or as a tool to extend the usefulness of my maggots.  Only the larger bluegill can get the whole jig in their mouth and the whole red and white package should tempt any bass of any size to take a look and perhaps a taste.

More fish fall to the Maggie!  No bass I'm noticing.  So continue my search and to prove the hole was magic I drilled holes all over the rest of the pond and moved my flasher from place to place.  I jigged up two bluegills in the rest of the pond and those two bluegills were the only marks I saw on my sonar at all.  I decided to call off my search.  I knew where my magic hole was and I went right back to sit in front of it.  

The sun shone down and kept me warm and the bluegill magically appeared, chased my jig, and went tap, TAP before the hook sets through the lip and another non-bass comes up for a look around on the dry side of the water.  Each bluegill was released to swim another day. 

Eventually my fingerless glove got wet from handling fish.  Wet gloves mean cold hands and sure enough I was ready to leave in little time.  I just turned off my flasher so I wouldn't be tempted to drop just one more jig and catch just one more fish.

I pulled at least 30 bluegill through that one hole.  Any day I can do that I'd call a good day!  I was wanting to catch bass but catching is catching and I had a good day out on the ice.