Given the mild temps recently a buddy and I have been crawling out on ice looking for some fun to happen. I have breathing issues with cold air but the temps of late have allowed me to get out and enjoy some of the outside stuff plus I got new boots that thus far have been super for traction on even glare ice so falls are minimized.
On Monday we slipped into a couple backwater areas and marked plenty of fish but managed only one small rock bass. Judging by the amount of crap on the ice and swiss cheese looking ice surface in most of the areas we searched I'd say the resident fish have been plucked ad the rest of the winter will be pretty much just going thru the actions of angling without much success.
Yesterday [Thursday] we hit the big river itself at Lake City. Where we fished there was a major ice heave about fifty yards off shore. On the shore side of the heave we found about 8" of clear ice with scattered areas of snow pack. On the lake side of the heave we had between 3" and 4" of decent ice. We fished anywhere from 20 feet to 33 feet. I managed 4 sauger and a perch from the 20 foot water inside the heave, nothing from the deeper water. All fish were released, mostly due to their being short for what I consider a keeper fish to be.
I haven't been on ice to fish for maybe ten years but its amazing how quickly one can recall what to do. About 15 minutes into the expedition it seemed like the last time I ice fished was the day before.
I have some flutter spoons laid out to foil and give a shot of paint, maybe eyes even, and then seal so we have more of an assortment of baits next week when we plan to lay an assault on the ice and fish again.