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Author Topic: December...a Tough Start and Then Rally Time  (Read 670 times)

Jim C.

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December...a Tough Start and Then Rally Time
« on: Jan 03, 2019, 03:45 PM »
December ended up being about "average" in terms of temperature, but only because a warm finish made up for a cold start.  The month was only a few days old when things really started to lock up.



I always enjoy watching the ice transition from pancake ice to shelf ice and also the formations that emerge as flows drop.







Since you can't fish open water while "stationed on ice", the trick is to get across to wadeable water.  Sometimes it goes without a hitch and sometimes quite the opposite.  I was able to flop back toward shore when this shelf let go and only got wet up to one elbow.  Not comfy, but better than the alternative.



A fish made me forget about any iced  up dampness.  But a bite or 2 was about all I could expect the first half of the month.  The action was more like January of even February.  I got totally skunked a couple times (as in no sign of life), but was able convert on most of bites I did get to be rewarded.





I was really starting to wonder if I would be able stay on fish all winter.  Around mid-month, the weather started to turn around.  Even with that, the daylight bite was slow and I had to rely on the night bite for a week or so.  It's not for everybody.  In fact, it seems like it's for nobody else.  I see a few folks out during the day, but have complete solitude in the dark.  My wife is dead set against this in winter, but seems at peace when I remind her that the life insurance is paid up.  And the action was good on brookies and salmon.  Sometimes I had the flash set right and other times not ;D.







By the end of the month, water temps ticked up a notch or 2 and the daylight bite resumed.  Plus, more salmon joined the mix.  That was the pattern in a number of waters.  Most of the salmon were decent, but not huge.  Egg patterns and tube jigs accounted for most of the action for both brookies and salmon, but the spoon bite kicked in toward the New Year.











There were exceptions to the "routine" size of the salmon. Santa gave me an early gift when he delivered this guy on Christmas Eve.  He absolutely crushed a tube jig and dwarfed my 19" net.  I was lucky the duct tape held ;D





Of course, I couldn't wait to get back to the spot a few days later with a bigger net to see if I had stumbled onto something where lightning would strike twice.  No monsters, but I was ready if they showed up. I did get into a few browns.  This brown is a real decent fish, but this time the big net dwarfed it ::)



I'm always on the lookout for interesting sights on the water.  This guy was fun to watch and seemed to enjoy the ice shelf and open water as much as I did.



All the best to all of you for 2019.








zwiggles

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Re: December...a Tough Start and Then Rally Time
« Reply #1 on: Jan 03, 2019, 03:58 PM »
I have been checking in here for the past few days waiting in anticipation of this post.

It did not disappoint.

Any guesses on the giant salmon for length or weight?

Good luck keeping the streak going for another year!

Jim C.

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Re: December...a Tough Start and Then Rally Time
« Reply #2 on: Jan 03, 2019, 04:04 PM »
Thanks!

I hand span measured the salmon at 24-25".  That's real close.  Weight would be a guess at 5 LBS.  My only bite of the day.


I have been checking in here for the past few days waiting in anticipation of this post.

It did not disappoint.

Any guesses on the giant salmon for length or weight?

Good luck keeping the streak going for another year!

zwiggles

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Re: December...a Tough Start and Then Rally Time
« Reply #3 on: Jan 03, 2019, 04:54 PM »
Thanks!

I hand span measured the salmon at 24-25".  That's real close.  Weight would be a guess at 5 LBS.  My only bite of the day.

I bet it was worth all the work to get that one bite. It was a beauty!

TightLinesMaine

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Re: December...a Tough Start and Then Rally Time
« Reply #4 on: Jan 04, 2019, 12:27 PM »
unreal with the late salmon, Jim, i'm jealous!.  zip for me this month. didn't even try for them.  got skunked for river browns early/mid december and discouraged my from trying any more open water the rest of the month.  that brown looks great sized as well.

Jim C.

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Re: December...a Tough Start and Then Rally Time
« Reply #5 on: Jan 04, 2019, 07:20 PM »
Thanks, Randall.  I was on roll and many of my hunches turned to gold.  It's nice when my "work" is rewarded.  I also know the rest of the winter could be a horse of a different color!

unreal with the late salmon, Jim, i'm jealous!.  zip for me this month. didn't even try for them.  got skunked for river browns early/mid december and discouraged my from trying any more open water the rest of the month.  that brown looks great sized as well.

franklin fisher

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Re: December...a Tough Start and Then Rally Time
« Reply #6 on: Jan 05, 2019, 05:46 PM »
 Love the monthly report. Great pictures.

slammah

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Re: December...a Tough Start and Then Rally Time
« Reply #7 on: Jan 05, 2019, 08:15 PM »
Awesome stuff as usual!

seamonkey84

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Re: December...a Tough Start and Then Rally Time
« Reply #8 on: Jan 06, 2019, 12:38 AM »
Wow, I see the going was tough but you had many good results to show for it. Those are some beautiful salmon and trout, way to keep the streak going!
"You know when they have a fishing show on TV? They catch the fish and then let it go. They don't want to eat the fish, they just want to make it late for something." - Mitch Hedberg

Out4Trout

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Re: December...a Tough Start and Then Rally Time
« Reply #9 on: Jan 07, 2019, 04:51 PM »
Great report Jim, nice scenery shots with a variety of game fish that we'd all like to be catching. That Christmas Eve salmon was a monster!

Jim C.

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Re: December...a Tough Start and Then Rally Time
« Reply #10 on: Jan 07, 2019, 05:57 PM »
Thanks, Steve.  That salmon was a handful on a light rod and 1/32 OZ. tube jig in tight, snag-field water.  Could have gone badly any number of ways!


Great report Jim, nice scenery shots with a variety of game fish that we'd all like to be catching. That Christmas Eve salmon was a monster!

fish wayniac

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Re: December...a Tough Start and Then Rally Time
« Reply #11 on: Jan 10, 2019, 09:06 PM »
Jim, You are a trooper still fishing open water. Beautiful scenery and nice fish you caught last month. These up coming temperatures may hold you back some or not! 😀🎣

Jim C.

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Re: December...a Tough Start and Then Rally Time
« Reply #12 on: Jan 11, 2019, 10:57 AM »
Thanks, Wayne.  Yes, I may not fish open water much until this deep cold moves on.  But yesterday, just as the cold front pushed through, led to action that will keep me happy for a few days anyway 8)

Jim, You are a trooper still fishing open water. Beautiful scenery and nice fish you caught last month. These up coming temperatures may hold you back some or not! 😀🎣

TightLinesMaine

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Re: December...a Tough Start and Then Rally Time
« Reply #13 on: Jan 11, 2019, 11:48 AM »
  But yesterday, just as the cold front pushed through, led to action that will keep me happy for a few days anyway 8)

open water?!

Jim C.

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Re: December...a Tough Start and Then Rally Time
« Reply #14 on: Jan 11, 2019, 03:27 PM »
Yes.  I'm having a hard time firing up for ice fishing ;D  Yesterday was tailor made for open water.

open water?!

 



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