11-27-2002, 11:42 AM
First off, I'd like to say that I'm very pleased Scott started this Strickly Fishing board. I hope all of us can keep the politics and personal feelings to a minimum, both on certain subjects and toward the people simply stateing their own feeling on any certain fishing subjects.
O.K., the question.
I use a Yamaha ATV 250 4 wheeler to get in and out on the Bay when it ice time. Often times during the course of a winters walleye ice fishing season, I pursue Saginaw Bay walleye as far out as 6 to 10 miles on the Bay. Often, this involves crossing as many as 3 to 5 Cracks in the ice. Some minor and some major. And if the wind changes while your out, these cracks can at times open or heave up on top of each other. I've often turned around or pulled lines and called it a day, when Off-shore winds, or any strong new wind directions are or start blowing. In all my years of ice fishing, I have not (knock on wood) yet had to take that Coast Guard fun ride back to shore. I always carry a 6 foot loading rack (used to be planks) with me on my dog sled and look for the firmest/safest place in the crack to cross. And if needed, place the rack and cross the crack. Most often, there is usually a place where the hoard of other anglers cross and these places can be the safest. Does anybody else have or use a different method. And maybe a few horror stories would be entertaining as well.
11-28-2002, 05:48 AM
Dan, been fishing the bay since 1989 have had three or four rough trips I can think of. One year I think it was 1991 the ice stayed in late I fished it until April 15th. I had a honey hole in 11 fow out of boutell road I was killing em every time I went out. Ice conditions weren't the greatest so I was walking out had to cross one crack to get to my spot. It didn't look good when I got there but I scurried across (had walleye fever) made it to the hole got a limit in 20 minutes but continued to fish ended up with 17 only kept 5. It was early afternoon when I decide to leave temp had reached 50 degrees.I had a trail marked to the hole so I followed the trail back when I got to the crack it really looked bad ice was a really funky color you know looked kinda yellowish water on top I decided to find a better place to cross but after a half hour gave it up and went back to my original crossing spot. Attempted to cross and fell through the ice after the initial shock I realized I was standing on another layer of ice below the first layer! I climbed out and scurried to shore needless to say it was my last trip that year. A couple of years later I was fishing out of Wenona beach with a coyuple of buddies late ice again, first crack looked good but when we got to the second crack it was 4 ft wide so we stopped there I was fishing about 10 ft from the crack. I had two fish and was watching the crack closely one time I looked up and it had opened twice as wide! I ran over to my buddies and told them it was time to go my one friend replied Iv'e been to vietnam that doesn't scare me I told him I don't care where you been i'm outta here packed up my gear and started running for shore I looked back about 10 minutes later and my buddies were coming in also when I got to the first crack it was 10 ft wide though the water was only two feet deep I thought oh great I'M gonna get a wet ##### so I stood there waiting for my buddies to catch up then some older gentleman came out of the trailer park with a plank and we got off without getting wet. We decided to go to linwood corners and have lunch then check it again in case the wind changed directon when we got back there was a mile and a half of open water in that first crack ! I told my buddy does that scare you?
11-28-2002, 08:55 AM
Man, its neat to relate to exactly where your talking about. I live about 1 mile (as the crow flies) from the Wennona Beach spot. Both of those spots have always been great late-ice walleye spots. I actually fished those spots in a boat last year, when them boys were fishing on floating chunck-ice in front of the State Park.
My own hair raiser came two years ago off Ericson Road. That Second shore-side crack in about 11 foot of water had heaved up maybe 10 to 12 inches higher than the Bay-side crack. This happened through the course of the day with a little/steady on-shore wind. Rising water had been filtering out on the ice everywhere pretty much all day. It wasn't a concern as the ice was very thick in 2000. But it gave you the false ellusion of everything being level and smooth at night, when coming into shore with 4 wheeler lights on. Wulp, I hit that 10 inch sheer cliff going about 25MPH. I had 3 nice 19 to 22 inch keepers in a 6 gallon pale bungied on the back storage box. I went over the handle bars and they went into the kinda deep water laying on the ice. Both of the front of my thighs had 2 massive black and blue marks for weeks, from hitting the handle bars while in flight. The walleyes swam away in the crack water while I pulled myself together.
I have another involving a freak combination Thunderstorm/Snowstorm in almost the middle of winter. I think it was in 96/97. When my truck was in 3 feet of standing water and my trailer was under water when I got back to shore at the State Park. And channel 5 was there with the coast guard looking for those guys still out without GPS's. That unit saved my life that day.
11-28-2002, 11:05 AM
Dan, I have seen guys do what you did and were not as lucky as you.These guys that fish from floating ice wouldn't be Ken Shear would it? YEAH and how about that hole that opens up out in front of linwood every year? Got to watch that one eh? That also reminds me the old coggins road drainage ditch that can ruin your morning I had to strip down to my underwear one morning jump in the water to get my machine out because I didn't hug that little point going out. My brother and have a saying onshore by dark or the bay boogie man can get you ha ha But I think its good practice especially in march. But no matter what problems we have we wouldn't give it up would we?
11-28-2002, 01:21 PM
Nope. I would not give it up for the world. There is almost something magical about seeing hundreds of snowmobiles and 4 wheelers coming in at night from all directions on the Bay. I can't explain it. The whole ice fishing experience is special. From going out in the dark, setting up inside the shanty, being with good friends all day sharing jokes without any of the modern day distractions. And then if your lucky enough, feeling that "THUD", setting the hook, looking down the hole and seeing that monster walleye with your lure in his mouth, swimming around below looking just beautiful. I truthfully would rather catch 2 nice walleye below the ice all day than 10 any size on open water. Goofy, Huh!!
12-02-2002, 03:17 AM
Dan alot of people think we are goofy for going out on the bay but for me it is a must do. I love being in my shanty when I close the door its like closing the link to the outside world. Just me and those two holes thats the way I like it but I'll tell you one thing it ain't for the weakhearted sometimes !