So far 2012 has not been kind to many ice anglers in Southern Ontario, the big lakes like the Bay of Quinte and Lake Simcoe are still in very dangerous conditions, and some of the smaller lakes in most southern towns are still are not at 100% either. So to say my first ice trip of 2012 was a little delayed is an understatement, I should have been on the ice a month ago, but I will take what I can get, and for me, first ice was Jan 8th.. and my lake of choice was a good little crappie lake called Jacks, just outside of Apsley Ontario.
Jacks Lake, is a great ice fishing lake that still produces well even after the relatively high amount of pressure it gets in both soft and hard water seasons. On the ice the targeted species are Lakers, Walleye, Sunfish, Perch and Crappie. Personally I go there for the crappie, decent numbers and good size make this an annual stop for me.
(Jesse's first Crappie)
This season with the current warm weather conditions not all of Jacks lake is ready to fish, I stuck close the main bay and focused on areas with 30ft of water and less. The fish were in a somewhat co-operative mood and we were able to ice some 10, 11 and 12 inch crappies along with some small perch.
Jesse was my partner for the day (our group of 4 became a group of 2 early Sunday morning), this was his first Crappie trip, and as you can see from the above image, it wont be his last. He landed that heavy shouldered slab late in the day and helped us end the day on a high note. Always good to ice new species
We had some equipment issues on the day, my new Marcum LX7 lost battery power after only 5 hours on the ice, not sure if this is a machine or battery issue, but I will be giving Marcum a call to discuss it. I also broke a new rod that I purchased this past off season. the K&E Whip'r rod looked like a killer panfish set-up but did not last long on the ice, I set the hook on a nice crappie and heard a "snap" and then had to hand bomb the fish in after the rod broke in two. Although it was a nice crappy this rod should have easily shouldered the weight, and Im very disappointed in the quality.
I guess there will be two companies getting a call this week, to discuss product quality issues and concerns.
Anyways, you cant let stuff like that ruin your day. The weather was great and we had some fish on the ice, so all in all I would say it was a successful trip and a good way to break the ice in 2012
If you ever get the chance to fish jacks lake, I recommend giving it a try. There is a great bunch of locals on the lake that dont mind sharing the ice, as long as you are respectful to them and the body of water. The ministry spends a good deal of time on Jacks lake. This is the first time in 3 years that I was not approached by a CO to see how my day was going and check in to make sure everything was legit.. I dont mind those visits.. I plan to fish Jacks lake for years, and those guys are helping make sure the fish population is around so I can