I took Mae and Noah with me to Presley's Outdoors this morning to grab a couple dozen fathead minnows for bait. I didn't have to head out ice fishing till noon, so I figured I would spend some quality time with them running errands and fixing up fishing poles for the afternoon trip. We actually had fun and they learned how to line poles all by themselves....
Anyhow the fatheads for bait paid off big time, check out this rainbow trout Julio caught from an automatic fisherman rigged with a big fathead! He fought this fish completely by himself and we were PUMPED UP to actually land it!!
This is probably the biggest rainbow trout we have caught through the ice so far this year! Here is another view:
The weather has been absolutely brutal here in Central Illinois the last week. I had 5 guided ice fishing trips this week canceled due to bunches of snow, high winds, and well below zero temps. Anyhow it was great to finally get some decent weather and get back outside and into the swing of things. Today's trip was with a group of more than 30 people looking to spend some fun time outside fishing and sledding. I definitely could of used some help today, but even so we still had a great time.
I was a bit worried how the fish were going to bite after such instable weather the last week, but even though the fish weren't exactly feeding aggressively, we still did scratch out some incredible fish and had plenty for dinner. Speaking of dinner, our mission today was to catch fresh trout for dinner- not just any dinner, but a feast for 60 people at my clients house!
While we are on the topic of food, here are some pics of the grub. We ate baked potatoes, chili, soup, fried trout, smoked trout, smoked bass, baked trout almondine, whole catfish, fried calamari, fried grouper, elk loin, blocks of cheese, deer sticks, salami, veggies, shrimp, cornbread, and a few other items I can't think of at the moment. I didn't want to look like more of a retard than I already am so I only nonchalantly snapped a few quick pics.
I wasn't able to take many pics today, because I was a bit preoccupied untangling lines, tying on new hooks, drilling new holes, and helping people try to catch finnicky fish. Anyhow I was able to snap these photos of Julio and Miguel because they were the first ones to show up.
The fish were on fire from noon till about 2:30 pm. As the sun starting dropping and people started piling on the ice the fish got much tougher to catch. Not uncatchable, but they weren't hooking themselves by any means. Altogether we ended up with 17 trout, 14 bass, 11 bluegill, and 2 catfish.
Unfortunately not everyone caught a fish today, but this girl was determined. I have never seen someone so scared to touch a fish, and then actually touch it. She really wanted the photo with the fish, but really didn't want to touch it. She didn't know there were other ways of getting the photo without touching it, but no one was kind enough to tell her that. Everyone was laughing just a bit too hard at the drama, epecially when the fish wouldn't come off her finger right away.
The weather doesnt look to good for fishing next week. We got lucky with this rare warm 30 degree day. I potentially will be headed out Monday morning with a group from Chicago while its still relatively warm, but other than that its forecasted to only be about 10 degrees the rest of the week. I don't like to take people fishing when its that cold.