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Michigan Ice
01-14-2021, 09:42 AM,
#1
Michigan Ice
Another warm winter here in Ohio with temps barely below freezing. Booked a hotel over the long New Years weekend and made the 5 hour drive North to Cadillac, MI. Fished Friday afternoon,, Saturday,, Sunday and Monday morning. They had enough ice to get out on, but not near as much as a normal year. I measured about 6"-8" everywhere I cut holes. Everyone up there seemed to be OK with it and were running sleds and 4-wheelers all over. A snow storm 2 days before I left dumped 6" of snow on everything and then a fast storm on Friday night added another 3". Coming off the lake in the storm on Friday I had to use my GPS on the Humminbird to find my truck! Turned into a white out quick. Overall, had a great time. Caught lots of fish and managed to bring home several bags of fish.

Fished Lake Mitchell, Cadillac & Missaukee, but did the bestat Missaukee on Sunday. Caught bluegill, perch, pike and walleye all out of the same holes in a small area. The hike to my spot was brutal though. Dragging my gear though 5"+ of snow made me realize quick how out of shape I am. Had a way point set from last year that was a full mile walk from the launch but only managed to make it out .75 mile from the launch. That was after taking several breaks too. Settled for a spot that looked good on Navionics and lucked into some fish. The pike measured 18" and no size limit on them in this Lake since they are over populated. The big surprise was a 22" walleye! Biggest walleye I have caught through the ice and sure was a rush.

By the looks of the forecast, I may be heading up again in a few weeks. Still no deep freeze in the extended outlook for Ohio. Oh well, gotta use my gear somewhere!

Hot lure for the weekend was a Rapala ultra light rippin rap in Clown color. Caught perch, crappie and a couple smaller walleye on it. The big walleye came on a tiny tungsten jid with a small minnow. Not bigger than a #10 hook on my bluegill rod with 4lb line so got lucky on that fight.

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01-14-2021, 09:47 AM,
#2
Michigan Ice
Couple more pics.....

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01-14-2021, 04:55 PM,
#3
RE: Michigan Ice
Nice Variety! Looks like that lake has a little bit of everything. I know what you mean about out of shape and with draggin all the gear, snow suit, snow and heavy boots it makes it that much worse. Dragging all that stuff @ 2 mph your doing pretty good!  Smile  Have you ever had any luck with those Rapala ice jigs or Swedish pimples? The pimples were good for perch around here and I have a bunch of the Rapala's but have never really had a decent chance to try them. Been in the 40's here so no ice this year. Hopefully that storm that ripped through here Tuesday and Wednesday fizzles out before it get's to you. We had 50-70 mph winds and it made a mess of things. Anyway good to see someone's catching fish!!
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01-14-2021, 05:39 PM,
#4
RE: Michigan Ice
Notice how far i was from shore...... that 2.1 mph did NOT last long. haha! I was so beat by the time i was walking back to the truck in the afternoon that i was counting 200 steps and then sitting on my bucket for a few minutes to take a rest. I've done some pretty long hikes acroos the ice before but the deep snow and slush just did me in. Night and day diference from when the jet sled can actually slide across the ice. I was so out of shape to the tune that i started looking up the cost of a used snowmobile when i got home. I already have a trailer to haul one and found several under $1K so it just may happen by next season. If we ever got ice on Erie, i might be able to get out on the BIG water even. Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron) is another popular destination for ice fishing walleye and lakers that would only be a couple hour drive too.

I do have some of the Rapala Jigging Raps with the fins that make them glide around. They do work! Have caught crappie, bass and walleye on them. They are great for "calling in" fish if the water is nice and clear. Have to jig them pretty aggressive to get full action out of them so the fish have to be in a little more aggresive mood i think. My only issue with them is they seem to be too heavy. I like to let them fall slower but then they dont swing around as much. I do not have any Sweedish Pimples, but they are very popular for walleye and occasional big perch up on Erie. I have a whole compartment filled with homemade spoons i do use alot tipped with a minnow head. They work great for perch. I have really got to like the smaller lipless crankbaits in the last few years. The ultra light Rippin Raps and Euro Tackle Z-Vibers are my favorite so far. I did just order some Rapala Slab Raps with a Christmas gift card and looking forward to seeing how those work. The lipless cranks depend on the fish being in a pretty active mood too, but they have done really good for me. Caught some GIANT crappie on them in a small city reservoir and have hooked into several walleye with them too. Even caught some bigger perch with them.
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01-14-2021, 09:41 PM,
#5
RE: Michigan Ice
Nice wally !

No jigs ?
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01-15-2021, 10:05 AM,
#6
RE: Michigan Ice
I have at least 2 of my ice rods pretty much always rigged up with jigs. My lightest bluegill rod has a tiny tungsten head (#12 or #10 hook) that i add a single hackle feather to and most times will tip with a single maggot. When the fish are not willing to bite anything else, that tiny little bait will get a few bites at least. Some days it is the only thing that woks and the biggest bluegill will bite it. My other jig rod generally has a larger 1/24 head tied with some kip tail. When the fish finder shows suspended crappie, this is one of my best options. I switch things out pretty often if the bite is slow. Lake Missaukee has much clearer water than the other lakes up there and the lipless crankbait would only get the curious perch to follow and not actually bite. On my heavier walleye rod, i ended up switching to a 1/16 bright colored jig head (no dressing) and tipped it with a whole minnow through the lips. The spot i found had about 2' of weeds coming up off the bottom in 12' to 15' of water. I would lower the jig down so it was even with the top of the weeds and start a steady 1" bounce of the jig/minnow. It was pretty amazing, but that little bounce was the only jig cadence i was using to get fish to show up on the fish finder. I caught several bass, the pike and one of the perch that way. Also lost a couple other walleye at the hole that i'm pretty sure would have kept. I already tied up a few very simple larger heads with just a bright colored collar of hackle or rabbit. Assumed i would try the same jig/minnow technique with them and maybe they would add a little extra attention.
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01-15-2021, 02:39 PM,
#7
RE: Michigan Ice
I hear ya on the Jigging Raps being too heavy for sluggish fish. There are times when you just have to touch bottom, raise it up and let it hang there for awhile. Years ago I saw an old fellow on the ice and he seemed to be the only one catching anything. I plodded over just to see what he was using and it kinda looked like it was nothing more than a small willow leaf on a swivel, a split ring and a hook. I think he was tipping it with a perch eye or worm but that thing would slowly fall and he was catching mostly perch but had a few nice walleye too. I couldn't get a real good look at it but it seemed to work. I think it was on the swedish pimple theory but much lighter. I've got some rippin raps too but haven't had the opportunity to test them out either. Gotta figure out how to get my work done without actually being there having to do it. Big Grin  LOL
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