Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Early Bird Gets..................A Few Fish, But Nothing Special


Chris with one of two pickerel we pulled from Budd Lake over the course of almost 12 hours.

When: Saturday, January 23rd from 5:30am to 5pm
Where: Budd Lake in Morris County
What: Ice fishing
Weather: Bitter in the morning, then bluebird skies with a high near 40 and a 7mph NE wind

A day in the life..................

3am-Alarm goes off, I get out of bed.
3am to 4:15am-Make coffee, shower, eat breakfast, load truck.
4:30am-Pick up Chris and head west.
5:11am-Arrive at Bait and Boat next to Lake Musconetcong for extra large shiners and mousies.
5:37am-Walk onto Budd Lake with sleds full of gear, wearing headlamps.
5:40-6:10am-Set tip-ups.
6:10am-Start jigging, catch a few panfish.
7:20am-Sunrise, headlamps get put away.
7:20am to 4:30pm-Jigging, catch a few more panfish, a couple pickerel on tip-ups, lunch and coffee breaks.
4:30pm-Start slowly breaking down tip-ups.
5:06pm-Off the lake, pack truck.
5:20pm-Start driving back east.
6:15pm-Drop Chris off.
6:30pm-Back home.

This was a long day, but worth every minute.

It was a bitter cold morning, but our efforts were rewarded with sun and warmth in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the fish don't appreciate the bluebird skies as much as people do, and the action was slow.

We caught a dozen or so panfish each. Chris had 4 or 5 flags go up, but only caught one pickerel. I had one flag and caught one pickerel. His low hooking percentage may or may not have to do with the fact that he uses #4 circle hooks, and my high hooking percentage may or may not have to do with the fact that I use #8 trebles. The jury is still out, but in the meantime, I'm sticking with trebles.

As we were fishing during this long and mostly quiet day, many thoughts crossed my mind. I couldn't help but think about all the times I've heard people getting sick and depressed in the winter, partly due to the fact they spend so much time indoors when it's cold out.

That used to be me.

I got more hours of sunlight this day than some people get in the month of June. When it was over, it felt wonderful to have been outside for so long in the thick of winter. The action was much slower than it had been on other days, however, if we hadn't done so well the first few times we were out, it may have seemed a bit better.

I any event, it was another successful day.

It's not even February, I've been fishing 4 times, and I've yet to get skunked.

I'd say I'm about due.

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