Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Indiana Ice Fun

I met Doug Sikora at a writer event at Lake Chickamauga last summer. He was there on behalf of Bobby Garland Crappie Baits. I was there to get photos and story material. While together, we got to talking about fishing -- as fishermen tend to do -- and realized we had a common fondness for ice-fishing.

"You should come up and fish with me this winter," Doug said.

I agreed that I should.

A lot of conversations like that happen in boats, but despite good intentions on both sides most don't ever amount to anything. Doug remembered that conversation, though, and when the bite got good he called his contact at Bobby Garland to see about connecting with me.

That was a week ago yesterday. Today, Doug, a friend of his and I spent the day on Doug's home lake in Indiana and probably caught a triple-digit tally of fish, including about 30 keeper crappie. Best I can recall, we caught seven species. The first white crappie I caught this morning was both my first ever fish from Indiana and my first white crappie for 2015. Before the day was over, I also added white bass and yellow bass to my 2015 list, bringing the year tally to an even dozen.

Probably my single favorite quality a fishing trip can have is someone sharing a kind of fishing they really love -- especially on home waters. That described today. Doug is passionate about ice-fishing, and his favorite approach is to travel light and walk as far as is needed to get to the best spots and then drill a lot of holes. He is a tournament crappie fisherman, but he fishes for and catches everything that swims, and he especially enjoys the multi-species approach. Today's plan matched his favorite kind of plan, and the fish chose to cooperate. My kind of combination.

I appreciate Doug following up on that summer conversation, and I'm guessing today was the first of many outings together. I also appreciate friends at Bobby Garland connecting the dots!

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