What’s in my tackle box?

tackle box

To describe every item in my tackle box would turn into a detailed thousand word essay because of the many jigs, lures and sinkers in it. First, I would have to specify which tackle box I’m talking about since I have one for every fishing season.

Since ice fishing season is still in effect and nearing the end, I will discuss my ice fishing tackle box. It has what seems like a million of the same thing in every color.  When I’m shopping at any sporting store I find myself buying even the smallest packs of jigs and other things that I already have and don’t need more of. Even when I stop at the bait shop on Bay Bridge to get minnows for the day, I find myself browsing at the jigs and lures. Every year, my tackle box gets filled even more than it already is.

There are plenty of sinkers, bobbers, colorful and shiny lures, lures with shiny fuzz on them, rubber glittery jigs, and sweedish pimple lures, my personal favorite! All are good for ice fishing!

Fish Stocking

Not all streams, rivers, lakes and ponds come stocked with a plethora of fish on their own. This is one of the things that NY State DEC does which is called “fish stocking”.

Fish stocking is when DEC releases over one million pounds of fish into more than 1,200 public streams, rivers, lakes and ponds across the state. (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7739.html)

There are two main reasons for doing so. One, to enhance recreational fishing and two, to restore native species where they originally occupied. The fish that are released are found in hatcheries that are run by DEC. There are currently 12 hatcheries that raise anywhere from one kind of fish to multiple fish such as brook trout, rainbow trout, lake trout and walleye to name a few.

Without the assistance of DEC, some ponds, streams, lakes and rivers would be quiet remain inactive because of the lack of fisherman visiting.

For a complete list of fish stocking information in specific waters (by county) check out the link below.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7739.html

Fly Of The Year

Troutbitten

There were not many good fishing options with the high flows, but I wasn’t going to pass up the beautiful weather on Monday.  I decided to drive out of town a bit to find more manageable flows and hopefully some big fish.  As luck would have it, I found a little bit of both.

Before I dive into this unbelievable day on the water, I need to provide some background info for the story I am about to tell.  Dom and I are members of a private online forum with a handful of other close friends.  On this forum we discuss techniques, catalog our days on the water, and work together to come up with ways to solve everyday problems encountered on the stream.  What started as just a few friends talking fishing, has developed into an invaluable tool for driving innovation and making us all better fisherman.  It’s amazing how…

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Next fishing season…stream fishing

Even though there are still a few people who have been ice fishing before the ice melts, I’ve decided to call it quits for this season. On to the next fishing season which is stream fishing particularly for steelhead.

There’s a small creek in my hometown that eventually leads to a mouth into Lake Ontario. This particular creek is very popular in the spring and late fall. This past weekend there were about 25 parked cars in between the three parking lots. Seeing that, I assumed that the frozen creek has now melted.

Another place I like to fish at in the spring is at the pier in Sodus Point where you can fish the channel which is the main travel way from Sodus Bay to Lake Ontario, or on the beach side which is Lake Ontario.

 

If only the end of the season was as good as the beginning

With the warm weather quickly approaching, I decided to fit one more day of ice fishing into my schedule…at Sodus Bay. Bad idea on my end since the fishing hasn’t been that great the second half of the season.

As a result of the frigid temperatures this winter and the wind combined, the ice has thickened to at least 30 inches. With that being said, it’s turned into an arm work out drilling holes with a hand auger. So, it’s only worth it if the fish are biting.

On Friday, March 6, my boyfriend and I were out on the ice for about two hours and neither of us got a bite. Nor did the three tip-ups we had set up. For me, I get antsy when I haven’t had a bite in over 30 minutes so this was a stretch for me to patiently wait for a bite.

Unfortunately for us, we didn’t catch a single fish and that was when I decided I was done fishing Sodus Bay for the rest of the season until next year because it’s not worth it anymore. It was fun while it lasted…in the first half of the season.

1-31-15 – Should Have Stayed Home

D & B Ice Adventures

There is always a day or two every winter when you should just stay home. Today was cold, really cold, that was the root of all problems.

I knew things were amiss when I tried to fire up my auger. It always starts within 3 pulls no matter the temperature but it didn’t. I pulled and pulled until it finally fired but the pull cord didn’t coil back up. I had snapped the recoil spring and wouldn’t be able to get it running again until it was replaced. I figured that I better cut all necessary holes so I dealt with frozen hands to make sure that we could find fish.

The fishing was off and only a few holes showed suspended fish on the flasher. After setting up my shack, i started scooping my hole only to break the ladle clean off! Frustrated, I tried different jigs, plastics, and…

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It would’ve been a perfect day to have a gas or electric auger

auger tip up

 

Each auger has its pros and cons as to why people choose the one they own. There are three different kind of augers; a hand auger, gas auger and an electric auger.

Each auger resembles a screw with a blade at the end that cuts through the ice when it’s turned. Hand augers have a nob at the top to be held with one hand, while turning the handle with your other hand. A gas and electric auger both operate the same way, except the way they are powered on. An electric auger has a power button to start it and a gas auger has a pulley system that has to be pulled in order to start it.

This past Friday would’ve been the best day to have a gas or electric auger to drill the holes because by the time I got done drilling through 30 inches of ice, which took five minutes for one hole, my arms felt like Jell-o. Lucky for me, I only drilled one hole. Because Zac and I used tips-ups, we had to drill six holes total. One for the fishing camera, two for our fishing poles and three for the tip-ups.

Tip-ups are devices used for ice fishing in which two rods are connected, making an ‘x’ when set up. A wire is attached to a rod that is tripped, raising the orange flag (signal flag) when a fish takes the bait.

“I like hand augers because it cuts down on the weight of equipment when walking with the shanny,” said Zac.

That day would’ve been the perfect day to have a gas or electric auger because it would’ve also cut down on the time we spent drilling holes. Overall, it took about 30 minutes to drill all six holes which could’ve been spent fishing.

Don’t forget your fishing license!

New York State requires anyone over the age of 16 fishing for freshwater species by angling, spearing, hooking, longbow and tip-ups to retain a fishing license. According to the New York DEC website, anyone 16 or older must posses a fishing license if they are fishing for frog species by spearing, catching with hands or by the use of a club/hook. It’s also necessary for those who are fishing for freshwater bait fish for personal use.

There are certain circumstances when a fishing license isn’t necessary; when fishing on a licensed fishing preserve, during the free fishing weekend (June 27-28, 2015), at a free fishing clinic, if you are a resident landowner primarily engaged in farming, if you are a farm fish pond license holder, if you are a Native American living and fishing on reservation land or if you are a patient residing at a qualifying U.S. Veterans Administration hospital or facility in New York State.

Fishing licenses can cost various amounts depending if you want an annual license, lifetime, etc.

An annual resident fishing license is $25 for those ages 16-69 and $5 for those ages 70 and older. A seven day license for NY residents is $12 and a one day license is $5. Lifetime freshwater fishing licenses are $460 for people ages 16-69 and $65 for people ages 70 and older.

Some people qualify for free and reduced prices on fishing licenses. Those people include active duty military, military veterans with a 40 percent or greater disability, senior citizens (70 and older), legally blind and non-resident students attending a NY state college/university full-time.

There are many locations where you can purchase fishing licenses such as local town offices, local bait shops and large corporations such as Walmart, Dicks Sporting Goods, Field and Stream, etc.

If you are caught fishing without a license, you are fined.

Below is the link to the New York State DEC website for all fishing rules and regulations.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html

Do you necessarily have to have a snowmobile/four wheeler to go ice fishing?

No, you don’t have to have a snowmobile/four wheeler in order to go ice fishing. However, they are a great asset to have.

At the beginning of the season when the ice is still forming and thickening, it’s only about two to three inches thick when it’s safe for people to be on (or at least that’s when I think it’s safe to go fishing). At that point, it’s not recommended that anyone bring out their snowmobiles or four wheelers on the ice. Usually, I would recommend waiting until there is at least six to eight inches of solid black ice until bringing out recreational vehicles, just to be on the safe side.

Every year at the beginning and end of the season, my boyfriend and I always walk across the ice to our fishing spot with spikes on our boots, pulling the shanny behind us because the ice is too thin to ride on.

The snowmobiles/four wheelers come in handy when your fishing spot is miles away especially when several feet of snow collect on top of the ice.

Last year when the season first started, my boyfriend and I had to walk about two hours to get to the fishing spot we wanted. Without the snowmobile, that’s a decision you have to make if you want to walk that far or not.

When you think about it, there are plenty of people who don’t own recreational vehicles who have to walk all season long to go fishing. At some point, most people end up walking when they go fishing.

Reasons why not having a snowmobile/four wheeler is beneficial: you have less to load and unload every time, when there is too much snow most four wheelers can’t drive through it without getting stuck, you don’t have to worry about normal maintenance and towards the end of winter you have no problem walking since you’ve been used to it all winter versus those who rode to their destination all season.