Saturday, February 16, 2013

Perchin' at Newton

+Ben Friend talked to me the other day about possibly making a trip up to Bear Lake today, but after more research, we decided to stay closer to home and hit up Newton instead.  It was the right decision.  Newton has become my favorite place to fish over the last year.  It has plenty of variety of fish, and it almost never ceases to disappoint. Even if I go there and have a slow day, I'm always willing to go back because I know how good it can be. That, and there is always the chance for the elusive Tiger Muskie.

We got up and headed out to the lake at 6 am.  After a brief stop at the store to restock some propane for the heater, we got there right at sunrise.  It was a bright, clear day from the start. We made a little hike to stay clear of getting stuck in the snow, but the snow was frozen hard, and we followed old trails that made pulling Ben's ice sled a piece of cake.  Ben had been doing some research and we decided to try and fish in a little more shallow water due to the perch spawn soon to come.  We fished maybe 10 - 20 yards off shore where it was only 12 feet deep.

The struggles:

Ben had surgery on his arm last week, so it was hard for him to dig holes.  Not wanting him to hurt himself, I offered to dig his holes for him.  The problem was, i was sick all day Thursday, and although I had had plenty of rest and I thought I had regained all my strength, my body let me know otherwise.  I felt so weak! It was pretty pathetic, I was huffing and puffing just to finish one hole.  I finally finished digging the holes and in the meantime, Ben had gotten the tent set up.  We picked the tent up over the holes and got our chairs and equipment inside.  Pretty drained from my pathetic performance, I didn't have any desire to mess with any of the jigs that were on the ice poles.  So I let down a bigger jig normally used for trout, with a pink head and a white body tipped with a wax worm on one pole; and I used a green ice fly tipped with wax worm on the other.

The rewards:

It didn't seem to matter what we used however, because as soon as we let our lures down into the water and let them sink to the bottom, we had a fish on.  We actually ended up only using one pole each because the action was so hot.  At the beginning of the trip, Ben wasn't sure if he wanted to keep any perch, but by this time we decided to keep one limit (50 perch).   Even with this goal, we were throwing back about 3 out of every 4, only keeping the bigger and fatter ones. We easily reached the 50 perch for the day and we estimated having caught around 200 fish all together.  It was a very fun day and very rewarding.  The only regret we had was that we wished we had brought Ben's 8 year old daughter out to get a great experience.

Towards the end of the day, we were having a bit of fun.  The water was really clear and we could see our bait down at the bottom of the lake, so Ben decided to have a bit of fun and make it a bit more challenging by fishing by hand.  We would wait til we saw the fish take the lure, and then yank it to set the hook.  It was a fun day.

Ben "hand" fishing

My biggest perch of the year

The perch we kept.

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