Fishing drought ends in Upper Peninsula
I ended a six-month fishing drought recently with an all-day trip on the ice of Munuscong Bay, where we caught perch, northern pike and walleye.
In addition to it being the first time I’d fished since summer, it was also the first time I’ve been on the ice before Christmas in many, many years. While much of the ice is “iffy” in Michigan right now, the shallow sheltered spots in our neck of the woods have been tightening up for quite some time and we had 6 to 8 inches of good ice. It was enough to hold snowmobiles and four-wheelers, but many anglers were still walking out and waiting for thicker ice.
It’s always best to bring friends who catch more fish than you do when you have your taste buds ready for a long-overdue fish fry. There were four of us on this trip and two of the crew – Ric and his son, RJ, on holiday leave from his Army duties – had been out earlier in the week and knew where the fish were biting.
The perch were hungry in the morning, but the bite slowed in the afternoon, and I wasn’t on high alert when one of my rods started bouncing and sliding toward the hole. Fortunately, Joe was paying attention and he stuck his arm in the icy water to snag the end of the rod handle; then he continued to fight the fish, a nice pike that significantly increased our growing pile of fish fillets.
We stayed through the evening, watching and listening to bald eagles and gulls laying claim to minnows left from fishermen in the days before, and catching a few more fish under a gorgeous sunset.
We’ve had a couple days of rain since then, and while the ice is still holding, there is not enough in the deep-water spot where we put out our spearing shack for whitefish.
That excursion, and many more this winter, I hope, will be coming soon.