Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pickin' Before the Chill

Knowing the fact that a cold front from
hell (or the polar opposite) was on it's way
to the East coast, I could only think of one thing...
Fish feeding like a "MOFO" before the storm hits!
 Watching the weather like a hawk along with reading the awesome report from Drew Camp at his new blog, "Fish Tails by Drew Camp" , had me all sorts of giddy to get on the water. This time of year I like to focus my attention on freshwater, more specifically bass and pickerel. Not only are they a blast to catch, I grew up catching those fish which makes it that much sweeter.

The particular lake that I chose to fish is one that I know fairly well. I have a handful of spots that have produced in the past on a consistent basis. When I know there is a front approaching (fluctuating barometer), I don't waste time learning new water or trying new spots. I prefer to hit the same handful of spots over and over throughout the day. It's not uncommon for me to fish a spot 5-6 times in a day. I know the fish are there, and chances are I will catch fish almost every time I hit it.
The first spot I hit coughed up a small pickerel followed up by his twin brother. Those fish chomped on a square bill crankbait. Not a short time later at a different spot, I hooked into a good fish on a lipless crankbait. This 24.5" Virginia citation pickerel showed me that they would destroy pretty much anything that I threw that mimicked small baitfish.
I was feeling pretty stoked after landing my first citation of 2014. Now that I knew the pickerel were not "picky", it was time for the lake's studly largemouth to follow suit. I ended up picking up a small 14" bass on a suspending jerkbait within a few casts of releasing the citation pickerel. A few minutes after that I landed the biggest bass of the day, just shy of 18"

It was only a matter of time before the pickerel smashed whatever you were throwing. Even though I was hoping for Grandma Bucketmouth, I didn't complain when another citation pickerel chomped down on my Rapala Husky Jerk. 

Throughout the day the bite would get really hot, then slow down...really hot, then slow down. Even when the bite was slower, it was never dead. Once I realized that I was on the water a few hours longer than I expected, I put the rod down and forced myself to paddle in. Quoting Mr. Ice Cube himself, I just gotta say that, "today was a good day!" I landed 4 bass up to 18" and 7 pickerel, with 2 of those being citations. I lost a few fish and had numerous pickerel just smack the blades of my spinnerbait without eating it.

Well, it looks like this chilly weather is here to stay for a little while. Good thing I have Wisconsin blood running in these veins! I say bring the cold! Those feeding fishys don't stand a chance!

~See ya on the water!


  1. Just flippin awesome. I am not sure what I like more ~ reading your blog or drooling over your pictures.
    Very nice my son. Making Mom proud.

  2. Dude! Nice work Richie! I'm kicking myself for not going out that day. Also, your underwater shots are just AWESOME! Hopefully the weather will straighten itself out sooner rather than later. I'm itching to get back out! Again, nice work!

  3. Thanks man! Yeah, it sure was a nice day to be out there, even though it was a little windy. I'm glad I went since this weather now is sub-par at best! I can't wait to hit it again as well :)