I did a couple of really good things this past Sunday - I broke a 2 year drought by going ice fishing, And the person who invited me was a fellow blogger who I've come to "know" through the OBN. Ed Schmitt from Four Season Angler asked me to meet him at a local subdivision pond for a few hours of fishing. When I say "local", I mean it- this particular pond that Ed has access to is about 1 mile from my house! And - the temperature was over freezing. I had forgotten what warm weather felt like. (Warm being a relative term)
I have always enjoyed ice fishing, but really have little experience. When I lived in PA, ice was a rare occurrence. I moved to Syracuse and spent 10 years there. Perfect ice conditions for 4 months of the year. Except - I rarely got out. Winters were among the busiest times in those years, and I just didn't have time. Now, in IL for 10+ years, I'm back in an occasionally good ice area - like this year. the reason for all this background? I ALWAYS have enough gear and equipment to outfit myself and anyone who wants to join in any fish related endeavor. Not this time, though. I showed up with a 5 gallon bucket, some waxies and spikes, a little box of jigs, 2 small ice rod/reel combos, and a 20 year old Schoolie plastic rod/reel. That Schoolie is my favorite panfish rod for the ice. Go figure.
Ed, on the other hand, was set. Frabil sled, electronics, underwater camera, tip-ups - the man knows how to go ice fishing.
Pond bass with my cheapy Schoolie rod - I love it!
I remember now why I like ice fishing - it's a great social sport. There is always some back and forth banter, even when chasing flags. The fishing was OK - flags going off periodically, with a few bass coming up. We jigged up a bunch of panfish, and I got a couple of bass jigging, too. I finally got a perch, giving me the coveted "Pond Trifecta" (I made that up). All in all, a really nice way to spend a morning - meeting new people, and catching some fish.
We already have a follow-up trip or two planned. Should be really interesting.
Finally, a word about Ed's Four Season Angler's Writer's Network. Ed spearheads the group that consists of Ken Gortowski's Waterdog Journal, Cory Yarmouth's Legend Outdoors with Cory Yarmouth, Travis Brasfield's Simply Fishing , and Rob Piorkowski's Outcasting. there is no shortage of good reads from these Illinois writers. Check them out when you get a chance.