Saturday, December 26, 2009

What's happening at the Berry

Fishing Time: 7:30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
Weather: Cold, no wind, single digits
Moon Phase: 71% Moon
Location: Strawberry Reservoir
Ice Thickness: 12 inches
Bait: White tube jig tipped with minnow
Who Went: Hunt, JJ and his friend Dave, Newt and his friend Chris, Rick and his friend Chad, Me
Every year when I put up my new calendar I mark the 26th of December as "the best fishing day of the year". Strawberry Reservoir usually freezes right around Christmas day, and if you can time it right, which is usually around the 26th, the fishing can be rediculously good! I recorded my personal best at the berry on this day two years ago when I landed 51 cutthroat trout, including a nice 24 inch, 5 pound cutt. That being said, this morning started with great anxiety and anticipation to duplicate the years past. This year was a little different though, as temperatures have been very cold and Strawberry has been frozen for almost two weeks now, the ice has already felt the footprints of many fisherman hoping for the same success we have experienced. We got to Chicken Creek East early in the morning and walked out onto the ice in -11 temps before the sun started creeping over the mountains. We set up shop at an extending point where I have had a lot of success in the past. Once the fishing began I instantly hooked into my first trout of the day. Once released, I dropped my jig down again, and before it even got to the bottom I was already reeling in another one. This one was nice and probably hit the 4 pound mark. Thoughts of a great day started to enter my mind! I dropped my jig down again, but this time I sat there for an hour with no bites. To make matters worse, none of the other 7 guys I was fishing with had any bites either! We decided to go on a fish hunt and hiked close to another half mile out to the island to see if the unchartered territory might bring more success. I managed to catch two more fish out of the area but that was it! We moved again with the same result, only this time I landed one fish. The rest of the group was still skunked! Two guys I was with decided to give Strawberry the birdie finger and left early, while the rest of us made the trek of a lifetime across the entire bay over to a little cove we felt might hold fish. When we got there I quickly hooked up with a fish and the others started to get angry with my success. Soon after though,
they all got into the mix each catching a few of there own.
JJ landed this cutthroat that had no color at all! I think it could have been an albino. I took a close up picture to show how the fish literally had no color pigment at all!The somewhat faster fishing didn't last very long and soon enough the boredom got to us. We decided to have an Ice Auger Championship, "man vs. machine". Hunt is probably the fastest I have ever seen at drilling a hole through the ice with a hand auger, so we put him to the test. This is the results of round one...

Since JJ encountered some starting malfunctions we decided to give him another chance in round 2...

It was a tight race, but it looks like if the machine starts quickly it will make it through 12 inches of ice faster than man. After that excitement was over we decided to call it a day. As we crossed over the entire bay to get to our cars we ran into some interesting moments. The crystals on the ice made for some cool pics.
We also ran into some sketchy areas in the middle of the bay that looked to be open water and some very thin ice. It was like a mine field and we had to be very careful all the way back to our vehicles.

2 comments:

Cari Duncan said...

Sweetie I loveyour blog!! You always have fun fishing adventures. my favorite is the auger contest :) Love You!!

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