Success at an Ice Fishing Get-Together

Posted by MNAngler On February - 27 - 2011

I had opportunity to participate in an Ice Fishing Get-together sponsored by a local bar on Saturday. It wasn’t called a tournament because of the legalities of such a moniker, but it had all the makings of one: an entry fee, prizes for the biggest and smallest fish, and a raffle.

The Get-together started at 10am, but I was late due to being a chauffeur to little boy to a play date. I didn’t get on the ice and start fishing until just before 11.

I found out about this event through my neighbors, and I found them on the ice in Steve’s shelter (the truck and shelter on the right in the pic). The guys were fishing with bobbers and minnows and I opted for the euro larva on an orange flutter bug my brother had success with on an earlier trip on the same lake.

Rob said they hadn’t had any action before I got there. They didn’t even see many fish on the fish finders. We fished for about a half hour with no action except for a nibble or two. So we decided to take a break and partake in the hot dogs and chili provided by the sponsors.

After lunch, I decided to fish outside for a little bit while Rob and Steve kept trying in their shelter. Steve said some people were catching some crappie about 40 feet away, so I found an open hole out that way and jigged a little with my setup. It only took a few minutes to catch my first crappie. Steve ended up catching one as well so I brought both of them to the weigh in station. They were both about 2 oz.

After about 15 minutes more of jigging, it was apparent that being outside was not going to be a good way to fish as my line kept freezing up. Steve and Rob had talked about moving before lunch because of the lack of life on the fish finders. I went back to talk to them about moving and they agreed.

Steve drilled 5 more holes next to the one I was nursing and within minutes of getting setup, I pulled in my second crappie. I then got a third and a fourth. Before my brother left town a few weeks ago, he gave me the spring bobber he was using to catch his pile of fish. That turned out to be the ticket this time as well. The spring bobber would move ever so slightly when I set the hook to catch my four fish. Sometimes I don’t even remember seeing the bobber move, I just instinctively set the hook.


Steve and Rob weren’t getting any action, although they were graphing a lot more fish on the Vexilars in this location than the last. My line was showing up on Rob’s graph, which helped me make sure I was at the depth the fish were at. They eventually put on euro larva on their lines and each caught a crappie. I caught two more before time was up.

I ended up with 6 total, Steve with 2, and Rob with 1. When I went to final weigh-in, there were a pile of other crappie that others didn’t want, so I added them to my bucket to bring home.

At 1pm, all the contestants packed up and went to the bar for the prizes and raffle. Someone had caught a 28 oz northern, so he obviously won top prize. Second prize went to a 10 year old who caught a 5 oz crappie, so that was good to see. In the raffle, I won a pretty nice Rapala-branded tumbler. But having no real use for it, I traded it to Rob for the metal water bottle he won. The organizers made sure every one of the 41 entrants went home with something, so that was pretty cool. What was also cool is that the extra proceeds from the event went to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

I noticed at the bar that this was the 3rd year for this little event and they plan to have more. I’ll definitely be back next year.

Overall, it was a fun day, even though I spent about an hour cleaning fish when I got home. We ate 6 of them for dinner that night and my wife did a great job steaming them in the microwave with some green onions, ginger, and cilantro.

Saturday was also the day of Fishapalooza. I couldn’t afford the entry fee, but wanted to cover it here since it is one of the largest ice fishing contests in the state. I thought this little get-together would finish at noon so I could still have time to make it up there, but it wasn’t to be. Maybe next year.

4 Responses to “Success at an Ice Fishing Get-Together”

  1. Tami Curtis says:

    Hey just wanted to let you know that you made the TC Sports Report “TOP 6″ must read Bass Fishing Blogs.

    Great content!


    Tami Curtis

    • MNAngler says:

      Wow! There are some great bass blogs out there and to be listed among the other 5 amazing blogs in your list is a real honor. Thanx, Tami!

  2. I have been crappie fishing before but never ice fishing. The climate from where I am from is just not right for such a sport ;)

  3. [...] that went from 10am-2pm. Meister’s is a local bar and grill. It was the same get-together I attended last year with my neighbors. This year was vastly different than last year. Mainly because the weather has been so [...]

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