Chris with a 14-inch Pompton Lake Yellow Perch taken in the early morning hours on a tip-up.
When: Saturday, January 9th, from 6:45am until 4:45pm (yes, 10 hours)
Where: Pompton Lake in Passaic County
What: Ice Fishing
Weather: High in the low 20's, a 15mph+ NW wind with gusts, although we didn't get the worst of it as we were fishing against the northern shore.
For those of you who are not familiar with the art of ice fishing (and yes, it is indeed an art), I'm going to provide a no frills, crash course in the hopes that this entry will make a bit more sense.
There are two common methods of catching fish through the ice, and I generally utilize both. The first method is the use of a tip-up; a device specifically made for ice fishing. Tip-ups are designed to sit over a hole and have a spool that hangs in the water. When a fish takes the bait, line is pulled off the spool, causing a trigger to release a flag and alert the angler of good things to come. The spool also allows the fish to swim with the bait without feeling pressure until said angler arrives at the hole, sets the hook and pulls the fish in by hand. The other method of catching fish through the ice is with a jigging rod. A jigging rod designed for ice fishing is normally 3 feet or less in length, allowing an angler to sit close to the hole while working a small jig below. In the state of New Jersey, anglers are allowed to use 5 devices at once, i.e. 5 tip-ups or 4 tip-ups and a jigging rod.
Now, that being said, our normal modus operandi is to drill our holes and set our tip-ups, then sit down and wait for flags to fly while calmly jigging-up fish. On this particular day, it was quite some time before we got to sit down.
Flags were flying.
It's always nice to see a flag go up before you set your last tip-up in the water, and that is exactly what happened. After that, it didn't seem like there was ever a time when all tip-ups were baited and set and there wasn't a flag in the air. The action was fast and furious all morning, and we did a lot of running around.
After the morning rush, we were afforded a chance to sit down and were successful jigging-up more perch. We were surprised by the lack of variety, but definitely were not complaining, as we scored well over 50 fish during our long day on the frozen lake. We were the first ones out there and the last ones to leave, and I enjoyed every minute of it. More importantly, we learned some valuable information about where to fish, and I'm hopeful that our next time out on Pompton Lake, we'll be able to add a little quality to our quantity.
To check out our first fish......visit...
......which can also be found under "Ice Perch On Pompton Lake" under "Videos That You Should Watch" on the sidebar of the blog.
Another monster Pompton Lake Perch stretching across more than 13-inches of my Bass Pro Shops tip-up.