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Put boots to the ice today. Earliest ice for me. Ledge Lake had 4” of clear ice, but decided to scout Portage Lakes. Checked with one guy on Nimi to see what’s going on. Shared some info on the Striker 4 with him and he shared some Lake info with me. Looked to have 4” clear ice, although shoreline is a bit sketchy. Dropped my camera down a few holes until I found fish. Tried an ice fly with power maggot. Had plenty of fish come up and inspect it. Grabbed the rod rigged with jigging spoon, tipped it with a power maggot and got a ok size crappie within two minutes. Can’t complain at all for just a scouting outing and the first time on ice on that lake.
 

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Planning on hitting Catawba next and looking for a team of ice thugs to join me. Who wants in on the action?
You looking to do the main lake or East Harbor? With snowmageddon hitting by area, thinking Portage Lakes may be questionable. Resorted to thinking on exploring East Harbor.
 

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Tried out another new lake for me. Only fished about 3 hr but the size was a little better. 9”& 11” crappie and some good size gills. Bigger fish than East Harbor yesterday.
 

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Decided to check out a lake west of me that I’ve been wanting to ice fish because it looked good with the depth charts. Started in about 16’ fow and got a cat that came in like it was an attack submarine on a mission. Moved out to deeper water (23’ fow) and had some perch to play with. Worked way back in a little shallower and found the edge of a reef in 17-18’ fow. Saw a couple bass and a couple cats cruise through, but toward dusk had walleye/saugeye coming up from the depths. Had a hard time identifying them until seeing the white tip on the bottom of the tail fin. Lost two of them part way to the hole. Hard a hard time seeing them on the flasher, but the camera was dead on. Had about 4” of white ice and 4” of clear ice. Only one small open spot near the ramp which was not a problem.
 

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Decided to check out a lake west of me that I’ve been wanting to ice fish because it looked good with the depth charts. Started in about 16’ fow and got a cat that came in like it was an attack submarine on a mission. Moved out to deeper water (23’ fow) and had some perch to play with. Worked way back in a little shallower and found the edge of a reef in 17-18’ fow. Saw a couple bass and a couple cats cruise through, but toward dusk had walleye/saugeye coming up from the depths. Had a hard time identifying them until seeing the white tip on the bottom of the tail fin. Lost two of them part way to the hole. Hard a hard time seeing them on the flasher, but the camera was dead on. Had about 4” of white ice and 4” of clear ice. Only one small open spot near the ramp which was not a problem.
oh, I did have a catfish try to eat my camera. Watched it swim up right into the camera and next thing I see is it’s mouth open and cover the whole lens.
 

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Thinking today may be the end of my season. Ice cracking and popping pretty good which didn’t bother me much. But when you feeling the ice bouncing during that cracking, it get on your nerves a bit. Was sitting on 6” of pretty clear ice. Two strikes from a walleye on my jigging rod with a pimple, lost a nice bass at the hole with a tip up, and had a mudpuppy on a tip up which didn’t trip the tip up when packing up the tip ups.
 

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Cold weather/ice fishing bibs.

My old HUK bibs are done and gone. Lasted 4 years and I loved them @ under 4 pounds and got to the point I would only wear sweatpants underneath as they were super warm.

I want the KRYPTEK version of HIK but cannot find any where. So I am looking at these STRIKER ice bibs. Says they float and are on sale. Any feedback with STRIKER bibs/product would appreciate.h

Note I do like (it floats) thingy...

Don. View attachment 495782 View attachment 495783
I just bought the Striker jacket and bib last season and had no problems with them. Quite pleased with how well they have worked out and I gave them a little more of a workout this last year compared to all other years of ice fishing.
 

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Out of curiosity when was the last time you fished any December ice?

I can’t seem to remember you on scene anywhere when we were fishing December ice many many times in the past.

Speaking from experience we will likely fish some December ice. You maybe not some of us yes we will.

I’m sure you’ll be out by the 3rd week of January though. The bridges an reefs & even that little hole behind long lake bait will be Swiss cheese by then.


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Got my ice fishing started maybe close to 20 years ago when this steelhead junkie got frozen rivers early December one year. Would have given up if it had not been for the underwater camera I got a deal on, seeing all the fish that came up and nibbled on the power maggots I had on jigs, without ever taking the hook in their mouth.
 

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Oh no! Been busy making sure my gear is order. Went through the Fish Trap X is ready to, got a few more ice anchors for the Clam Bigfoot XL2000 hub shelter, a stove fan for the Buddy Heater, a soft side rod case which I cut some PVC piping to get some extra protection for the rods. Started going through a few more things when it dawned on me, where is my jig box? It’s missing! A frantic search of the house and still no jig box. I don’t need this so close to the season kickoff. So much the good intentions of the SO to try to organize my fishing gear, but leave them be. I have my own system on how to organize my gear. And when it comes to ice fishing, it’s between two buckets.
 

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Drill is now mounted in the clam drill plate. 4” auger still free of any rust and is still sharp. Rods all ready, new jigs are here, new hard baits are in place. Float suit passed it’s test today for sub zero temps, but with this wind, a shelter would be necessary. Heater still working, although a few bottles of propane could be in order. All in all, ready to load up. Might check out Ledge or Spencer tomorrow.
 
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