As I pulled up the weather app on my phone, I noticed several wind advisories, along with freezing rain. Sighing heavily from the comfort of my home, I thought to myself “you can't change your day off”. With that, I loaded up my gear and headed for the lake. As expected, the parking lot at the lake was empty. The familiar sound of my sled sliding across the ice disrupted the stillness that lingered in the air. I made my way across the frozen water towards a rocky point, and fired up my auger. After drilling a series of holes, I found the drop I wanted and armed my rod with a tungsten fly jig. The water clarity and clear ice informed me that this would be a finesse situation. After several marked fish and zero bites, I downsized line and jig size, and opted for a spike instead of a waxworm, dialed in my inline, and watched my jig drop to the bottom. I noticed a small flicker on my vexilar, so I lightly tapped the rod to see if I could entice a bite.
The mark rose slowly as I lifted the jig a few inches, painfully slow. What seemed like eternity, I lightly tapped the rod again, and watched as the last few inches started to load up with pressure. Startled, I set the hook and knew by the way my drag screamed that I had hooked into a bass. Knowing the size potential in this lake, I loosened the drag and put the rod under the ice to prevent any fraying on my already light 2lb line. I knew it was a good fish when it made its first appearance at the hole, and after three of four nail biting runs, I pulled out my first bass of 2018. I must have been so caught up in the fight that I didn't notice the freezing rain. When the adrenaline ceased, I noticed my wet hair and frozen fingers. Refusing to leave and determined to hook into the legendary bull gills in this fishery, I pulled up my hood and moved shallow for the evening bite.
After dancing a Swedish pimple for a few minutes off the bottom, I had my first mark show interest. With a few twitches, I pulled a Goliath 11” gill through the ice as the sun made its descent beneath the horizon. Attempting to utilize my frozen limbs, I snapped a few shots and releases the fish back to its habitat thinking of all the times I ventured out in inclement weather, with nothing but a skunkset to show for it. I smiled through chattering teeth, thankful that this was not one of those times.
Check me out on my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5tgahQjQpfzDk12m5FmJ8g.