Friday, December 24, 2010

Monster Christmas Eve Pike and Crappie

This morning we had white donuts, lucky charms, and cinnamon rolls for breakfast out at the big lake. Then we headed outside with all the kids (including Drake) to do some playing, sledding, and of course fishing.

Mae and Noah each caught a rainbow trout and Tyden caught a crappie right off the bat:

Dad connected with this nice bluegill right away as well:

Everything was going great until Noah stepped into a fishing hole and got his leg stuck in the cold water up to his knee! We helped him out of the hole, brought him into the heated shanty to warm up before Brook pulled him and Drake in a sled back indoors.

Then my dad was fishing with a small fathead minnow for bait when he hooked into a monster fish. He battled that fish for what seemed like hours before we got our first glimpse. When that beast finally came up to the hole the battle was still far from over. Northern Pike can bite through heavy fishing line with ease, so landing a big pike with just 4 lb line and a teeny hook is pretty much a miracle only possible on a day like Christmas Eve.

Once we caught our first glimpse, she still ran off a few more times before I finally reached my arm all the way into the water and snagged her gills with my finger. I held on a for a few headshakes and squeezed her fat body through the hole and onto the ice! This is the biggest northern pike my dad has ever caught and he got it ice fishing to boot.

Once we landed it, we knew instantly that this fish was going on the wall of my dad's future house out at the lake. We wrapped her in a wet towel, than plastic wrap, than a garbage sack, and burried her in the snow. Then on our way back into town we put her in the deep freezer and will take her to the taxidermist next week.

Tyden had to get a pic with the big pike too. Ty is a special boy who absolutely is obsessed with fishing! I don't have a clue where he got that from?
He also caught this nice bass from a hole he drilled all by his own self:

Brook got the boys down for their naps and came back out to fish with me and she smoked this big crappie. She watched the fish on the vexilar come darting up from the bottom as her two-spot jig tipped with a waxworm was slowing sinking on her first drop in a freshly drilled hole.

We spent quite a bit of time searching for new spots and active fish today. Brook even drilled quite a few holes! Anyhow we realized at about 1 pm that we were wasting our time ice fishing because the wind shifted to the East, the snow started falling pretty hard and there were no fishing biting anywhere on the lake any longer.
We loaded up our gear onto the argo and headed in. The argo is the ultimate ice fishing machine! The 8 wheel drive does awesome in the snow and ice and only needs 4 inches of ice to drive on safely. Plus if it would happen to break through it floats. Justin traded his riding lawn mower for the argo from an ad on craigs list. The guy wanted a good lawn mower and we wanted an argo! We got the better end of that deal for sure. Here is a pic of mom and dad posing today with the argo before going to get the other shanty.

Then we drove the 30 miles back home in the snow at 30 mph. If you do the math it should take an hour to go 30 miles, but it took about an hour and fifteen minutes. Anyhow I cooked up some very fresh crappie fillets for dinner! We had leftover shrimp and crab from the Meister Christmas party last night so we cooked them up as well to compliment our crappie sandwiches!

Christmas Eve 2010 was about as good as it gets! We are going to have a white Christmas, Santa just downed the monster cookies and milk, and now he is getting ready to loosen up his belt a few noches and kick back in my lazyboy with a mug of hot toddy (thanks Jamie) while Brook fills the stockings and finishes the final Christmas preparations.
I won't be fishing Saturday or Sunday, but will be guiding everyday next week!

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