February 16, 2021: Triple Argo Ice Fishing (18 Photos)
We are now four days into Covid Alert Level 5 lockdown (number two). French, Terry and I decided to take a well isolated mid week break from these harsh realities and socially distance ourselves on a frozen pond well away from the general public and well clear of each other. Three Trucks, 3 Argos, 3 Augers, 3 Sets of Ice Fishing Lines and one great big pond with lots of space.
Before even venturing out onto the ice with the Argos we took time to drill and measure a large number of holes all across the pond where we planned to travel. This is the only way to make sure for yourself the body of water you're on will be safe for walking or machine or neither. Make the job easier for yourself by investing in an inexpensive Cordless Drill adaptor for your Auger. My Milwaukee M18 Fuel drill punched over 100 holes today on a half charge of one battery pack so I didn't even have to break a sweat.
An ice measuring stick with a hook on the bottom will accurately tell the tale of ice thickness. We measured 8.5-9" of solid ice every where we went, we did stay well clear of the run in and run out, at 500 yards or more.
Some people say stay off the ponds this year, which I believe is non practical and non useful advise. My advise is to Check Ice Thickness EVERYWHERE You Plan To Travel on the pond. Don't take unnecessary risks. Don't travel alone. Carry your own personal and machine recovery gear and have an action plan if something happens you are self sufficient. Having an emergency warm up kit at your vehicle or trailer is another practical level of safety to prevent or halt the onset of hypothermia. It can consist of a heat source, sleeping bag, closed cell foam camping pad and full change of dry clothes.
Today was my first day testing my recently fabricated Automatic Hook Setting ice fishing rigs. They are made from an HT rod holder/ice fishing tip up rig & a 28" ice rod/reel from Canadian Tire The HT rig is modified by removing the tip up gear and fabricating the automatic hook setter from wire and moving one of the eye loops. I'll have a full how to on these soon.
I also tested out these new inexpensive HT rubber coated wire ice fishing stick holders which work absolutely perfect with the awesome lines purchased at Outdoor Pros last winter.
Project 6x6 continues to run well and is by far the most convenient way to carry a load of gear into the woods including cooking equipment, knapsack, collapsible ice fishing hut, stove, lines and more.
I'm pleased to say we weren't skunked and my automatic rig was broken in catching a number of trout, we kept only the legal size fish of course. One thing is they are very quiet so perhaps a small bell at the rod tip would be a great addition.
Mid afternoon we moved up to the next pond.
Pic is a little blurry due to using zoom and cropping the shot.
As usual we stayed well after sunset and weren't disappointed striking a number of trout as darkness fell. All in all it was a great first day of our ice fishing season and it was great to test out new (to us) waters closer to home than we regularly visit.
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith