We've been waiting patiently for thicker ice, not to say that any ice is "safe" ice, but thicker ice makes fishing much more comfortable.
Cathy and I finally made a "date" to fish on Thursday.  We both managed to schedule a day off, and would fish when Cathy got out of the Dentists chair.

We hit our spot at noonish and found a good solid eight inches of black ice.  Good strong ice that made us both feel comfortable being on it.  We set up our portable two-person shack, fired up the heater and began to jig in ten feet of water.  We could clearly see our jigs near the bottom and it wasn't long before the fish began to move in to see what we were offering.

Cathy was the first to pull up a nice fat ten inch Yellow Hen...the first fish of 2011 for her and a good size Perch for the fillet knife.  I was soon to follow, then another and another.
We fished for four hours, the fish coming and going.  At times there wouldn't be anything below us, other times several fish would come in and take our bait.

We were thinking the fish were leaving, following forage that was more interesting but that wasn't the case.  It turns out there was a nice Northern Pike hanging around.  We got a few good glimpses of it, probably near eight pounds or so.  The perch didn't want anything to do with that big Esox predator hanging out. The perch would leave, then return when Mr Pike wandered off.

As the sun began to set and the temperature started to fall, we ended our first day on the ice of twenty-eleven.  A successful first ice fishing adventure of the year with a mess of lively, colorful, delicious Lake Champlain winter Yellow Perch.  We brought home 17 keepers, all between nine and eleven inches.  Anything smaller, we released to grow another season.

11-1/8"...best of the day

Needless to say, we had an excellent meal of fried perch fillets on Friday.  What a great meal, fresh perch fillets from the ice of Lake Champlain!

Get out on the ice, be safe, and enjoy the fishery!

Fish on, fish H8 me.


John said...

Nice perch Raz. There's nothing better than the first perch feast of the season

Paddy Pike said...

Hi Raz,
Pity the Pike did'nt fany your bait as well, Then you would have a full belly,We are not allowed to take Pike, Perch or any other fish from the lakes, Unless you have a game licence then you can take 2 trout or a lasalmon, I hope you enjoyed the Perch, I would have had a portion myself haha,
Best Regards,

Anonymous said...

Yes sir, those are a darn nice bunch of Perch. Here is too many happy hook ups for you and your wife in 2011.

WildFisherWoman said...

Ice is Nice! After Islands Derby we need to all head out on a perch date. Come visit us 'Team Dockside Outdoors' at the Hillbilly Hotel!

blake said...

nothing beats perch other then big bluegill, i think they taste best ;)