From going through the ice up to my belly on Sunday, to trolling for Lake Trout on Lake Champlain on Wednesday and Thursday.
Who'd a thunk it?

Cold and chilly on Wednesday morning after hard soaking rain on Tuesday.  The roads were slick, the windshield on Rob's boat  had to be scraped, and the fish were waiting.

Launching at the mouth of the Winooski River was a cinch.  It's well protected, even from the high flows and floating debris that spring brings.

To the lake we motor, slowly through the logs, sticks, trees caught on sand-bars, and bits and pieces of ice.  Find the mud-line from the flows of the big river...find fish.

One fish, two fish, three fish, four.
Cowboy's fish...

And Rob's got more...
Ah, okay that's getting corny...enough of that!

Robs wearing gloves, is he afraid to touch them?
No way...he cleans, preps, displays, and sells fish for a living!
He's getting ready to clean fish...
Always an exciting time.  Whenever Rob whips out his knife and lays it to flesh...
good things happen.

A rod on my side of the boat fires...
reeling, fighting...
fighting and reeling.
A pleasant surprise!
Although out of season, this beautiful hen Walleye comes unwillingly to the net.
7.5 pounds of golden fish porn that was headed up the river to tease and play with the fellas.

Kissed, nursed, and gently petted she slides away to continue her journey.

Total to the net for the day, seven Greasy Lake Trout and one Golden Lake Champlain Walleye.
Three bleeders had to be kept for the smoker. 

Thursday was a different day.
Ron asked me to join him on his boat for three hours.
We'll meet at nine he says.

I get up before day-break.  My boat is still stuck behind a big mud-hole and it's 24° outside.
The mud, snow, and slop is frozen solid...time to free the Razzle Dazzle from its Hibernation Den and get it out where she can be summerized. 

I meet Ron at the ramp at nine and off we go.
Again, thru debris to the lake...in search of Greasers.
We enter the lake:
Crap...skim ice.  Too cold during the night, no breeze and the water skimmed over. 
There's boats to the North a mile or so...we motor out.
Crunch, crunch, crackle-crunch.
And start setting up.
Slow...slow...too slow.
Changing lures, putting out lead-core, set up a rigger.
Then a flurry...
fish on! fish off.
Easy come...easy go.
and Another.

We let them all go...
And I think Ron flipped me the bird as he hid behind a fish.

A gorgeous day...
Seeking, hooking, netting, and releasing Lake Champlain Lake Trout in April.

Fish on, fish H8 me.



Shoreman said...

Wow, nice day. Better than swimming in ice water, huh.


John said...

Jigging on ice to downrigging in less than a week? Where'd all the ice go? Great post Raz, love the release vid!

Raz said...

Yup, better than swimming.

It's a huge lake John. Most years, this year included, the main lake doesn't freeze over, just the protected bays and shallower areas. Many areas are well over 200 feet deep with an area over 400 feet! There's still weak ice covering the area I ice fish.

HotHuntingSpots said...

Nice work....

Paddy Pike said...

Well you dont hang about, Wow they are great fish, Dont you take a couple to freeze for later in the year, I was gobsmacked when i saw just how clear the lake is, And how big those fish are,

WildFisherWoman said...

Thats a nice Walleye. Someone will prob catch it in the river in a few weeks and keep it!