"The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope." John Buchan

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

January 16th, Ice Fishing with Alex @ Rockport

Well after the recent weather and some sparse info form the online forums it was an uncertain hope that Alex had to go out on the ice today as part of his Birthday. Last night we made the call to head to Rockport after seeing enough info to suggest the edges were solid enough and that others had had recent success for trout there. Strawberry and Pineview were other contendors but both we lacked enough information to go with confidence (or enough anti-slush monster drive). So we set our alarms for 5:40am and manged to get on our way just after 6:00am. When we got to Rockport temps were hovering between 0 and -1 (Fahrenheit). There was a thick fog/cloud layer right on the reservoir. Per some of the info we saw on BFT we headed to the main boat launch were we headed out on the ice and south about 1/2 mile. When we got onto the ice we were farm from the first ones there. I would expect that there were a couple dozen other camps already setup near the boat ramp or in other places we could see around the lake. We setup near a point in about 32' FOW. We did not have a target depth but tried to look for recent areas of activity that had signs of success. Between the 4 lines we had out we had offerings at the 12', 20', 25' and on the bottom. Just as we were setting up we saw signs on the bottom though by the time we got a lure down there whatever was on the flasher had left. Maybe about 20-30 minutes into things we had a first bite and pulled up a nearly 10' perch. Sized enough that we kept it. A while later we picked up a second about the same size. Then that left us in a dry spell for a while with a few missed nibbles mixed in. We moved all but one line down to the bottom since the perch had made a showing and Alex left the last line up at about 12' FOW to keep an option open for the upper water column. His line on the bottom was the next one to get some attention and he set a hook on something much larger then the perch I had pulled in. After a nice fight he pulled up a bit of a surprise for us (we just didn't expect it). A nice nearly 18" brown trout.

The next fish was a while later and I managed to bring up a foot long rainbow that looked healthy enough (not a snake), maybe a planter from last year? Then after a longer break Alex picked up a rainbow as well, though we sent it back to get bigger.

Shortly before noon we decided to call it a day. Things were still quite cold, even in the tent, and we had both been able to catch a few even though it was a bit slow. The sun by this time had burned off the fog/clouds that had been over the lake and things had slowed down a lot. We never though did get much of an idea of how others were doing. When we left the ice the number of other camps out there had nearly doubled (maybe not quite) compared to when we got on. So with others sticking out there maybe others were having a faster day to keep them going then we were, but we were happy with the trip we had. Here's a peek at what we brought home with us.

Hard to beat a nice day out with my now 14 year old son Alex. :) Happy Birthday Alex!

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