One thing we love about the winter time, ICE FISHING! Nothing seems to get us more excited than calling our local Marina to ask them for an update on the inches. Our rule, for safety of course, is 4 solid inches of ice. Well, we got our wish, although we were unable to act on it due to busy schedules. That is until this past Sunday. After church, we hurried home, suited up and headed out to what we refer to as The Gravel Pit Cove. This is a huge area to find spearing shanty's, so us, looking for smaller panfish hoped we would get lucky! The people looking for pike had to be sending some gills and perch our way right? NOPE. Although it was a rough day, we still found it rewarding. At this spot, you are able to see the bottom of the lake, it's only about 6 feet of water. This is our favorite type of spot. We love to watch the fish come right on up to our bait and sometimes right on into our holes! I'm not saying we didn't see any fish that day, we had a lot of little ones fighting for our bait right under our feet, which is excitement in itself, or at the very least, keeps you occupied. Needless to say, we didn't catch but one or two keepers, but the day was amazing. Anytime you can share the out-of-doors with someone you love, it's a great day. And don't worry, we still need to stock that freezer, so we'll be back out before you know it!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Scouting at the end of the season is some of my favorite times to be out in the woods preparing for next deer season. The hunting season has come and gone. The freezer is full and you don't have to worry about spooking any deer into the next county. During the winter months when there is snow on the ground, it's easy to pick up on heavily used trails that otherwise would have gone unnoticed during the fall. I like to start my scouting at the preferred feeding source in the area, most likely the nearest cornfield. From there it's pretty easy to see the main trails being used to enter and exit the field. Simply follow the tracks and note any sign you see on the way, such as rubs, scrapes, antler sheds, droppings and converging trails. All these clues can help you add up the equation as to where the deer are coming from and headed to. Make sure to keep a log of your findings or even mark the trails you discover on a topographical map to see how the deer are traveling according to the terrain of your property. During this part of the year, most of the deer have begun to calm down from the massacring days of the gun season and have returned to their normal feeding and traveling patterns, thus, allowing for you to pattern the deer for the upcoming deer season. By following the trails the deer are using heavily, you'll likely end up right in their bedroom. Not to worry, the deer will completely forget about your intrusion by the beginning of the next hunting season, but you certainly won't forget about your time spent in the woods during the winter months scouting. These tips, and a little time spent in the woods while your neighbors are curled up in front of the fireplace, will help you be one step ahead of your competitors come next season because you did your scouting in January, and not september.