December 16, 2013

The Good Kind of Hard Water

ICE FISHING TIME! A lot of the lakes iced up the past few weeks, and have hit safe-ice conditions. I made a solo trip to Mantua Reservoir this morning to try and get some Perch and Blue Gill for dinner tonight. A friend of mine fished it on Saturday with his boy and killed it, catching over 40 fish between them!
I arrived around 8 a.m. to about 10 trucks already parked along the south road. So much for no body fishing on Mondays. I was so surprised to see that many people out on the ice today. Most people were fishing out in the middle. Luckily, no one was where I wanted to fish. I made my way over to my spot, and drilled my first two holes. The second my jig hit the bottom there was action. I set the hook and had my first fish on which turned out to be a nice sized perch. I got him off the hook and immediately sent the jig to the bottom again. Same thing as before, and I soon had my second perch on the ice! It was a blazing fast start to the day, and it stayed that way for the first hour. I landed several nice perch and bluegill during this time. I even had a Rainbow Trout take my jig off the bottom.
I basic map of Mantua Reservoir.

There were a lot of people that had the same idea I had...

My first stop produced for about an hour.
Once the first stop slowed, I moved about 30 yards away and drilled two more holes. This spot is where I caught the biggest perch and gills of the day. I was really impressed with the size of the fish. They are way bigger on average than last year. I kept 25 of the 52 fish I landed today; 12 Bluegill, 12 Perch and one Rainbow. White was the color that worked today, and I fished in 10-12 feet of water the whole time. I left around 1 p.m.

I filleted the fish, and fried them up for my wife and I. I went the easy route, and just used a Cajun fish fry mix I bought at Cabelas. It was better than I expected, so I think I'll be using it from now on. it saves have to pull everything out to make a batter yourself. I love fishing the first few weeks that the ice sets up. It seems that the fish are always more willing to eat than later in the ice fishing season.

This is one chunky perch!

The Perch needed to go on a diet, so I put him on mine...

The keepers, minus one gill.
Dinner tasted great!


  1. I know NOTHING about ice fishing so this is all foreign to me. Looks like you had a great day on the water, though. Great job slaying the fish, man!

  2. BTW, can you send me a link to the Cajun fish fry mix that you got at Cabelas? I checked on the website and I couldn’t find anything??

    1. You should give ice fishing a try if you get the chance. I can't find it online either, but it was at the store.

  3. Hi, Rick, sure happy to see that you had a great trip out on the ice. Haven't been ice fishing in a year or two now, so needless to say you lit my fire. Those were some pot bellied Perch for sure!

    1. I was very impressed with the perch. I hope I can get back up there while the gettin is good.