Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Muskie and Insane Bluegill Ice Fishing!

I have never seen a muskie caught through the ice before, but we got one today! The line broke right at the hole, but Brett and I were somehow able to grab the fish and squeeze her through! We got lucky!!!

This is a monster female bluegill! Brett caught two really awesome fish today!

The first two pictures are about as good as it gets for ice fishing anywhere in the world, let alone here in Central Illinois! Brett Erickson caught that muskie and huge bluegill while fishing with a large group of people today with Herman Brothers guided ice fishing service.

We had 14 people out on the ice today and we caught some unbelievably huge fish, ate a gourmet Chef Todd shore lunch, and fished in warm 35 degree weather from sunrise to sunset. Just a picture perfect day that was capped off with a goose coming in and landing 30 yards from all of us fishing- I guess he just wanted to come hang out cause he landed and just walked around us for 10 minutes!

I got lots of pictures and also Jonn Graham the stream stalker has pictures from our day over on his blog as well. Here is Katy Watson holding up a nice rainbow trout caught on a minnow in 5 feet of water:

Kelly Presley from Presley Outdoors came out to help drill holes, set minnow poles and help eat lunch. We made him reel in one fish while he was out. We were hoping for a trout, but ended up with this nasty green carp instead. Kelly opened his bait shop early for me this morning so I could get all the bait and gear needed for todays ice fishing trip! We talked him into skipping a good portion of work today to come hang out.

Chef Todd cooked up perhaps the best lunch of 2010 today, and he also got into some fishing action as well. He is always trying new funny looking jigs and the latest and greatest from the TV shows and one of his contraptions actually even caught a fish today!

Here are a couple pictures of that lunch I keep raving about. This is my first plate. The burger was 3/4 lb ground filet and steak trimmings, with pepper jack cheese, homemade chipotle sauce, onions, avocados, lettuce and tomato! We also had shrimp, crab claws, smoked salmon, and some seafood dips from Dixons Seafood!

We all stuffed ourselves to the brim and then had to decide if we wanted to go back out fishing or curl up for a nap. Everyone chose to go back out so I didn't get my nap that would have felt so great!

We caught 2 bluegill today that werent legitimate keepers. It actually takes a real good fisherman to catch a fish this small! We used it for bait.

These fellas were more along the lines of the size of bluegills we were catching. They were beasts. Here are 2 male regular bluegill.

Another male bluegill

Another one of Chef Todds contraptions caught another fish! I think he tied on 30 different jigs today! Here he is holding a female bluegill.

Here is a monster female bluegill!

Boy bluegill being held by an old man.......hehe couldn't refrain from that old person joke.

Just a picture perfect male bluegill.

Jonn Graham SR. holding up one of the very few trout caught today. Usually we slam the trout ice fishing, but they weren't biting today.

Another big male bluegill
Here is part of our pile of fish just before I started cleaning em on the ice. This sounds kind of crazy to most fisherman, but in lakes I am managing for monster bluegill we actually let the monster bluegill go. We eat the 8-10 inchers, but let the 10-12 inchers back in the lake to keep our best genetics pumping out future boone and crocket bluegills! I also take out all the skinny largemouths that are over 12 inches long. This particular lake is not just a typical bass/bluegill lake. Predators are muskie, pike, hybrid striped bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and walleye. Small bass are actually forage, so I don't need to remove them, but the larger bass who are skinny are just wasting space and we remove them.
Here is a hybrid bluegill. Their only purpose is to catch and eat so we keep them regardless of how big they get. We don't need or want their genetics, just nice to have as a bonus big bluegill! This hybrid did his job perfect, he ate alot, grew big, fought a nice battle, took a great picture, and will taste very good very soon!
Another Boone and Crocket gill!

A nice bonus crappie. We caught 6 crappie in the first 15 minutes and never caught another one the rest of the day.

This green carp smoked a waxworm being jigged aggressively 2 feet off the bottom.
It was an incredible day of fishing, but let me just say that even though we got lots of great pics and caught some amazing fish, that we had to work very very hard to get them to bite! We put in over 100 man hours of fishing today and only caught a total of 58 fish. That calculates out to less than one fish per hour per angler.
Fishing for trophy bluegill is alot different than just regular ice fishing. You have to be determined and really work these fish with some finesse jigging and a vexilar. This type of fishing is not possible without electronics.
Of the 58 fish we caught today, only 2 of them were less than 8 inches. We all had a great time hanging out, eating great, and reeling in trophy fish! About as good as it gets is how I describe a day like this one. Don't forget to pop over to Jonn Grahams blog to get his account and pics from the day.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes after i read your blog i wonder if your clients just pay you in food instead of $..... those pics of the food make me think it'd still be worth it....and you'd still do it, of course, knowing how much you can put away...maybe they aren't getting the best deal after all?