Sunday, January 1, 2012

What a Winter

Ice Fishermen in Illinois are growing more and more impatient with the unusual weather we have been having this winter. I am not a big ice fishermen, just never got into it so last year when Old Man Winter reared his head I sought out warm water discharges and even threw rocks to break holes through the ice at the Great Lakes marina to get a the fish down there. 

Here is how it should look right now. 
Great Lakes Marina, Naval Station Great Lakes,  North Chicago , Illinois
Lots of cracks in the ice
All of thee pictures are from January 4th 2011 down at the Marina on the Naval Base in North Chicago, Illinois. I worked in the Hospital up the road from the marina, while the salmon were running I would stop and fish it in what ever time I had available. Kings, Coho and the occasional rainbow would find their way to the end of my line. One of my favorite rigs for this harbor is a light action spinning reel with 6lb Fireline, and a drop shot with a small octopus hook rigger with either a spawn sac or pearl mister twister. Just about anything would hit this rig.   

One day I was walking past the marina looking at the ice and in the open water I saw movement, I thought it was Steelhead. After I got off work I headed down rod in tow, I had some spawn sacs I tied up from a late season King I caught a month prior. I cast into some open water and walked the rig slowly back towards me. On the second cast I pulled up a Zombie Coho. Not Steelhead after all, fun to catch and a little creepy to look at. Who would have thought?  Holding them was a little gross, Their "milk" would drip, ooze and squirt depending on how you held them. The best thing about my discovery of these late season fish that should be dead and gone by the time I found them was they put up great fights for being in the condition they were in and it was a great way to start the year.  
Zombie Ho
Female caught on spawn sac
Male Coho with some great spawning color on him
First Coho of 2011
I hope for all my ice angler friends the temp drops slowly and gives them some good ice. I can't wait to see what 2012 will have in store, thanks for reading.


  1. I've been itching to go fish... but will wait for at least April when the new season's licenses are offered. While I can't fish, I check my gear though! :)

  2. Hope you get to get out next year, of coarse I write about the warm weather and it snows the very next day. :D


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