I booked a day off on Friday and headed out to the first outing to Simcoe as i wasn't confident previously based on ice reports and issues we've seen. You all know those reports. A full day on the ice from 6:30am until 5pm and while i had many lookers and a few chasers, nothing ended up top shelf on the ice. As i was walking back, i have a tendency to pick up trash that others have left behind, i come across this Gulp Alive jar and shook my head at why it would get left behind like that. I reach for it only to find it half empty with these tiny 1" minnows. It must've dropped out of someone's gear and no chance they were going to find it if they come looking. Without a lost and found on the ice, i dropped it in my bag (if it's yours, i'll buy you a new one, let me know ). I thought this would be my final outting and it most likely would've been had i connected with a local (read: fish) but it didn't work out.
Packed up, drove home, and layed on the couch to rest up. Everytime i blinked i could see the darn sonar chart because it's all i could think about. How did i miss that laker that chased from 100ft to 20? What was wrong with the bait i'm using? I switched up lures.. dropper rigs like was recommended, smaller baits.. nadda.
Saturday came and went and all i could think about was heading out again, so i packed my gear and prepped for a Sunday outing.
Up at 4:30, at the parking lot by 6:00, on the ice by 6:45. With the fog set in, you couldn't see much, neither where you were going nor other fishermen. You could hear many voices and holes being drilled but unless they were 10 feet away, you had no idea where the other person was.
Immediately after setting up i'm marking fish consistently - good sign. So i hunker down and assume they were whities so a half & half goes on with a #8hook 12" up with a power minnow on. Plenty of lookers on the minnow but nothing connecting so i decide to drop in size to, you guessed it, the 1" Gulp Alive i found on the ice on Friday. Spoon drops to the bottom, it sits for a few and i see a mark heading up to the minnow.. i very lightly give it some life and ... we're on! I was excited to hook into my first whitie and.. wait, this fish is peeling line like crazy.. reel is screeeeeaming. A laker? gotta be a laker or the most active white fish ever. It had some serious pull too as every few reels i'd make some headway and it would take it all back. I brought it up to within 20ft of victory and it screamed to the bottom again but this was it's last run. It's now top shelf and i was as excited as they come.
Here's the beauty that warmed me up for the day..
If you look at the bottom right corner of the pic, you can see the bait it took. It was tiny.