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Thinking of bowing out of ice fishing...

Discussion in 'IceFishingMichigan.com' started by d_rek, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. d_rek

    d_rek

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    While I do enjoy my time on the ice I can't say that in the last half dozen years my ice fishing trips have been terribly productive. I can remember two times where I went out and slayed em in 6 years. All of my buddies are all cutting back as well due to family, work, or other hobbies. And with the winters being as hit or miss as they have been I'm lucky to make it out a handful of times...

    On one hand I'm kind of bummed. I spent the last couple years accumulating nice gear... only to have to haul it out and fish by myself most of the time. I feel like a fishing buddy is what's needed, but when it comes go time everyone has an excuse.

    But in the other I'm kind of excited to make time for some other hobbies too. Particularly deer hunting and scouting in the post season.

    I'm thinking of getting rid of most of my gear to focus on other outdoor hobbies. I might keep a few things around but the way things are going I'm not sure I'll be in the game much longer... honestly most days I wish I had a boat lol.

    Anyone else have this dilemma?




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  2. Thirty pointer

    Thirty pointer

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    Choosing the right days to fish is the key to ice fishing .Fish eat less and for shorter periods .Many guys wait until the sun is shining and there is not a cloud in the sky not generally a good day to be out but there are exceptions .Also I stay away from the full moon phase 3 days before 3 days after .Also after high pressure moves in fish are sluggish .IMO the best time to be out is when a storm front is about to move in . Another tip is to learn one or two lakes really well instead of hopping from one lake after another .The bite is different times on different lakes .I had a home on a local lake and did not go out until 10:00 the lake I fish mostly now the bite starts right at daylight .Many times I am done by 10:00 and headed home with my limit .Fishing shallower lakes is also a good idea for the novice fisherman .
     

  3. DecoySlayer

    DecoySlayer

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    I, more or less, quit ice fishing a long time ago.

    I pretty much quit when my wife and I started our trucking business. There is only so much time one can take off when you are running your own business. I had to chose which sport I wanted to spend that time on. Ice fishing lost.

    To start now I would have to buy new toys. It's not going to happen. I do miss it, but there are only so many dollars for toys, just as once there was only so much time, ice fishing lost.
     
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  4. d_rek

    d_rek

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    Another key to the problem... I mainly fish Lake St. Clair. The fishing is generally two shades of awful... maybe three. Most days you can catch your limit of dink perch. Others you can watch monsters swim into your hole only to window shop and move on. And then you might get days where no matter where you go a fish isn't to be seen. Fishing the big lake is so hit or miss. I've got a bunch of spots but nothing I would say you could rely on. Even the canals the last couple of years have been poor IMO.


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  5. wildthing

    wildthing

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    Sold all of my ice fishing equipment in 2013 and have not looked back. Sold our boat and charter fishing business in 2014 and haven't looked back from that either. Interests, hobbies, lifestyles change. I now have a lot more time for my deer hunting habitat projects, travel and family.

    Do what you enjoy and have a passion for...
     
  6. retired dundo

    retired dundo

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    Main reason I slowed down is old age.I still love it but all my ice fishing friends are either gone all quit.It just isn't the same with out your old buddys
     
  7. TK81

    TK81

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    I found that as I get older, I have less free time as well. I used to drive all over the state. I now find that fishing a couple small local lakes for gills and specks is just as much fun as I ever had chasing all over the place. And many times, I am only out a couple hours, from daybreak to 9 or 10.
     
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  8. ESOX

    ESOX Staff Member Super Mod Mods

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    Ice fishing sucks. I'd rather stand in a river chasing winter steelhead than on the ice. But i only do that when I'm not hunting with the dogs. Sit on a bucket or go for a good walk. The choice is simple for me.
     
  9. ESOX

    ESOX Staff Member Super Mod Mods

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    Ice fishing sucks. I'd rather stand in a river chasing winter steelhead than on the ice. But i only do that when I'm not hunting with the dogs. Sit on a bucket or go for a good walk. The choice is simple for me.
     
  10. hawgeye

    hawgeye

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    My favorite fishing is pulling a hawg Saginaw Bay perch and walleye through the ice. Trolling is boooring! Keep your gear and head up this winter!
     
  11. Duck-Hunter

    Duck-Hunter Staff Member Mods

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    I never ran into this dilemma. I hope I never do. I absolutely love ice fishing. I also love all forms of fishing. The hardest decision I run into is to stay local or chase steel. I am fortunate enough to have an endless amount of lakes close to home.

    LSC is a great fishery, it can be a really tough to ice fish. Getting on the right canals will put you on some huge bluegills and sunnies along with good perch. I used to fish LSC a lot.

    A good friend definitely helps to keep the drive going. Myself I don't have an issue fishing by myself, I often have a lot of down time during the week which results me fishing solo. I like to "freestyle" during the week and that is when I drive around and hit random lakes I never fished before to see what it has to offer. Some time I leave catching dinks or in absolute shock what that body if water had to offer. I am also fortunate enough to have a great circle of dedicated ice fishermen. When the weekends come we need up lake hoping and having a blast when we are not fishing tournaments.


    I would say keep your gear, try new locations. Don't hesitate to try different baits, presentations. When the bite is slow, down size, slow things up. When the fish are slow, fish slow. Move around, cover area. If you have electronics this will help you see how the fish are reacting.
     
  12. Lund Explorer

    Lund Explorer

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    I grew up in an ice fishing family. Some of the best memories I have about Christmas was when my Dad, brother and I would meet up with uncles and cousins to fish all morning on Rose Lake before heading to our grandparents for the afternoon. Tipups as far as the eye could see. As the winter progressed, we fished lakes all over the state and for darn near everything that swims. After Mort Neff talked about the Canadian Lake Trout, we even made a trip to Wawa.

    I continued to feed this affliction up to about 1990 when work became so busy that I just didn't have the time to get out. Tax Season and Ice Fishing don't mix. It was even worse when clients would drop off the tax stuff because "the fish stopped biting".

    The misery lasted almost twenty years until I finally went into semi-retirement. Now that I've slowed down on the work side of life, I find myself on the ice more and more. Many of the people I used to fish with have passed away or gone on to other interests, but I still get out there. Surprisingly, I have met some really nice people on the lakes I normally hit. I might walk out there alone, but I know at least a few regulars will show up. I enjoy their company just as much as I did with all my old buddies.

    I would suggest keeping at least some of your gear. Maybe plan a ice fishing vacation on new water Up North to give that itch a good scratching. A great weekend trip when the bite is hot can make the rest of the ice season bearable when the bite is slow.
     
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  13. Firefighter

    Firefighter

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    Nope. You nuts. Lol
     
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  14. Jimbos

    Jimbos

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    I just loaded back up with ice fishing gear, a popup, chirp 4, solar tipups, rods, reels, sled, and skis, I retire just as the ice is hopefully getting good and will have time to kill.
     
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  15. mattawanhunter

    mattawanhunter

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    Well that's really a shame, I never started ice fishing, the few times I tried by myself without knowing what I was doing were a miserable failure.

    Always wanted to go with someone that knew what the heck they were doing just to catch a few fish and for the fellowship!
    I'd like to try it when I'm retired,I just don't have the time now, not particularly crazy about the cold, but again it'd be good to get out of the house instead of sitting in front of the TV trying to get motivated, to do something besides shovel, plow, bring in wood, put wood in the stove, clean the chimney.
    I think it would be fun way up North in a nice shanty
    You can leave out, nice cure for cabin fever.