BrianBM

Ice Fishing, 2021-2022.

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1 min ago, bob_G said:

I think my problem was I didn't know any secret minnow ponds.    I knew an old timer who seined his own bait from the French River in Oxford.  He told me running a seine was a 2 occasionally a 3 man deal.    He would often share his bait with me. But he didn't catch only minnows. While he caught some minnows, the bulk of his bait was suckers, dace, yellow perch and other unidentified fish.  I found the suckers were the bait of choice.

If anyone thinks Stripers and spot burning go together, you wouldn't believe how that goes with "secret minnow ponds". 

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1 hour ago, bob_G said:

I think my problem was I didn't know any secret minnow ponds.    I knew an old timer who seined his own bait from the French River in Oxford.  He told me running a seine was a 2 occasionally a 3 man deal.    He would often share his bait with me. But he didn't catch only minnows. While he caught some minnows, the bulk of his bait was suckers, dace, yellow perch and other unidentified fish.  I found the suckers were the bait of choice.

With catching shiners you usually want to think puddles not ponds. 

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2 mins ago, R.R. Bridge Fisher said:

I need to try to find some of these puddles. 

Whats the bait of choice?

 

Try fire ponds. Rural towns that don't have  hydrants often have small dug ponds next to roads where fire trucks can hook up and suck water.

The other one that's usually good are the small retention ponds for landscaping or flood control. 

 

For bait I just use whatever stale bread I have on hand.

Bait is a topic that has inspired long threads in the ice groups. Everyone has a preference. I don't over think it.

 

The one thing to watch out for no matter what bait you use, don't dump the contents of the trap into your holding tank. All that leftover bait will foul the water quick. 

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4 mins ago, mikez2 said:

Try fire ponds. Rural towns that don't have  hydrants often have small dug ponds next to roads where fire trucks can hook up and suck water.

The other one that's usually good are the small retention ponds for landscaping or flood control. 

 

For bait I just use whatever stale bread I have on hand.

Bait is a topic that has inspired long threads in the ice groups. Everyone has a preference. I don't over think it.

 

The one thing to watch out for no matter what bait you use, don't dump the contents of the trap into your holding tank. All that leftover bait will foul the water quick. 

:howdy:

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Fascinating stuff.  I mean, who knew?  All the years I ice fished as a kid, saving my pennies, or asking my dad for shiner money, when I could have caught my own.

This must be a closely guarded secret among the ice fishing community. Aside from my old timer friend with the seine, I never heard of anyone trapping their own shiners.

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I think trapping ice fishing bait has really taken off in recent years. 

I know some guys always have but it never was as wide spread as it is now. I have ice fished 40 years and only trapped bait the last 3 or 4.

 

Availability and price of bait has made it more desirable in recent years. 

For one, the decent mom n pop bait shops have largely disappeared. The few that are left naturally raise their prices because supply and demand allow it.

 

Second, regs about importing and wholesaling bait have made it more difficult and costly for retailers. 

Some states, Maine for example, no longer allow importing from out of state. That adds cost and restricts supply.

 

And then you have unforseen events like the big ice storm in the south last year. For a couple weeks it became very hard to find fresh bait around here, allegedly because of the ice storm.

 

In addition you have the run of unusually warm winters we've had recently that limited ice fishing in the southern and eastern parts of the state. It's risky for retailers to stock up too much bait inventory ahead of time. If nobody can get on the ice, the bait won't sell. Bait dies quick in the holding tanks. If retailers can't move it quickly, they lose their investment. 

 

All these things make shiners harder to find and more expensive when you do.

Trapping is a good way around that.

It's also kinda fun in its own right. 

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Iced coffee .... yuck. I like mine hot. Diner coffee is always bad, so I take it with sugar and cream. If I'm drinking some really GOOD coffee, I like it black.

 

I could do a thread on the ignorance of most "bartenders," (note the sniff of disdain) and their inability to manage hot mixed drinks beyond a bad Irish coffee, and why Irish coffee itself is a sin, but that thread probably belongs in the Cooking Forum.

Edited by BrianBM
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5 mins ago, BrianBM said:

Iced coffee .... yuck. I like mine hot. Diner coffee is always bad, so I take it with sugar and cream. If I'm drinking some really GOOD coffee, I like it black.

 

I could do a thread on the ignorance of most "barenders," (note the sniff of disdain) and their inability to manage hot mixed drinks beyond a bad Irish coffee, and why Irish coffee itself is a sin, but that thread probably belongs in the Cooking Forum.

You haven't lived until you slurp beer slush from a can out on the ice on a cold day.

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8 mins ago, mikez2 said:

You haven't lived until you slurp beer slush from a can out on the ice on a cold day.

You know it's cold when the coolers come out to keep your drinks warm

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