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Author Topic: Squ1rr31's Nest  (Read 6115 times)

Offline squ1rr31_

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Squ1rr31's Nest
« on: Nov 17, 2014, 10:51 AM »
Been thinking about doing this for a while, will be chronicling my 2014-2015 ice season with pictures and video, I'll try and include gear load-outs and bait information as well as presentation. I also plan on sharing some ideas for shack upgrades, I'm in the process of making a portable power supply and will be rigging up a lighting system in my shack as well. Stay tuned!
  

Offline squ1rr31_

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #1 on: Nov 23, 2014, 07:50 PM »
Well the rain kept me out of the woods and off the ice today, was hoping to sneak out on the earlier ice I've ever been on but by tomorrow it will be just a memory. Definitely jealous of anyone who had the opportunity to get out and enjoy the early ice bite. From various social media sites it looked like there were some pretty good fish to be caught. Spent the morning in the garage wiring up the lights I'd picked up a few months ago off of ebay and hadn't had a chance to tinker with yet. Thanks to several members on the site for the idea on the power supply, thought about doing something similar to this yet a little less fancy a while back but never got around to it. This site is a huge resource of knowledge and ideas and the search button can be a useful tool to help you along. Anyway, off of the soap-box. When I first purchased the lights I was curious what sort of adhesive would be on the back, the strips on the back are super strong foam adhesive strips similar to those they use on the back of the molding on the side of vehicles, just to be safe I sanded the area I was adhering them to lightly with 800 grit paper. I ended up getting most of the wiring supplies from Menard's but you could pick them up from any hardware store, I used exterior landscaping wire that you would use for the old style of landscape lighting. Picked up the switch and the 12 v sockets at an auto parts store, also picked up a digital 12 volt voltmeter off of ebay and got that worked into the box as well. To attach the lighting to the power supply I bought a male end 12 v adapter that you can attach the cables into and screw down without having to solder anything. Took some pictures to show off what I did, will take more once I have the opportunity to use it on the ice, don't think I'll be needing my gas lantern anymore! Less weight equals easier haul! Sounds like possible snow tonight and some colder overnight lows this week. Hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving and enjoys their time with their families, be safe if you get to go out and good luck!

'

Overkill? Probably. Do I care? No!



Plenty of light to see the ice, even with my legs in front of the light.



I'll add a picture of the inside of the box here in the next day or two when I get a chance to get to the garage again.
  

Offline Shack man Shoney

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #2 on: Nov 24, 2014, 09:48 AM »
Lookin very nice!!!

Offline matzilla

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #3 on: Nov 24, 2014, 09:49 AM »
Looks great! Nice and bright!

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Offline BigRock947

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #4 on: Nov 24, 2014, 12:45 PM »
Awesome job....

Offline Ice_Addict

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #5 on: Nov 24, 2014, 01:20 PM »
Nice job Squ1rr31! How many batteries are you planning to have in your box?

Offline squ1rr31_

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #6 on: Nov 24, 2014, 02:43 PM »
Actually its just one small tractor battery, I will take pictures of the inside when I get home, I need to re-solder the wiring for the volt meter since the red wire pulled out of the plug. Thanks for the help with the wiring diagram Ice Addict!
  

Offline Kevin23

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Re: Squ1rr31_'s Nest
« Reply #7 on: Nov 24, 2014, 08:06 PM »
Very nice job!  ;)

Offline Bruiser

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #8 on: Dec 02, 2014, 02:29 PM »
I'm wondering if you're going to have problems with your shadow getting in the way since your lights will be behind your legs. I like the way it looks and I'd like to do something similar to mine, but I'm just trying to figure out a way to do it without my shadow getting in the way of the light shining on the ice in front of me.
Also, just curious, how long do you think you'll be able to run your lights on a 12v battery. Granted, I see you said you were going to use a tractor battery, but I'm thinking about using something along a 12v to aleviate added weight in the sled.

Offline squ1rr31_

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #9 on: Dec 02, 2014, 03:27 PM »
I moved my legs in the way of the lights to see if there was any problem, didn't notice much of a difference, I'm sure when the time comes and I'm actually using it there may be a slight difference. The tractor battery really isn't that heavy, maybe 5-8 # at most, haven't done a test to see how long I'd be able to run things but I can't imagine the lights draw much voltage at all being that they're LED. The real draw would be a phone charger if I hook that up. I will definitely update everyone after the maiden voyage (if Mother Nature ever decides whether she wants the ice to stay or leave).
  

Offline matzilla

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #10 on: Dec 02, 2014, 08:52 PM »
Phone will pull max of 1AH if you're using a standard 12v acc. to USB adapter. What's the AH rating on the battery? You can calculate the draw of the LED's with roughly 7-10mAH for each "bulb" in the strip.

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Offline Oldbear

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #11 on: Dec 08, 2014, 08:30 PM »
Now them are some lights.  Good luck with your project.

Offline DirkDitchPickle

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #12 on: Dec 16, 2014, 09:54 PM »
Another idea for ya gents.  I hooked up a 400 watt power inverter  to a battery and hooked up a couple 60 watt LED light bulb similar to what you would have in you lamp at home .   4 lights = roughly 40 watts total.  Used some light cages (similar to shop lights) and strung them through the poles in the top of my pop-up.  Awesome amount of light which can be placed anywhere you need it.  Also with LEDs you don't have to worry about them burning out if they  get dropped also they don't  produce a lot of heat .
If your hobbies don't make your wife mad......you're not living life to the fullest!

Offline squ1rr31_

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #13 on: Jan 25, 2015, 11:58 AM »
01/17/2015

Finally getting around to posting some pictures and stories from the two times I've actually had something to talk about, haha. Last weekend 1/17/15 was the annual fishing tournament at a family friends pond, kind of a if you know where it is, you're invited, if you don't, you're not. The guy uses this tournament to keep his bluegill population regulated and we usually try to get as many out as we can. $10 buy in can win you quite a bit of money from the amount of people that usually show up. Right from the start the wind was decent and out of the South Southwest, maybe around 10 mph gusts.

Pretty crowded at the start as you can see here.



 I hustled out to a spot to get set up where I've done the best in the past few years, took 5th last year and won $75 between my partner and myself. Dropped the ducer of my LX9 in the hole and was lit up like a Christmas tree, I thought "Allllright here we go again!" First drop, a decent sized mark comes up and takes it, get it up to the whole and what do you know...



Nice sized bass, didn't measure since they didn't count in this tournament, great fighter though!

Second drop another nice sized mark with several smaller ones....



C'mon now bass I don't have time for you... I'm trying to win some money here.

Dropped down again, two good sized marks come up for it...



Alright now, this is getting old. I packed up the shack and moved 10 ft. Didn't mark anything so I started punching holes with the Strikemaster Lazer mag and checked out the area. Nothing.

About this time the wind started to pick up and I went and pulled my shack over to my friends that came along to the tournament, caught one 8-9" bluegill and that was all. By the time we left the ice around 11:45 the wind had picked up to 20 mph and people's gear was blowing all over the ice, this was also the first year I had seen anyone leave the ice early, including myself, people were leaving by 10 AM even and the tournament started at 9.

All in all it was a fun day had with friends, wish the fishing would've been better for myself. My friend who I was originally going to pair up with since our dad's usually team up together ended up fishing on a team with his dad and ended up winning $100 for 3rd place with 7 fish. First place was only 11, in years past there were people that would bring up buckets full of fish claiming they'd caught them at that pond, riiiiight. I knew the pond pretty well and there wasn't a spot that hot in the place. At least this time people were fair and honest. I'll keep posting if you guys will keep reading, next post will be from yesterday 01/24/2015.
  

Offline squ1rr31_

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #14 on: Jan 25, 2015, 12:17 PM »
01/24/2015

Spent the day yesterday at a private lake (large pond) that I grew up fishing but hadn't since I was about 8 years old. They stopped selling memberships to those who didn't live there so we lost the privilege to fish so we started to concentrate on the large lakes here in Iowa.



My kind of morning, sun creeping up in the sky, 34 degrees Fahrenheit and not too much wind.



First fish was 10" bull gill, couldn't believe that this was going to be the first fish of the day.



Was using a clown colored CJ&S chekai jig around 4 mm, with two or three red and white spikes on the hook. Immediately after taking the picture of the Marcum and my coffee I got a bite and fought the fish to the hole, it was a crappie around 13-14" that got stuck sideways on the hole and as I reached down to grab it spit the jig out and glided under the black ice just long enough for me to gasp and watch it swim away...

I soon made up for it with this fat toad;




Bucket is starting to fill up quickly...



After this the group I was fishing with all parked themselves around me in the different holes that I had cut for myself to troll around a bit. Everyone started getting into the fish finally and we were on them for a good 2 hours, a fish every couple of minutes. I switched over to a silver CJ&S Majmun and dropped down, immediately the gills shot up to my jig 2 or 3 at a time, hollered to everyone to check out silver if they hadn't. The gills kept getting bigger this guy was around 10"



I ended up scooting around the ice checking stuff out catching 1-2 fish per hole then moving to another, ended up with about a dozen 9" - 10" gills and the one fat crappie, here's a bucket shot;



Ended the day at Founder's in Bondurant for a couple quick drinks and then headed home to get ready to go to the future in-law's house and grill them some deer steaks and chops. The day ended up being one of the most fun days I've had on the ice in a while. Might be heading out tonight to hit another private lake in the metro area and see if we can get into some more monster slabs this afternoon. Our annual Eelpout Festival trip is just around the corner in February, I'll try and be as active on here as I can until then since I won't have a laptop or tablet to type anything too long.

With the temperatures being warmer than normal and the rain today, please be careful if you get out, wear your picks and bring a spud bar if you're venturing out! Keep your lines tight, and your knots strong!
  

Offline squ1rr31_

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #15 on: Sep 15, 2015, 09:48 AM »
Hello fellow Iowegians, it's about that time again, time to bust out the gear and make sure the mice didn't tear up your tent this spring and air things out. I plan to open up the tent this week and air it out, clean out the sled and inventory my tackle. Might do some soldering on the wiring in the shack I came up with last year, possibly figure out a Smitty sled or something a little smaller to lift the shack off the ice. Spent money on the HyFax runners a couple years back and like how they run on ice but they pull like a dog in the snow. What plans does everyone have for the upcoming pre-season?
  

Offline Shack man Shoney

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #16 on: Sep 15, 2015, 11:40 AM »
I just bought a polaris 4x4 ATV so i have been trying to get it ready to walk on water. Im looking for a new underwater camera and I also have some soldering to finish up my shack lighting project on my Voyager from last season. Just moved to Monroe at the first part of August so i have a honey do list as long as my arm.I have the bug way too early this season. BRING ON THE ICE!!!!!

Offline blakemohr

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #17 on: Oct 23, 2015, 07:37 AM »
I started tying tungsten ice flies in September for both myself and some customers from Facebook. With the profits, i plan on getting myself an auger, hopefully a propane unit. I have been stocking up big time on jigs and other small stuff, and hope to get to a big store soon for a couple new rods. I'd also like to get one of the nice custom rods that are out there. I'm really looking forward to taking my ice season to the next level this year!

Offline squ1rr31_

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #18 on: Dec 23, 2015, 10:27 AM »
12/22/2015

Since we're not walking on water at this point during our bout with El Nino my father, brother and myself decided to pack up for a day trip to Red Wing, MN to fish Lock and Dam 3 Pool 4 on the Mississippi River for some walleyes and saugers. Got on the road about noon on Sunday morning for the ride up which from Des Moines is approx. 4 hours town to down. Of course we had to stop at Cabela's to purchase our licenses since I hadn't been in Minnesota since the Eelpout Festival which they do not let you purchase the next years license if you still have one that is valid until Feb 28th from the year before which always kind of bugs me so I was able to purchase a 1 day license for $13 which is fairly reasonable for what we'd be going after. Lots of neat sights and little towns on the way over to the river, the best part of the trip is when you start to descend into the  river valley, lots of limestone cliffs and cool rock formations.

We've made a tradition of stopping at Hay Creek Campground's bar on the way into town, the old place used to be a general store in the 1800's and is mostly original except for the kitchen, great food and cheap beer, can't beat it! Got into town about 4:45 and checked into the hotel at AmericInn, which is walking distance from Kelly's Taphouse. Kelly's used to be a real dive but the owner has really made the place nice over the past 10 years, over 61 craft beers on tap and many in bottles, and you can't go wrong with anything on the menu! My personal favorite is the Pork Belly Burger. It happened to be my dad's birthday the next day so I asked the bartender if he had any Jameson, I noticed he did on the bar but he reached in a cabinet and found a bottle of Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel and said he'd give me 3 shots for the price of regular Jameson. Of course I jumped at the chance for that so we cheers to a good trip and a happy birthday. Went back to the hotel and had some great conversation and called it a night. The three of us didn't sleep much between the bed being too hard, the room too hot, and all of us snoring in harmony.

Woke up and grabbed a quick breakfast of donuts and coffee and headed to Evert's Resort on the Wisconsin side of the river and stopped into the baitshop. The place is under new ownership again and they've REALLY pulled things together and will be renovating all of the cabins so they'll all have water year round so this will be the ideal spot for a quick jump on the river for some pig walleyes once they finish it up. We met up with Marty Hahn with Mississippi River Walleyes, my dad had been out with him multiple times but this would be my first time with a guide on the river. Marty's a great guy and a wizard when it comes to staying on the fish. The conditions had NOT been ideal over the weekend with the river level up and the flow rate over 67k over the roller dam but he was ready for challenge that day. The morning was chilly around 30-35 degrees with a high of 48 for the day, forecast was calling for around 7 mph winds but when we got out to the wing dams there was barely a breeze. We started out with 3 way rigs with a jig on the short line and a ringworm and hook on the long line. It wasn't long before we bumped the first fish.

Throughout the day we hit some nice eater sized Saugers and the occasional small walleye mixed in. Most of the fish were caught on the ringworm, and they weren't just hitting it, they were inhaling it. It was about 1 PM when I got a huge smack and I set the hook, the drag spun so I knew I was onto something good, a good 2-3 min fight with some nice big head shacks I pulled this 21" Sauger in.




This particular fish hit the chartreuse and orange jig with a purpose, hooked right in the snoot, not going anywhere but in the boat.

I was very impressed with Marty's determination and willingness to keep checking different combinations of tails and jig colors, it definitely shows he enjoys his job and wants to keep his clients on the bite. A few minutes later my dad got a smack and reeled this pig of a Sauger in.



Marty ended up smacking this that looked like it had been swimming near a ballpark and swallowed a baseball



All of the big Saugers were released to get bigger and keep the genetics swimming in the pool, we caught many more of the nice 16" eaters with some good shoulders, around 4 PM we decided to scoot over to another spot across from the Vermilion River with light getting low to go after some big walleyes to finish out our limit. It wasn't 5 minutes of fishing and Marty hit this hog.



Fish was around 22" inches and just as thick as a small coffee can, he hit another just back upstream around 24" and just as thick, nice big head shakes with both. Got a couple last eaters and got back to the boat ramp, Marty got everything cleaned and we went up to the bar to grab a quick drink while we waited. He was able to get the cheeks off of a bigger one and some wings for me to fry up over Christmas.

Overall a great trip, my brother hadn't been out in over 10 years with us so it was long overdue, got to spend my dad's birthday on the boat making memories, if you'd like to book a trip with Marty look up Mississippi River Walleyes on google and give him a shout, tell him Ross and Dan Loving recommended his services, he'll treat you right and put you in a position to pull in some big fish if you'd like!
  

Offline Adamdogg44

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #19 on: Dec 30, 2015, 05:23 PM »
Nice Squ1rr31!!! Been a long time since I've been up to redwing! Bet it was nice to not be fishing in subzero weather and one time flooding that I encountered up there. Hopefully there will be some hard water updates soon to come on this thread!!

Offline squ1rr31_

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #20 on: Jan 26, 2016, 04:38 PM »
01/23/2016 -

This was the first time I'd been able to get out since my wedding the 16th of Jan. It's amazing how much time weddings take away from you! The forecast was saying we would be getting to around 30 degrees this day so we decided we'd leave the shacks at home and take a drive south to a lake near the Missouri border. Luckily I'd purchased my license on my phone the other day so I did not need to make a stop the night before to get one. REMINDER, if you haven't purchased a 2016 license you're 16 days past due on the date of this post, stay legal! We made a stop at WalMart on the way down to grab some cold medicine since I couldn't think straight due to a head cold.

Got to the lake around 9 AM after an hour and a half drive. Got our game plan together on where we were going to pop some holes and got our gear on, at this time I was wishing I'd built my Smitty Sled because this was going to be a bit of a walk carrying my LX9, bucket, tackle box, and gas auger. We set up around some trees in the creek channel and immediately had interested fish, the lake is full of decent sized bass and fat walleyes so we knew what we'd be looking at. After about 5 changes of lure and bait Zach had his first hook-up, got it to the ice and it was a nice fat 14" walleye, didn't get to take a picture due to the fact my fingers were freezing at this point. The wind was cutting straight through us from the South West and we were on buckets, gloves only came off to re-bait or change lures. After about 3 hours of nothing after the first walleye we decided to change spots and target some nice fat gills. We make the trek back up the hill and loaded the gear in the truck.

We got to the spot we were planning on fishing and someone had popped holes and set up an old green Eskimo shack over the brush pile we had planned on. I punched some holes about 20-30 ft heading North away from the people and put the 9 down the hole. Immediately had 4 marks so I dropped down with the spoon I'd been using in the North part of the lake, no takers after 10 mins and I noticed the fish were acting differently, shooting up and eyeballing the lure then shooting right back down to the bottom. I immediately knew I was sitting on the gills we were targeting. It was at this time I switched over to my brand new 28" TUCR Precision Noodle Rod, I am in no way affiliated with TUCR and don't receive any kick-backs from them but man am I glad I purchased this rod, I took my Frabill 261 reel off of my ultralight setup and banded it on, what a nice light in the hand rig! I had 3# Northland Flurosilk on and a Brantner tungsten in Wonderbread color. Got my first bite and the fight was on, I was a little worried about the rod not having enough to deal as the tip was doubled over but was impressed with the backbone it had. Got the fish to the hole and had a solid 8-9" gill the was almost 1.5" thick, just a toad of a gill.



I couldn't stop smiling after the fight, it was just what you want when you hook into some tank gills, lots of runs, angling the rod away from them to pull them back and then changing directions when they decide they're done going that way. Dropped back down and had another one on in less than 30 seconds. Started piling them on the ice after that, ended up losing 2 of my jigs so I'm guessing either some bass or a good sized gill got me. Zach punched a hole right next to me and we started getting to work on our limits. For those who don't think that Marcum's and Vex's play nice, here's your answer. No issues and we never marked each other's lure once.



It was about this time it really started to get cold and the wind was picking up and we were needing to make the trek back home, luckily we had only parked about 50 yards away so the pack-up would be quick. I ended up with 20 gills after the front moved in and shut them off and it was literally 5 minutes between bites towards the end. Got in the truck and started to thaw out for the ride home, you don't realize how much the cold and wind takes it out of you until you have to pack up and head home, I about fell asleep 3-4 times on the ride home, haha.



Got home and knocked out filleting the fish and bagged them up to fry the next day, I used our usual cajun seasoning and Ritz Cracker breading which I pulverized in my Ninja Mixer, works great and you get a nice fine texture. I had picked up a Cajun Chef Batter Pro Bowl, if you don't have one of these I'd highly recommend you pick one up, they work great! Fried everything up and made fish tacos myself, the wife had them with her usual lemon juice. They came out super flaky and tasty! Great quick trip to put some meat in the fridge!



  

Offline Shack man Shoney

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #21 on: Feb 03, 2016, 08:12 PM »
Nice job... that is awesome!!!

Offline Gatz

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #22 on: Feb 09, 2017, 12:06 PM »
love this...great catch and nice looking dinner!

Offline Shack man Shoney

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #23 on: Nov 14, 2017, 08:09 PM »
Is there anything new going on in the nest for this season???

Offline squ1rr31_

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #24 on: Nov 16, 2017, 04:34 PM »
Depending on when things lock up there will definitely be reports! Just sittin in a tree waiting for a monster buck to walk by at this point before I start getting my hopes up for ice...
  

Offline squ1rr31_

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Re: Squ1rr31's Nest
« Reply #25 on: Jan 07, 2018, 04:25 PM »
01/07/2018

So we took a trip out to Stuart this morning to a farm pond of my buddy's friend, got on the ice about 8:30 AM or so, temp was about 25 degrees and about 10 mph winds, gusts up to 15. Honestly, not too bad a temperature even with the wind.

I started drilling holes across the dam area, being unfamiliar with the pond I assumed this would be the deepest spot, I later found out the pond was deepest in the middle. I'm currently flasherless as I sold my LX9 after deciding I wanted to downsize since I'm usually pretty mobile and didn't feel like hauling around a cinder block on the ice. Also, being primarily in Iowa the camera is pretty much useless with the water quality...

Shortly after locating some fish with the buddy's flasher I sat down and the first fish I pull was a slab of a crappie, 11" or so and nice and thick. Almost every drop for the next 15 min was a slab or a big hybrid gill, biggest of these was 9", looked like a cross between a green sunfish and a redear.

Shortly after I hooked into something solid, I'd been told there were some decent sized cats in the pond and I figured out shortly this was exactly what I had. After about a 5 minute fight and trying not to lose the tungsten I had on I got it in, this ended up being the first of several throughout the day.




At around 10 am the fishing died off and one of our group moved in shallow and ended up hooking up almost immediately. We all moved in and ended up finishing our day with a mess of gills to add to the crappies.

Overall we ended up with 26 crappies 10-12" and 9 gills average 9".





The highlight of my day though, was finding my sunglasses I'd lost over a year ago in one of the pockets of my bibs today, the fish were just icing on the cake. Looking forward to some fresh fish fried up this week!

Stay tuned, I'm sure there will be more stuff this season as is frozen fast and good.
  

 



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