Monday, January 27, 2014

New Toys, Good Eats And Good Fishing

Watching panfish chow down on my jigs with my new Marcum underwater camera.
Best give ever, thank you Lindsay!!!!
When: Saturday, January 25th, from 6:30am to 4:30pm
What: Ice Fishing with Matt and Chris L.
Weather: 17 degrees warmed to 23 degrees. Snow later in the day, partly cloudy to overcast. Wind variable to SW at 10mph and gusting higher.
Barometric Pressure: 29.82in dropped to 29.45in.
Relative Humidity: 51% up to 85%
Sunrise: 7:14am
Sunset: 5:05pm
Moon:Waning, a day after the Last Quarter. Overhead 6:55am. Moonset 12:03pm.
Water Conditions: Six inches of good ice covered by snow. Water clarity was stained as evidenced by my new Marcum.



Ice fishing is in full swing in New Jersey. As daytime temperatures continue to struggle to climb above freezing, the ice keeps getting thicker. Judging by the 10 day forecast and current ice conditions, this could be a long hardwater season.

And lucky for me I have a new toy to enjoy it with.

My beloved wife bought me one heck of a birthday present, a Marcum VS 825SD underwater camera. It arrived on Thursday, and was fully charged and in tow when I took to the ice with Lido and Matt on Saturday.

Making sure we got the best spot, we walked out onto the ice before sunrise and set-up our tip-ups. After we had our spread out, Matt and I took to jigging while Chris surveyed the flags.

I immediately put my Marcum to use, drilling two holes about 3 feet apart. I dropped the camera down one hole and my jig down the other. Using the panner, I adjusted the camera until it was focused on my jig.

The picture quality was great, and before I even started really fishing I saw a small school of sunfish come into view on the screen. Really cool stuff.

I stayed glued to the camera almost the entire day, only stopping to chase down my flags and to dine on the culinary delights that Lido was whipping up on the grill. We ate kielbasa sandwiches for breakfast and venison burgers for lunch. It was by far the best day of eating I've had while ice fishing.

Everyone caught fish. We had a total of probably 15 flags, and after discounting the false alarms and missed fish, we landed 7 bass up to 4 pounds, 2 slammer pickerel and couple of perch on the tip-ups. We easily lost count of the number of fish that came on the jigging rods.

I probably saw over a hundred fish on the camera, many of which I caught. The parade of sunfish and perch seemed endless. I also had a crappie show-up that immediately ate my jig, at which point I set the hook and brought him up. I also spotted two bass on the camera. The first one took a sniff of my jig and swam away, but the second one ate it. He slurped down the whole jig, but as I waited for him to close his mouth so I could set the hook, he instead spit it right back out and swam off. He came back into view again, but never took a better shot at my bait.

In terms of an overall day on the ice, taking into account fish caught, fun had and food eaten, I can't remember many days better than this one. My only regret, albeit a small one, is that I didn't have any means to record all the cool stuff that I was seeing on my camera. However, thanks to some extensive research, Facebook and a solid from a friend, I'm hoping to remedy that situation this weekend.

If you've ever thought about giving ice fishing a shot, this is the winter to do it. Get out there, but be safe!!!!!

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