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2-01-04 - I find my frozen buddies holding little poles, staring into little holes drilled through the ice...quite comical when you think about it...and I'm gonna join them!
There were a few other "anglers" out, but I couldn't help overhearing that they were all skunked.
Not our party, Jacek called up the skunk and told him to STAY HOME!
Not exactly that monster brown we'd all hoped for, but one fish is better than no fish.

2-01-04 - Trout through the ice!

Waters Fished: Lake Michigan (Kenosha Harbor)
Fish Caught: 1 (0 personally)
Outing Date: 2-01-04
Weather: Sunny with moderate breeze
Air Temp: Around 25F
Water Temp: cold!
Water Level: Normal
Water Color: N/A
Fish Species: Brown Trout
Pattern Fished: Baits - Shiners & Roaches, Spawn
Pattern Color: N/A
Fishing Quality: Hmmmm....

The deep freeze has officially put the kybosh on ANY chance of trib fishin' in WI. Not to mention, IA streams are out of the question (the most recent report mentioned 80% ice coverage with only the riffles open). What's a boy to do?

The obvious answer is stay home, tie flies, build rods, but I don't like the obvious answer. I headed to the Greater Midwest Fly Show with FAT on Saturday. The show itself was unimpressive to say the least...not many vendors...nothing really "exciting". They actually pitch it as "this isn't your typical gear show" but rather clinics and such. Well, no offense, but I'm no newbie here...I wanted to see GEAR...specifically as many different fly reels that I hadn't seen before as possible. Honestly, I had already seen it all.

However, I did enjoy meeting up with a couple friends & the Spey Casting demo was enjoyable, but brief. I'd already learned a lot more from a couple videos. Arguably one could say that the HIGHLIGHT of going to the show had nothing to do with the show...FAT enlightened me on the FATMAN's paradise. ToDai, a Japanese Buffet in Schaumburg that was on our way down...my GOD it was amazing! More sushi than I could catch in a week (yes Mom, I actually like sushi)! If you like Sushi & Rolls well, you will DIE when you eat at Todai...four plates and if I sat a bit, I would've gone for #5. Heck, they also had tons of NON-Sushi offerings for the bleeding-heart Catch & Release folks (couldn't resist that jab). You bet I'll gorge there again.

So Sunday comes around, I find myself cooped-up indoors, no fish tuggin' my line while practice casting on the lawn! I NEED FISH. Well, Bart & Jacek had the idea, and I tagged along. We'd ice fish the far interior of Kenosha Harbor.

Bart & Jacek were out long before I got there; I suspect they started around noon...meanwhile I was puttin gthe finishing touches on my first ever woven-name on a rod I'm building. It's one of those things where I couldn't "finish it later" so I probably didn't even get on the road until 1:00. All the while we're back and forth on the cell phones...Jacek lost one...Jacek is 1/2....Jacek lost another. What's with Jacek and all those fish?!

In his truly generous spirit, FAT agreed to let me borrow his tipups to head out and "increase our chances". Bart & Jacek were unable to locate any shiners so their offerings were limited to spawn and roaches. So along the way I also stopped at Paddock Lake Sports on 50; thankfully they had some shiners! Hopefully this would turn things around. I've been hearin' about it since noon..."BRING COFFEE". I'm all too happy to oblidge my already frozen buddies.

So I arrive probably about 2:30 pm and make my way across the basin of ice to the boys. We drill and set up; a total of 2 rods jiggin' spawn, 2 rods "tightlining" spawn, and 5 tipups going (3 lines per person guys).

We sit.

And sit.

The sun gets low in the sky.

The breeze picks up.

The temperatures are dropping.

We're still sitting.

Bottom line, once again I prove my "bad luck charm" status as not a single flag goes off, not another bite is had. Towards Dusk Bart ran to get us more coffee and Cheeseburgers (Ice fishin' and McDonald's is a habit I think I could get used to...something about clogging my arteries while freezing...). I pulled out around 5:00 pm as the sun was setting...I suspect Jacek & Bart didn't stay out TOO much longer........

Next week I'll be spending another weekend indoors at the Tinley Park Outdoor's & Fishin' Show...hopefully an improvement over this weekend's experience. Get prepared...I won't be fishin' again until the 15th - the WFF Ice Clave Part II - Southern Waters. Slowly but surely we're building a small crowd (once again, Mom, I'm makin' them all leave their shoes on the porch)!

  MP 

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