It’s not very often that I myself get the chance to take a day with a few friends and make a long drive to Northern Wisconsin to fish some of the small lakes that are hidden honey holes. I did however get the chance a few weeks ago and it was quite a thrill.
Stepping out of the truck onto the gravel roadway, unloading the fishing gear I couldn’t help but let out a loud, “wooohoooo.” I’m not sure if it was all the coffee I drank on the drive up or the pure excitement of spending the morning on a very low pressure lake, ice fishing with a some great company. Looking around in the darkness I could just make out a shoreline through the thick pine woods. The moon beamed bright on the snow made for a scene straight from heaven.
Armed with my rod bag slung over my shoulder and a lone bucket loaded with my Humminbird ice45, I set out on the long walk with my good friend leading the way. As we made our way through the trees down onto the lake I found myself falling behind while we walked across the lake to our destination. I couldn’t stop looking in all directions at the beautiful shorelines as the sky began to shed a bit of light. We soon were across the lake and walking through a small inlet. To my surprise another lake appeared and the walk continued. Minutes later we had reached the area my friend Eric had been to in the past. A few moments later hand powered augers were cutting a pattern of holes in the ice every 15ft or so we were able to hole hop till we found active fish. It wasn’t long before the sun was showing itself over the ridge and big bluegills were flopping on the ice.
The next few hours were filled with hoots, laughter, and some good old BS between friends. Big gills getting yanked through the hole from 30 feet down is quite the thrill when you live and fish the Lake Winnebago system as I usually do. Catching fish one after another made for a fun day on the ice but I must say the part I enjoyed the most was the silence around us. No cars driving down roads, no gas augers cutting through the clear ice, no other guys seeing you catch a fish and drilling next to you. Just a few guys having fun and enjoying the peace and quiet. A day like this may not be a big deal for some of you. You may have the chance to do this often.
For others, like me, it almost seems as a mini vacation.