As you all know, a couple of weeks ago I took the kids on the ice with Pondboy and Darkstar. Ever since that outing, the boys have been bugging me about hitting the ice again. So after a week long of cold weather, I decided to take Brendon back on the ice on this warm Saturday to see what and if we can find something to get into.
I went and picked up a 6 inch Bass Pro Dad Powered Auger on Thursday and was ready to kick it old school with Brendon on Saturday. By old school I meant no shelter, heater, 2 bucket seats, and 2 spool of lines. I wanted him to experience what it was like for me when I ice fished 20 years ago. However, the rods, the shelter and the finder would be in the trunk ready to go.
Saturday morning was beautiful, light breeze and around 33 degree when we left the house around 6:30am. After a quick stop for gas and auger fuel(coffee – black), we arrived at Blackwell Forest Preserve and found the gate opened a little early. We park right by the entrance, grab the auger and headed for the larger of the 2 small ponds. I was greeted by a gorgeous sunrise as we make our way down.
Right away I can see some water on the north end and also some water by the large pipe. So I went straight for the south end and drilled – 3.5 inches. Brendon was a little disappointed. Ok, “Let’s check over there.” I said. He was excited again as I move towards the shallow part of the south end and drilled. This time I got 3 inches. So we moved again. Southwest corner was 3.5. On the west side I drilled 3 and re-drilled into a hole left by someone. 3.5 at best. Brendon was getting discouraged. With the north side showing water by the shore, I turned my attention to the smaller pond.
I got on the drilled 3 holes on the shallow end and got 3.0 to 3.5. I looked and Brendon was on the ice and putting a jig in one of the hole. I quickly chased him off and said we are leaving because the ice is not safe. He wasn’t happy and I felt bad for the kid so I decided to head over to Herrick and try our luck there.
At Herrick, the main lake was 30% open water. So I didn’t even bother getting out and headed for the little lagoon instead. When we got there and I knew it was going to be tough because the water is about 2.5 ft lower than I remembered it would be. But I got on and drilled. 4.5 inches! I moved out further and drilled again. 4.5 inches! Then I went for it and drill right in the middle and got 4.5 as well. Bingo! As soon as I shouted 4.5, Brendon was on the ice with his new Beard Head on and dropping down his jig.
I let him have his fun while I drill a few more holes around the lagoon. Then I noticed something that might ruin the fun: 10 of the 12 holes I drilled I can see the bottom or a forest of weeds. I figure I won’t ruin it for him, instead, I went and grab the finder and turn on the flasher mode and let him go at it. The deepest hole was 5.6 feet and most are around 3 and full of vegetation.
After about 7 or 8 holes He figured out that there’s nothing to catch in this shallow lagoon. He turned and said, “Daddy, I don’t think we’re going to catch anything here. It’s not deep enough”. “So what do you want to do now?” I asked. “Hmmm… Let’s go, it was fun anyway. We’ll go back to the other place next week and see if it’s safe, ok?” Brendon responded. I smiled, said “OK”, packed up, and head home. On the way back we did stop by another location to check ice, but it had open water there as well.
Well, we didn’t catch any fish today and I did not get to try out the nuggies and wedgees form Little Atom Lures. But like Brendon said, we had fun and that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?