Vermont > Ice Fishing Vermont

Season in review.

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Bob G.:
After working for the same company for more than 40 years, I retired mid-January this year. I decided to get back into ice fishing after being out of it for 30 years since I had extra time to kill during winter.

Many moons ago, myself and two co-workers built a wooden shanty and fished somewhere along Georgia shore to St. Albans. I canít even remember where we went. After a few seasons, one moved on and I got out of ice fishing. Sold my hand auger and a crappy Ski Doo I had for getting to the shanty. We fished with wooden jig sticks.

Fast forward to a couple months ago and started from scratch. A friend of mine that has ice fished off and on for long time gave me some advice. He had just bought a 7.5Ē K-drill so I bought one. I already had a Milwaukee drill that was on K-drillís list. Already had a jet sled for deer hunting and got a cover for it. Scrounged up some pan fish baits I had, bought 2 tiny rods and reels and I was out fishing.

Got an email from my former employer with a list of stuff to choose for a retirement gift. One of the items was a Dewalt 20v Max Ex R drill / impact wrench combo. Ordered that and use the drill dedicated for the K-drill. Drill came with two 4Ah batteries. I bought an 8Ah battery and keep the other two in an Apache 1800 case from HB. Have not the spares yet.

Had no shanty or electronics and winged it. Saw where others were fishing around Georgia shore and started fishing there. Saw posts on here about fishing with bare bibbits and stocked up, mostly at the Bay Store.

I carried a handheld GPS with a Navionics mapping card to guesstimate depth.

Some days I did ok and other days only caught a few, kind of like fishing in my boat!

Bought two more rods and reels. My normal set up was three rigged bibbits and one rigged with a Swedish pimple. If not catching anything on a bibbit, I went with the pimple and would usually catch a dink. If not, Iíd move on and drill another hole and repeat.

After reading about the big white perch migration, I started fishing at Killkare. Then it happened! I was fishing around a bunch of guys that were pulling them in like crazy. Guy gave me a forage minnow jig. I put an eye on and filled a bucket. Went out the next day to catch a few for dinner. Ordered some that day!

I managed to get out on the ice 16x from the beginning of February to March 16, the last day I went.

A few weeks before the end of the season, I decided to get a flotation suit. I got the WindRider jacket and bibs. I took advantage of the $35 off end of season sale. I donít need to bundle up under the suit and the days the wind was blowing, the suit was well worth it.

As I posted in another thread, I got a Vexilar FLX-30 from a friend. I used it twice last week and look forward to next season with it. Since it fits in a bucket I reevaluated the rectangular tackle box I was using. Found a round tackle box that fits in a bucket and put my stuff in it. Will be a nice setup.

I filleted all of my fish with regular fillet knives. The bucket of white perch took awhile. Ordered a Rapala Heavy Duty 110v electric fillet knife combo. Will be here in two days.

Organized my stuff today and ready for next year. Thanks for the advice from everyone here including some I met on the ice!



VTMTB:
Welcome back to the sport. I started fishing (ice and open water) again approximately 8-9 years ago after 30 years or so away from it and I can't imagine why I stopped or not doing it now. Have a great off-season; hope to see you back here next year.

koissu:
Love the progression and growth! I (finally) picked up an electrical Rapala fillet knife after a few friends kept recommending it, and it was a real game changer for all those white perch. Though, the only one in stock at R&L, the Deluxe, came hardwired with a cigarette adapter as the main power source  ??? But, it also had the adapter for 110v.

Guess I can fillet on the road now!

Crayfish2:
Welcome back to the sport, Bob!  I don't ice fish quite as much as I used to ... only because my son is busy with college.  He always would be the instigator to get me out on the ice.  Right now I'm looking forward to the open water season.  I've got a brand new Yamaha trolling motor on my boat that I need to rig up and then I'll be out there chasing whatever wants to bite.

With those Rapala electric fillet knives, I don't recommend using them on big fish (pike, lake trout, etc).  The aggressive blades don't play well with heavier rib bones.  I've burned up 2 of them doing that.  They work perfect on smaller fish, though.

mudchuck:

--- Quote from: Crayfish2 on Mar 23, 2022, 10:58 AM ---Welcome back to the sport, Bob!  I don't ice fish quite as much as I used to ... only because my son is busy with college.  He always would be the instigator to get me out on the ice.  Right now I'm looking forward to the open water season.  I've got a brand new Yamaha trolling motor on my boat that I need to rig up and then I'll be out there chasing whatever wants to bite.

With those Rapala electric fillet knives, I don't recommend using them on big fish (pike, lake trout, etc).  The aggressive blades don't play well with heavier rib bones.  I've burned up 2 of them doing that.  They work perfect on smaller fish, though.

--- End quote ---

Those white perch rib bones weren't terrible for my Bubba Li-Ion cordless, the 7" flex blades worked best.
Certainly was an interesting ice season, late start, early finish, literally went to the very last 2 days I went on ice to finally get on those whites.
All my gear is stowed and now taking a breather before pulling the boat out...although, I did see boats in the rivers already...

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