We arrived at the Harbor by 6am, only to find 2 other groups already making their way onto the ice. This made picking a spot simple, since there were only 2 options! By 6:30 we had all of our tip ups and Automatic Fishermen set and ready for some action.
Once the tip ups were in, I set my brother up with a jig pole and explained to him how to use a flasher. Within 15 minutes he had a fish on the ice! It wasn't a Trout however, it was a 13.5" Perch! This is honestly the nicest looking Perch I have ever seen! He contemplated mounting it for awhile, but decided to have a Perch dinner instead.
An hour passed with no action, when our first flag of the day popped up. We ran over to it, hurdling the many obstacles in the harbor for a chance at catching a Trout. Unfortunately for us, the fish only took 4 inches of line and spit the spawn sac out, before we could get to the tip up.
Another hour passed when I heard that familiar sound, the sound of the Automatic Fisherman base slamming the plastic beneath it, meaning a fish had tripped the rod! This fish narrowly escaped with the spawn, all that was left on the hook after the hookset was the mesh that had surrounded the Trout eggs.
This was beginning to feel like one of those days where nothing would go our way, boy was I right! Within the next hour, we had two more trips on the Automatic Fishermen and a flag on a normal tip up with nothing to show for it.
My brother was losing interest and decided to set his jig rod on the ice with the line still down the hole. We were just standing 15 feet from it carrying on conversation when we heard something behind us. We turned around to see the pole sliding towards the hole in the ice! I quickly sprinted to the pole and grabbed it off the ice just as the tip began sliding down the hole. Luckily, the fish was still on and I began fighting the fish.
Several minutes of hard runs and the fish thrashing below the hole took place before I finally could get the fish's head up the hole. A friend of mine volunteered to grab the fish for me when it came up the hole. He grabbed a hold of the line to try to bring the fish further up in the hole when the hook popped out! I watched this happen, it seemed like slow motion almost. I immediately reached down the hole after the Rainbow, but it was too late, the fish was history!
We got a good look at the fish before the hook popped out, it was a Rainbow Trout, weighing around 8 pounds! To make matters even worse, the fish appeared to be a female full of eggs! We sure could've used some fresh spawn as bait! All of that excitement was wiped away with the fish lost when it was so close to being caught!
My friend felt horrible for what he had just done, but I really can't blame him considering the circumstances and how tough Trout are to land on light line! We pressed on, hoping to get another chance at another fish.
That is when I turned over and noticed my dad kneeling on the ice with his rod tip bent over and his Vexilar cable thrashing around in his hole! I ran over to offer some assistance, but it was already too late. He wasn't paying any attention, when all of a sudden his pole nearly went down the hole as well! He grabbed the pole and quickly noticed that the fish had wrapped around his cable. Instead of hollering for help, he attempted to untangle it himself, which caused the fish to get off. Talk about tough luck!
Even though we were unable to land a Trout, the trip was well worth it as we learned a new spot and the potential it has, and enjoyed a nice day on the ice in mid March with family and friends.