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Abominable Snow Gills!

by Will Roseberg on 03/11/2013

Back-to-back big snowstorm
gills
Talk about getting some stange looks from my co-workers, but when I checked the weather and noticed a big storm front would be moving through last Saturday, there I was doing a little happy dance in my cubicle. Why? In my experience panfish, especially the big ones, really turn on just before a big storm and I was going to be at the cabin!


Garret with a nice crappie
With pouring rain on Saturday morning we stuck it out indoors until about 2 PM when at the first sign of snow-flakes my friend Garret and I loaded the ATV and headed for the ice. By the time we arrived at the lake there were already a few inches of fresh, wet "Spring" snow. Greeted by cotton ball sized snowflakes as we headed out we knew it was an awesome day just to enjoy the wonder that is mother nature and catching fish would just be icing on the cake. Understanding that as Spring approaches the panfish are already starting to move off of their winter haunts over deep mid-lake basins and begging to stage just outside of shallow water Spring locations and armed with some new tricks from recent reports by Joe Scegura and Mike LeClaire packed with how to info on targeting late season crappies and bluegills ( Ice Fishing Crappie Tactics & Old School Gills) we decided to start our search near shallow point with close proximity to to the main lake basin.

With only a couple hours until dark we needed to cover water quickly so we fired up the Lazer Pro and each took a couple shifts punching holes until we had over 40 of them covering depths from 5-20' along the point edge closest to the main basin. Then starting in opposite corners, Garret out deep and me in shallow, we checked every hole for fish. As time was short we didn't plan to spend any time fishing "empty" holes so we didn't even drop a line in the water unless we saw fish. Unfortunately after covering all 40 holes we only had dropped a line in two of them and had nothing to show for it. It was a little disheartening, but I wasn't completely suprised as often this time of year they could be only a few feet or even just inches under the ice. And although I didn't mark fish while hole hoping I had noticed what looked like interference in the first couple feet under the ice in a few spots. If my hunch was correct I assumed this was actually where the baitfish were holding and the crappies would most likely not be far behind so I shortened my transducer cable to maximize my view just under the ice and went back to find a hole with "interference". Dropping my spoon down and giving it a couple of twitches almost immediately resulted in a solid red line appearing no more than 2' below the ice and it was already in full on kamikaze mode shooting up to inhale my spoon.


Maximum use of screen space
on LX-7 in shallow water
By repeating this pattern of finding bugs/baitfish then jigging in what initially seemed to be "dead" holes I had quickly iced several nice crappies; however, Garret still couldn't even find the baitfish. It didn't take long to figure out that it wasn't the fisherman's fault but that his electronics were letting him down. I borrowed him my LX-7 and instantly he was the productive fisherman while I could no longer follow my own pattern. What made the difference? Actually there were two subtle but important reasons why my LX-7 performs so well for shallow panfish. First, being digital has allowed Marcum to add in additional depth range adjustments which allows me to use the full dial on my flasher which for shallow water fishing makes a WORLD of difference. Secondly - The 6 color pallet versus a traditional 3 color pallet. Essentially what this change allowed was to add 3 levels of sensitivity where if you think of a traditional flasher as having high, medium, and low where the new 6 color pallet adds in extra low, even lower, and microscopically low. The advantage that having those two features gives a person in shallow water is night-and-day!



11" gill compared to
11" crappie
A quick "Hey is a that squatch over there?!" distracted Garret just long and for me to steal the LX-7 back, but after a few more minutes of catching crappies they disappeared. Figuring that they must be heading shallow to feed for the evening we started moving up toward the top of the point and sure enough on the 2nd to the last hole just off the top edge of the point I found a couple solid marks. My first drop down resulted in a beautiful 9.5" gill and noticing that there was still a mark on my screen I set her down in the snow then proceeded to top my PB gill from just a few weeks ago with an 11" monster! It might not have changed how the situation played out, but often little things can make a huge difference so something wanted to point out how I handle a situation like this with fish on the screen. When I do get onto an active school I really don't like to catch a fish and send it down the hole while there are other fish on the screen. Especially in this shallow water to avoid spooking the school I always wait until I can get a bait back in their face to hold their attention or with conditions like this where the weather is warm and damp enough to allow it I will set a fish on the ice for a second while I go after the next one. Not only does this often allow you to catch more fish out of a single school, but since frequently the smaller fish are up top and will chase more agressively it's common that the 2nd or 3rd fish turns out to be the monster.

It was an awesome day on the ice that I think Garret summed up best best when he said, "This more than makes up for having to spend the day plowing snow tomorrow!"



Location : Minnesota
Water Body : Mille Lacs Area
Species : panfish
Water Temp : 34
Technique : ice fishing


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http://www.facebook.com/Will.Roseberg.Fishing

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles.


Will Roseberg

Re: Abominable Snow Gills!


One of the coolest days I've spent on the ice. Almost perfectly calm with almost no sound but every few minutes branches in the woods around us would come crashing down under the weight of the snow - Natures way of pruning as my grampa would say

A couple more pics of the snow.

1) At least 3-4" came down in just an hour and a half of fishing
2) It was so wet and heavy that by the time we left I could just stand my auger up in the snow

1363030949_snowdayATV.JPG1363030969_snowdaystrikemaster.JPG
1363030949_snowdayATV.JPG


--------------------
http://www.facebook.com/Will.Roseberg.Fishing

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles.

Edited by Will Roseberg (03/11/13 02:54 PM)


Joel Ballweg

Re: Abominable Snow Gills!


Holy Moly those are some big gills!
Awesome job Will.

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JOEL BALLWEG - IDO FIELD STAFF
B'Fish'N Tackle.com
Ballweg's Guide Sevice, LLC
Lake Wisconsin Fishing.com




Bigfife

Re: Abominable Snow Gills!


Looks like an adventure for sure!

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Team Fife Fishing
NPAA #916


Quintin Biermann

Re: Abominable Snow Gills!


Very nice Will, cant be afraid to think outside the box and keep punching holes. What lure presentation were you using to lure in the big boys, perhaps I missed it, but curious to know. - Q

Will Roseberg

Re: Abominable Snow Gills!


Quote:

Very nice Will, cant be afraid to think outside the box and keep punching holes. What lure presentation were you using to lure in the big boys, perhaps I missed it, but curious to know. - Q




Everything big came on a small blue/white spoon tipped with red eurolarva.

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http://www.facebook.com/Will.Roseberg.Fishing

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles.


ecnook

Re: Abominable Snow Gills!


Those are some monster gills .. great report Will

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Luck is an attitude


Hamms

Re: Abominable Snow Gills!


Great report and congrats on the new PB! The Lx7 Sure is a fun tool when dialed in makes all the difference like you said.

chomps

Re: Abominable Snow Gills!


awesome job, nice report.

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Pete-Dude! It's Beef!


Kooty

Re: Abominable Snow Gills!


It's those special days that make some of the not so special disappear.

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I was born in the 70's, grew up in 80's, made my mistakes in 90's now I'm just trying to make up for lost time.

John


carmike

Re: Abominable Snow Gills!


Awesome report....sounds like an amazing day!

TCcat

Re: Abominable Snow Gills!


I bet those trophy gills were good eatin.

Tom Gursky

Re: Abominable Snow Gills!


Its been a long time since I've seen big Gills like that...
Awesome

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Tom Gursky~

BfishN Tackle
GameHide

Fish new waters...learn new techniques!
Catch big fish like these! Teaching Guide
Northwoods Adventures Guide Service




Joel NelsonAdministrator

Re: Abominable Snow Gills!


Great observations out there Will. Just this weekend I was using the LX-7 to "digitally sort" through fish in the school I was hoping to catch. Nothing like that 11"er came topside however. That fish has mass!

Congrats and thanks for sharing.

Joel

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Joel Nelson - Ice Pro Staff
joel.nelson@in-depthoutdoors.com



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