As the calendar pages begin their flutter into 2013, the Lake St. Clair ice fishermen and women are living the dream and slamming those fish. From perch to blue gill to crappie, they are catching the jumbos.
Neighbor, Randy Schroeder, avid fisherman, shared that some of the fish being caught "were over 10 inches." He went on to say that they were "limiting out" in a few hours already this morning.
With winter roaring into the Great Lakes Region in the last 10 days to two weeks, the snow and colder temperatures are helping to begin the process of freezing Lake St. Clair. Some spots appear to have the infamous "thin, candy shell" type of ice, with slushy snow coagulated in slices over the steel gray water.
That means that the ice fishing is being done from along the shore, along docks and in marina type areas.
Doing just that, fisherman Larry explained that he and his buddy had caught and kept 25 blue gill and crappie, which is the daily limit, this morning. "The bluegill were 7-10 inches and the crappie were over 10."
When asked if he was serving them for New Year's Eve dinner, Larry laughed and said, "I sent them home with my friend, John. He lives in Clarkston and doesn't get to Lake St. Clair very often." He continued, chuckling, "I'm just a nice guy!"
Another neighbor was fishing as we spoke. Aaron Tromley said he was back at it as, "Yesterday I caught 32 perch, 27 of which were 8 to 9.5 inches long. The other 5 were in the 10 inch range - 10.25 to 10.5 inches."
To keep those 32 perch, he threw about 100 smaller ones back. But those 32 fed his family, including Mom and Dad, and at least two more neighbors.
"These perch were the good eating size," chuckled Aaron.
So with the calendar heading for that infamous turning of the page, along with the season, those winter sports enthusiasts are getting out there and taking advantage of these colder days, which were sorely missed last year.
Now let's personally get out there, go ice fishing, go cross country skiing, check out the fresh animal tracks, take a ride on a snowmobile, take a walk with a friend and enjoy the season. Spring is only 79 days away.