When the weather is freezing but the water is open, bait presentations have to be perfect. Of course, icefishing tactics would work, but they’re out of the question…or are they?
Some phone calls have a way of getting your attention, and this was one of them. “No, I mean big pike,” my friend Pete Bellinger said one December night after fishing in the St. Lawrence River in northern New York, so excited his words nearly ran together. “It was really warm after work so I went perch fishing off the docks. The perch bit, but the northerns bit even better. I landed a couple that went seven or eight pounds, and then broke off a really good one. You ought to come up.”
Three days later I did. But near-zero temperatures had turned the river surface to slush ice. We stood there, staring gloomily at the river, as blocks of ice passed by. Angling was out of the question.Continue reading