Monday, December 26, 2011

Deck the Halls with 20-inch Cutthroats

Fishing Time: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Weather: Clear, calm, 30's
Moon Phase: 5% Moon
Location: Strawberry Reservoir
Bait: White tube jig tipped with meal worm or minnow
Who Went: Hunt and his cousin zack and uncle Darren, John, Newton, Me
My buddy Hunt came in town for Christmas and wanted to hit the ice like the old days, so I tried to make it an after Christmas party and invite the whole crew, but most bailed on me right at the end. We still had a pretty good turn out and had a lot of fun. We’ve had very little snow this year and were surprised to find the road going around Strawberry Reservoir is still accessible with only a few inches of snow.In my 10 years of ice fishing Strawberry I’ve never seen it where ice is capping the entire reservoir and this road is still accessible. We took advantage and headed around the lake all the way to Renegade Bay. It was my first time ice fishing there and we were excited to fish new territory. Once we had our gear set up, it didn’t take long for everyone to start catching fish. Hunt’s Uncle Darren had the hot hand to start the day catching 8 fish in the first couple hours.I struggled to get going, but as usual made my late push at the end.Bobber John was steady all morning pulling in a fish here and there.Hunt, Newton, and Zack had a tough time finding their groove, but all landed around 4-6 fish.We fished in 20-25’ of water using standard white tube jigs tipped with a minnow or meal worm. Both baits worked with similar success. We caught 3 cutthroats over the slot limit at 23 inches, and 3 rainbows in the 14-17 inch range.

We had a Bald Eagle that was watching us the whole time looking for a free meal. We placed oneof the rainbows that Darren took home for dinner out beyond us a ways to see if he would fly over and pick it up, but he never did. It looked like I was going to be the Fisherman of the Day (FOD) with a one fish lead, but John tied it up at the very end with 11, and then quickly took the lead with 12. Everyone was ready to go so I told him I conceded, but left my rod in my hole as we packed our gear. John showed great sportsmanship as I wasn’t even paying attention to my rod, and hesitantly, he let me know that my rod was bouncing. I grabbed it and reeled in number 12 and tied John for FOD. It was good to get old friends out on the ice and reminisce the good old days, when we were the fastest in our sport and held every manly record Jordan High School ever had. We had some good laughs!

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