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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 09:32pm - Feb 12,03
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Location: Not quite over the hill, but has a breathtaking view from the lofty perch.

Post Posted: 06:57pm - Feb 10,09 
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Making Monona Lake Memories

This long awaited trip had most of the wsj clan getting some might sleepless nights in the weeks before the trip with the memories of the previous years success. This years trip did also include wsj’s two nephews, “analyst” and “Booper” their father had to cancel at the last minute due to work issue’s, along with son #2 “Gilmore jumper” (son #1 also could not attend at the last minute, 1 hour before actually due to illness in his family). Now this years plan was to fish monona on the first day and wait for some of the reports of fishing success/failure on a few of the nearby lakes. Once arrived no time was wasted in getting gear and goodies out onto the ice.

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wsj and the anaylst started to pull the shacks while Gilmore parked the truck about a block away..we did not have the parking pass required.

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So he trailed in the distance, but did catch up to us.

And just like the previous years trip to this fine body of water, it was very apparent even to a novice ice angler like wsj where the bite was happening, as nary a soul was inhabiting the balance of the frozen surface.

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The pressure ridges that were created sure did look interesting to wsj, did contemplate fishing them after reading a very interesting article written by the walleye guru Mark Martin about those being surface structure….

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Once in what seemed like a good area the auger was put to life and worked well drilling the many holes required by the search of finding jut the right water below to set up camp. Once the holes were drilled by wsj, Gilmore came behind with the camera to check things out. Wsj was being very picky about the placement of his shack on a very steep drop off, and as such many holes were lined up to get it just right.

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Now shacks set the fun time of fishing began, and with the sight of the many fish below……..a fun time was close at hand.

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Yep with the camera revealing the multitude of fish below a very good day was in store for our friends.

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Gilmore Jumpers friend Scott sure was a great help on the finding of fish, but wow what a good burger he makes. He had the grill on the ice and those cheeseburgers were the best tasting wsj can remember. Must be part of the whole ice fishing experience.

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This year our friends used mostly live bait in conjunction with the plastic wiggly things and worked well. All gills needed to be at least 7 ½” before they were allowed on the ice floor, and on the first day did manage a few good meals.

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Night soon approached and was telling our friends to come back tomorrow.

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Once back at the motel, that job of cleaning the days catch became the highlight of the evening. Seems the 3 boys had not done much in years past with the filet knife, and a learning experience was now close at hand for all of them.

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Each taking turns at the assembly line production of the fish processing, so that all could say at the end of the chore they had succeeded in their crash course of “fish cleaning 101”, and truth be told, it was very nice to sip a beer a watch the antics of the younger fisherman, never had that happen before.

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Day 2

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What a beautiful day to be out on the ice. While waterproof boots were a necessity with the warm temperature and melting ice, the heaters were just left off and the sunshine warmed the shack. This second day was also fished on monona lake, as the reports from the other lakes was not as promising as the results of yesterdays catch.


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Only reason to be in the shacks this fine day was to have a better view of the camera, which was a most important tool. Used the vex for a wee bit but with the amount of fish below was very hard to see the jig or bite that might be close at hand. Was a few of the 4-wheelers on the ice, but the regs. made then have flotation attached.

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Now all of our friends did catch fish, some more than others, but what a great time pulling the many 6” to 7” fish up from the 15’ depth, nice fight was had the quality of the equipment was given a test.

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There were a few 9” gills that made the ice, and a couple of crappie. Could not get any size to the crappie, but that’s ok, an 8” is till fun to do battle with. Did see many of the large toothy critter that a lot of folks chase, and a few muskie’s to boot.

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Did talk with that Grinning Dog fellow, and invite him to the area that our group was fishing but he and his friend went to a bay just west of the main lake, got a call and said he was just killing the gills, but by the time the wsj clan could pack/move would have been to late. Told him thanks, but wsj had seen a few walleye’s on the camera and did wanted to try for them as the light faded. But that turned out to be a good thing because once the phone conversation was over………1000’s of gills swam into view and gave our friends some might fine angling for the next 2hours. Glad we did not move.

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With the rising of the moon and setting of the sun for this most enjoyable day on the ice it was time for our friends to yet again begin the fish cleaning assembly line. Once that was behind them some much needed rest was had.

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Day 3

This warm day found the group on some new water (bay that Grinning Dog was on), while being a shallow bay the many holes that were drilled did lead our friends to believe the fish were there.

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So a few holes drilled and dropping the camera revealed a clouded water system at best. Visibility was only a foot or so. Ok took the vex out, but in 6’ of water was not much help.

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Not catching anything for the first hour it was decided to move and find some deeper, clearer water……..found it. Re-set in the 10’ clearer water and did proceed to catch some real nice gills, most in the 8” range. While the numbers were not there as in the main lake, was some good fish and seemed our group was the only one getting fish.

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Well the time came far to quickly for our friends to leave their long awaited ice fishing trip amongst the shadow of the great city of packer fans and cheese.

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But all good things come to an end, and with the memories made of this trip that ending will live long in the dreams of our friends.

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Next year...........can't wait. Only 360 days to go.

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Post Posted: 07:57pm - Feb 10,09 
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Great Post WSJ, Memories for sure...

Thats another Lake I really miss fishing. :shock:

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Post Posted: 08:06pm - Feb 10,09 
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Thanks WSJ- nice of you to pick sunny days to get all those fish and beautiful pictures. I'm waiting for next years story already- :D

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Post Posted: 08:06pm - Feb 10,09 
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Great memories and great pics. :D

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Post Posted: 09:02pm - Feb 10,09 
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Jay wrote:
Great Post WSJ, Memories for sure...

Thats another Lake I really miss fishing. :shock:


Jay is the area between the main lake and the bay we finished our trip in ( the triangle?) any better spot than the shallow bay? Could not find any parking available for the area in between the two places, hence we opted for the larger bay.

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Post Posted: 09:28pm - Feb 10,09 
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Sounds like that was just a hoot Willy.

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Post Posted: 10:01pm - Feb 10,09 
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Great read and great pics Bill. The smiles on everyone's faces tell a great tale also.

Thanks for sharing.

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Post Posted: 10:35pm - Feb 10,09 
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Nice Bill!

Good Weekend jaunt with the Boys!!! Thanks for the pics and story. Hav you tried Mendota before?

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Post Posted: 04:36am - Feb 11,09 
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Valleye wrote:
Nice Bill!

Good Weekend jaunt with the Boys!!! Thanks for the pics and story. Hav you tried Mendota before?


We were told that while Mendota is a good lake, to fish it best would require longer walks or a 4-wheeler both of which we did not have. Did hear talk of some good fishing on University Bay in that lake but did not have time to check out the access to it.

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Post Posted: 05:35am - Feb 11,09 
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nice report!! Those gills look asweme on camera.

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Post Posted: 08:11am - Feb 11,09 
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What a great story and report Bill! You cartured it very nicely with the pictures you took also. Those young guys will surely have memories to last a lifetime. Thank you for sharing.

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Post Posted: 10:23am - Feb 11,09 
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Awesome.
Look at all the gills on the screen, Holy Toledo!!
Thanks for sharing, Bill!

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Post Posted: 07:12pm - Feb 11,09 
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Great post and pics. Congrats on your trip with a lifetime of memories.

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Post Posted: 09:16pm - Feb 11,09 
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Great pictures Bill, I have to think that was a fun fun time. Did ya save me any beer?

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Post Posted: 03:51am - Feb 12,09 
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Great report Bill. It looks like everyone had a real good time.

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Post Posted: 01:22pm - Feb 12,09 
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sauger57 wrote:
Great pictures Bill, I have to think that was a fun fun time. Did ya save me any beer?


Sure did Tom, I will bring it with me to TH and we can both enjoy a cold one on a hot day. :wink:

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Post Posted: 08:02pm - Aug 11,09 
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Ok one more ice story before bedtime........starting the really hate august after strolling through the ice forum for awhile.:roll:

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