Hey guys, first time posting in a LONG time. I got out relatively few times this spring break because of the unusual weather patterns and work. When I did get out, fishing was wicked slow for the most part. Last Saturday, I went out to a local two trap lake with my buddy Joe (Dipstick) and we fished for two hours in bitter cold. After losing a few fish between us (one for me and three for Joe) and with his buddy Andy catching the only fish (a perch), we went back to the launch cold and miserable. Sunday, I went on a trip with Tim Moore to better understand how to fish Winni. In the previous two trips to the big lake, I had success but nowhere as much as Tim so I felt tempted to hit him up and see what was going on. Although it was bitterly cold and very windy, we managed to sit on a pretty decent school of white perch. They were wicked finicky because of the post frontal conditions but I managed a good 7-8 big fish before the bite died after 11:00 am. Tim got a few white perch and a salmon.
I kept two for dinner. They are delicious!
The next day, Joe and I went back out to the same two trap lake to try our luck. We figured since we marked fish here on Saturday, they would be back and more active due to the oncoming snow storm (what a weird year it's been!). What was even weirder is that we did not mark anything except a few small perch. We tried another spot with no luck but didn't do too much more exploring because of sketchy ice. Disappointed, I went home to wrap up my ice fishing season and look forward to open water. Then Tuesday happened.... it snowed and snowed more and all the open ponds in my area were refrozen, cutting short my kayak fishing plans. After working Wednesday and Thursday, I visited the Swift River in Massachusetts to fly fish on Friday but only caught one bow in a day plagued by equipment failure. After I got home, Joe texted me about having a great day fishing the same spot on the same two trap lake. He said he was marking lakers everywhere and could do no wrong. We agreed to meet up the next day to catch some lakers and keep our seasons alive. That brings to yesterday: It started off wicked cold (single digits) in my early morning drive up to the lake. Once I got there, it was a balmy 13 degrees which felt surprisingly comfortable with the lack of wind. I walked to Joe's spot and greeted him and his friend Pat before setting up our traps. Within 15 mins, Joe caught a nice smallie and 30 mins after that, I lost a small laker on a tip up. It wasn't until my flag went up that we started to mark lakers (by this point, there were perch and smelt almost everywhere). We were marking these fish in 30 or so ft of water but after 15 mins of searching different holes, I decided to move out deeper. I set up towards the edge of a point in 40 ft of water and worked my jig up from the bottom to 10-15 above. At that point, I saw a red mark slightly above my jig. It moved just below my jig and as soon as I started to take it away from him, FISH ON!
Third time is the charm! A big thanks to Pat for taking the photo. He's the one who caught the 7 lb laker on an 8" sucker a couple weeks ago!
After this fish, we marked many more lakers most of which were providing great chases but were ultimately very finicky in biting. Joe got a couple more flags where the fish near spooled him but ultimately popped off. I got another flag deep but nothing home. Just past noon, we wrapped up and left. Although it wasn't a very fast day, catching the laker made my day and ultimately helped my confidence in jigging lakers (as it is my first year doing so). I am very keen about heading out next weekend to a warmwater pond to chase flags all day but lakers have me getting very excited even if the action isn't as great. I have a problem :tip up:.
And to think, I was fly fishing in NH just last week........