Although I haven’t been ice fishing in a few weeks, I’ve heard of many people who have went fishing at Sodus Bay and have been unsuccessful lately. Besides being very busy with mid-semester work, one of the reasons I haven’t been ice fishing is because the past few times I went, the fish weren’t active.
Last weekend at breakfast I overheard a conversation at a table to the left of me. It was two men talking about ice fishing, so instantly their conversation drew my attention. One of the men asked the other if he went ice fishing at the bay and he replied, “no I’m taking the day off because the fish haven’t been biting lately, but my son is fishing at Cayuga Lake”. The other guy replied that he went out on the bay and gave it a try but caught “dinks”.
That same weekend, a family friend went ice fishing on Oneida Lake because he tried Sodus Bay all week and didn’t catch any keepers.
Zac’s friend went ice fishing this past Friday at Sodus Bay and was on the ice all day. He said that he only caught two small perch over the course of the entire day. On Saturday, my best friend Kayla also went ice fishing on the bay and she said she sat out on the ice for four hours straight and didn’t get one bite!
Talking with my boyfriend as we tried figuring out why the fish haven’t been active, we came to the conclusion that since it’s been such a cold winter and Lake Ontario has started to freeze, the fish have no need to move to the bay. We figured that the perch are staying in the deeper water since the lake is just as cold and starting to freeze also. When you think about it, it actually makes sense as to why the fish haven’t been biting. There are probably very few perch left in the bay if they’re staying out in the deeper water.
The fish I haven’t been catching for the past two weekends in a row, have me reminiscing on the end of winter break when I caught several fish of different kinds.
Where we fished was a new spot to me, but an old spot to my boyfriend since it was one of the first places he ever went ice fishing. This spot was really popular and well known because there were many people already fishing there when we arrived. I was curious to see what kind of fish I would catch since I heard there were many different kinds of fish in this spot.
Of course I can’t share the fishing spot because one of my rules as a fisher is to never tell others where you’re fishing just in case someone tries to steal your spot.
Since we were closer to shore and the water wasn’t that deep, we instantly saw many sunfish attempting to bite the hooks and minnows that were way too big for their mouths. Not even ten minutes after I had my minnow in the water, I saw a huge large mouth bass. I have never caught one as big as the one I saw, not even during the summer.
I tried to hook the bass too soon because it put the whole lure in its mouth and dropped the minnow as I went to hook it. So, I missed it. I was almost in tears because I missed it. I tried to think optimistically that the fish would come back if it really wanted my minnow. And, it did and I caught it!
From there on out, it was one bass after another, after another. Between me and my boyfriend, we caught at least eight bass in an afternoon. In between the bass, we each caught some perch that were a decent size and worth keeping.
Since the water was shallow, I knew to expect pike swimming around. So, I kept an eye out for one on the fishing camera. A small one approached Zac’s minnow and then attacked it. He caught it and it was his first pike of the season. I couldn’t have been happier for him.
Fishing days like these are what I miss the most when you’ve had a crappy few weeks of ice fishing.
Every time I go fishing my goal is to get a bigger fish than the time before, or to catch a different kind of fish that I haven’t caught yet, such as a pike or walleye. This past Saturday started out like any other day of ice fishing. Me and my boyfriend Zac got up before the crack of dawn and packed everything up and loaded the truck to head out.
When we arrived at Sodus Bay, we rode the four wheeler out and chose a spot to set up the fishing shelter. We drilled a hole through the foot of ice and set up the fishing camera in the water, just like any other time we go.
A minute after dropping my line in the water I got a bite. My first catch was no bigger than the minnow on my hook. It was a disappointment, especially because that little fish attacked the hook like it was a big one…it had me fooled.
“Are you kidding me?” I distinctively remember saying. Naturally, I let the fish go.
Now that the fishing camera was all set up, it was nice to see exactly what was looking at my bait and what fish were nearby.
I put my lure all the way back down to the bottom, which was about 35 feet and waited nearly one minute before I saw a huge perch come out of no where and attacked my bait. I jerked my pole too soon and the perch dropped it out of its mouth. That’s when I thought I lost my chance, and like any other fisher, I was upset with myself.
“It’ll come back,” said Zac.
Sure enough, he was right and the fish came back. This time I made sure I hooked it and reeled it in as fast as I could out of excitement. As the fish got closer to the hole I couldn’t believe how big the perch actually was.
One pound three ounces and 14 inches long! It may not seem like a big perch to those who have caught bigger ones, but to me it’s a personal record!