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Once in lifetime hardwater weekend #8996303 01/29/24 05:34 AM
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Friday afternoon my oldest son and i headed up to the cottage for a weekend on the ice. Don't get that many chances to get out with the lad so was hoping for a good weekend. Little did i know that the fishing would smash our expectations and go down as one of the greatest fishing weekends of all time - hard or soft water.

Saturday morning we got on the ice at Fish Bay and rode 25 km offshore to the Manitou Islands. Thickness while on the shy side of normal was more than adequate but slush and more pressure ridges/cracks than i have ever seen on Nip made a very interesting ride out.

We arrived at about 10 am and had lines in the water at 10:35. The setup:

[Linked Image]

The action started immediately and never stopped until we used up our +/- 3 dozen minnows. And it did not take long. 2.5 hours of fishing and we landed 42 fish. We initially set up our second lines on jaw jackers but pretty quickly gave up on the second lines as we simply could not keep up.

The take for Saturday included:

30 perch - 23 kept
1 Burbot - 27 inches
1 pike - 18.5 inches
10 walleye - got our 4 in the slot (2 each), 5 around 14 inches and one 24 inch.

Select photos:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Partial Saturday haul:

[Linked Image]

Balance of Saturday - bag we forgot to put in pic above less one walleye already under the knife:

[Linked Image]

Sunday morning got up around 7 and ate a pound of bacon and 8 eggs between the two of us. Hit Fish Bay bound for the Manitous again at about 840 am. We were excited but honestly did not expect another day like Saturday, plus we already had 4 walleye in the fridge so no keepers for walleye regardless of size.

It was foggy and misty and once at the top of South Bay there was no way to see the Manitous. I am old school and refuse to rely on a GPS preferring either dead reckoning or a compass. Well an old &^*# like me knows dead reckoning is useless in the fog on the ice. So got out the Silva and took a bearing and headed out. Stopped every km to check my bearing. Well plodding along at 20 km/hour (couldn't go any faster for fear of hitting a pressure ridge in the fog) it took a while but after 30 minutes of driving in the void the fog began to lift and i caught sight of the most southerly island - land ho - good to go!

Lines in the water at 10:15 am and this time armed with +/- 4 dozen minnows. Action started within 3 minutes and just never stopped. We landed 66 fish in just under 4 hours and then once again ran out of bait.

The Sunday haul:

59 perch - 50 kept
5 walleye - all went back - mostly small guys
1 Cisco
1 pike - 23 inch

Select photos:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Grand total of 6.5 hours with lines in the water and 108 fish landed with 81 kept - 73 perch, 4 walleye, 1 burbot, 2 pike, 1 cicso. I have had good days on Nip many times but this was just a whole different level. Back at the cottage both days before 4 pm with woodstove lit, roaring and whisky poured by 430 pm - the good life.

Last edited by Hirogen; 01/29/24 06:22 AM.

Never violate a woman, nor harm a child. Do not lie, cheat or steal. These things are for lesser men. Protect the weak against the evil strong. And never allow thoughts of gain to lead you into the pursuit of evil.

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Re: Once in lifetime hardwater weekend [Re: Hirogen] #8996307 01/29/24 07:06 AM
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Outstanding! Thanks for sharing….


Originally Posted by Sneaky
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Re: Once in lifetime hardwater weekend [Re: Hirogen] #8996313 01/29/24 11:02 AM
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One good day of fishing can make up for a lot of bad ones. Two in a row, well that's what memories are made of.

Re: Once in lifetime hardwater weekend [Re: Hirogen] #8996334 01/29/24 12:31 PM
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That's what it's all about! Thanks for sharing.

P.S. Driving that far on ice that's a little suspect would have me puckering like crazy. eeks333

P.P.S. Had to look up burbot and cisco...


[Linked Image]
Re: Once in lifetime hardwater weekend [Re: Hirogen] #8996348 01/29/24 01:19 PM
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Congrats; that is one kick azz mess of fish cheers

You may have shared it with us before but how do you decide where to fish on the lake? You said you do not use GPS so do you use some type of fish finder or use maps that show certain structure or just go hey this looks like a good spot and get after it?


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Re: Once in lifetime hardwater weekend [Re: Hirogen] #8996357 01/29/24 01:48 PM
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cheers coolpics

We've had a weird winter. Early Dec. we had 1 day that ice was safe ta walk on.
Caught a lot of perch, all went back, too small. Tried another lake. 2 small walleyes released.
Next day open water.

Jan. we had over a week with Temps -01° as a high. This is first winter the cold got best of me.
Knees are shot. Ice finally got thick enough ta drive me Jeep on. Twice had 15-20 perch under
minnows & jigs, nothing bitting. Water clear around 8' deep. Could see the fish & bottom.
Yesterday was 50° Temps. & forecast shows in 40's next 10 days.

Stay SAFE cheers Best wish's.

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Re: Once in lifetime hardwater weekend [Re: Hirogen] #8996374 01/29/24 02:24 PM
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Great times! Thanks for sharing.

Re: Once in lifetime hardwater weekend [Re: Stub] #8996457 01/29/24 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Stub
Congrats; that is one kick azz mess of fish cheers

You may have shared it with us before but how do you decide where to fish on the lake? You said you do not use GPS so do you use some type of fish finder or use maps that show certain structure or just go hey this looks like a good spot and get after it?



Review depth charts for structure. Than find it with the compass and snowmobile. Confirm the depth by counting rotations on the reel.


Never violate a woman, nor harm a child. Do not lie, cheat or steal. These things are for lesser men. Protect the weak against the evil strong. And never allow thoughts of gain to lead you into the pursuit of evil.

-The Iron Code of Druss the Legend
Re: Once in lifetime hardwater weekend [Re: Hirogen] #8996544 01/29/24 06:48 PM
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Awesome up

Re: Once in lifetime hardwater weekend [Re: Hirogen] #8996581 01/29/24 07:51 PM
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My grandad, an avid trout fisherman where I grew up in Oregon, would make me throw back yellow perch and would cuss (bankety blank trash fish) every time we caught one. Now living most of my life in Texas eating crappie, I know those yellow perch are delicious white meat fish! I would love to be at the fish fry y'all will be having soon! Don't forget the fried taters and hushpuppies...

Re: Once in lifetime hardwater weekend [Re: Hirogen] #8996827 01/30/24 05:19 AM
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Dang…. That’s a fish fry spectacular in the making! Great job!


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Re: Once in lifetime hardwater weekend [Re: SnakeWrangler] #8996872 01/30/24 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SnakeWrangler
Outstanding! Thanks for sharing….

Re: Once in lifetime hardwater weekend [Re: Hirogen] #8996889 01/30/24 02:25 PM
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Congrats. Great couple of days. What is the fish that looks like a snakehead?

Re: Once in lifetime hardwater weekend [Re: ErikL] #8997102 01/30/24 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ErikL
Congrats. Great couple of days. What is the fish that looks like a snakehead?


That is the burbot. AKA eelpout AKA ling cod. Type of freshwater cod.


Never violate a woman, nor harm a child. Do not lie, cheat or steal. These things are for lesser men. Protect the weak against the evil strong. And never allow thoughts of gain to lead you into the pursuit of evil.

-The Iron Code of Druss the Legend
Re: Once in lifetime hardwater weekend [Re: Hirogen] #8997425 01/31/24 03:38 AM
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Thanks for the great replies guys.

So took me 5 hours to fillet the 81 fish. One 2 hour shift and one 3 hour shift. Touched up the fillet knife once mid way through with a few strokes on the 1200 grit fine hone. Might look into an electric as my neighbor tells me they are the cat's azz. Although not sure if it would be any faster as my fillet knife is a one off custom that keeps and holds a razor's edge and i know how to use it. I remember the day when i was 6 years old that my 10 year old cousin taught me how fillet and skin a fish. We had caught a pail full of crappie out of the river that ran through their farm - good times. Honestly an electric knife just doesn't seem to fit my low-tech personality.

Have had two meals off the haul so far and have 7 large freezer bags stuffed with meat. Gonna eat off this haul for a while.

Last edited by Hirogen; 01/31/24 04:00 AM.

Never violate a woman, nor harm a child. Do not lie, cheat or steal. These things are for lesser men. Protect the weak against the evil strong. And never allow thoughts of gain to lead you into the pursuit of evil.

-The Iron Code of Druss the Legend
Re: Once in lifetime hardwater weekend [Re: Hirogen] #8997584 01/31/24 03:19 PM
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sweet!


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