Almost without fail we get a thaw in late January that lasts for a few days. This year was no exception. Temps from Thursday until Sunday rose to 36F and were accompanied by 3/4 inch of rain. We still have lots of snow but it turns the lakes into a soupy mess. You end up with anywhere from 1 to 12 inches of slush on top of the ice. Some places the slush is concealed below snow and others it is visible at the surface. It makes snowmobiling, especially when towing a 300lb+ toboggan full of gear, a tricky proposition. The slush is like super slippery mud on top of a layer of wet ice. This makes traction almost non-existent. The trick is go as fast as you safely can (usually 40 or 45 mph when towing) and never slow down and when you hit the slush patches put the throttle to the stops. Only ever stop where you know the slush layer is minimal.
So that's the preface. Went out yesterday but didn't get a super early start today - probably had something to do with a bottle of whiskey the night before. Managed to get going about 10am and trail and ice travel made it a little past 11 am before i wet a line.
First spot i set up was dead dead. Stayed there until about 2pm and finally got sick of nothing so packed up and headed 12 miles further down the lake to a location about 200 yards out from the mouth of a secluded decent size creek. My original plan had been to head there first but the sleep-in combined with the slush made me a little paranoid. Being solo with a heavy sled the last thing i wanted was to get stuck (although i have screw in anchors, straps and a come along in the toboggan at all times - still not fun).
I should of went to the planned spot right away. 30 seconds after wetting my line i lost something (probs a perch or small eye) half way up on the retrieve. So progressed the rest of the afternoon. Non-stop - no time or need to put in a second deadstick hole. In 2 hours i landed 8 eyes in the 12 to 16 inch range and perhaps a dozen perch. Lost at least as many as i landed. Ran out of minnows at 5 pm.
Tackle consisted of a Little Cleo tipped with 3 inch shiners. Never tried anything else as they started hitting that right away and didn't stop until my minnows were gone. Once out of minnows i packed it in as riding in the slush in the dark is something i try to avoid.
Average afternoon perch (this guy was 11 inches and a mess of them this size is about the best eating there is):
Average afternoon eye:
The hot spot:
Sorry did not take photos of the slush sections as throttle is always pinned until i know i am well clear.