I hope everyone had a merry Christmas and happy new year. Amanda and I had a great little break from everyday life, spent a lot of time with family and even got some fishing in! We spent most of the holidays back on the east side of the state where we are from. The timing of everything works out pretty well in that we usually have first ice (except this year), and there is a late waterfowl season going on.
Amanda and I were both pretty anxious to do some fishing since the weekend before we either had too much ice to fish out of my small duck boat or too little ice to walk on. A quick check of a spot Christmas day confirmed there was no ice and we made plans to go the 26th. I've only tried pre ice bluegills once on a different lake but I assumed they would be in the same area we ice fish. This was going to be some pretty laid back fishing, a 10 foot duck boat, a pair of oars, and an anchor. We were using ice fishing jigs under a bobber in an area about 8 feet deep. It was kind of a challenge casting a bobber with 6 feet of line below it, but it was manageable since we anchored upwind of our spot. I had to make 2 small moves before we found an area with steady action. It was way different than ice out bluegill fishing with bobbers. You had to keep a really close eye on the bobber and if it looked like it was just sitting a little lower in the water a bluegill was on. We caught a bunch of them in a short time, and it was a great way to enjoy a beautiful December day.
I also had some high hopes for the late waterfowl season. The crew had been scouting a bunch and found the X, however we were a day late on getting permission on it. Luckily, Shaun had permission to hunt the field next to it, so we knew we at least had a chance to pull some birds in. The field was an easy set up and a muddy mess, but we all felt good about our chances at pulling them in. We put out a couple spinners, 60+ goose decoys, and 18 full body ducks so we knew they would at least see us. It wasn't long after shooting light and the ducks were flying...unfortunately they were flying sky high and right to the other field. As they hit the other field they would flare from whoever was set up in there and land elsewhere in that field. Ducks slowed up and didn't care anyway so I shut the spinners down and here came the geese. The first group popped over the trees, saw/heard us and started dropping altitude and flipping in the air. A pair landed about 50 yards out and the rest of the group slid to our left and low. Some crappy shooting yielded only one bird! But with how many birds were going to be flying over us we had high hopes we could convince them to check us out. From then on it was group after group that never even gave us a thought. It was frustrating but fun, we tried a lot of things but they were on such a mission to the other field where they would promptly get flared off the other groups spread and land elsewhere in the field. We all had places to be so hanging out for the afternoon flight was out of the question, although I think since they had seen us once we may have fared better. Either way it was a fun end to a great season with the crew. Lots of highlights including a few new species, a couple 24 bird hunts and a lot of laughs along the way.
The new year also means it is show season, the first one of the year is always the Ultimate Fishing Show in Novi. This year I'll be there with the FishSens crew. We won't have any products for sale, but we are really hoping to talk to a lot of anglers. It will be the first "show" the SondeCams have been at so we are hoping for a great introduction and feedback from everyone. I'm looking forward to talking fishing at the show and also seeing many familiar faces. I'll be there Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so stop by and say hello if you are at the show.
Since it has been taking the ice a while to get here, rather than risking falling through I've been getting a lot of stuff around the house done and started going through my tackle. One thing I'd like to recommend to everyone who fishes Nemesis Bullet Craws is to save them! When they are torn up from texas rigging, just snip that part off and you have a great jig trailer. I've also been figuring out what I want for next year equipment wise and which new Dobyns Rods and Lew's reels I want to try. I've also been kicking around the idea of selling my 8 foot Minn Kota Talons and upgrading to 10 footers for next season. If there is any interest out there in them please get in contact with me.
I also had some time to look through some old footage I had on my computer and put together a video from a smallmouth trip from fall 2013. Nothing too exciting but it gets me excited for spring! (Link to YouTube Clip). Next year I really plan to work harder with the gopro footage and also combine that with footage from my FishSens SondeCam DVR.
That's about all I've got, looking forward to seeing everyone at the Ultimate Fishing Show this week.