Here’s a shocker – I have trouble sitting still. So what’s a guy like me do when every inland fishery in southern Michigan is covered in a sheet of ice 12 times thicker than what they skate on at the United Center? Answer: drill holes. Lots of them. For me, drilling fifty or sixty holes in the ice per fishing trip beats the heck out of sitting inside an ice shanty all day.
And through those holes, my twin boys and I have been wearing out the bluegills. It’s common for each of my boys to jerk 25 bluegills through the ice on a single trip. The deal is you gotta know where the last patch of healthy green aquatic vegetation was growing before ice-over. The ‘Gills will group-up so thick in those places that my Humminbird flasher just lights up. And you need to note, there ain’t no point in dropping a hook into a hole that the Humminbird doesn’t show fish living under, not gonna waste our time.
The bluegills have been good to us, but I always try to remember what Larry Nixon told me one time. He said, “don’t let your kids catch too many fish on any one trip, they’ll get spoiled, you gotta make them want to come back for more.”
Now, aside from jerking bluegills through the ice, I gotta go tape an episode of “Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show” with my little buddy Jonathan VanDam at a hot water power generation lake in central Illinois.
Before I leave home though, as scatter-brained as I may be, I make darn sure that all things are in working order. I’ve checked tire pressure, battery charges, wheel bearings, the trolling motor, you name it, and I’ve tried my best to make sure it’s in good order. Because, see -- here’s the problem – I have zero mechanical skills.
Which is exactly why I’m a member of Boat U.S. ANGLER. If something fails me while I’m trucking down 57 South with Jonathan, I want to be able to dial the digits on my Boat U.S. ANGLER membership card and dispatch somebody that knows how to fix the many things I can’t – especially, if heaven forbid, it has to be dealt with right there on the side of the interstate.
This trip with the young VanDam will be cool in more ways than one. Like 32-degrees outside with steam rising off the water. It will be like a KISS concert, only colder. And because the water temp will be 65-degrees, they’ll be bass wanting to spawn. It’s a little bizarre, but it’s way better than standing on ice.
Until next time, Happy New Year, and Go Bears!
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