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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The alarm was set for 4:30am and it actually went off as planned (wow). I proceeded to caffeinate and feed myself before my last ditch Strawberry effort. I was thinking about Yuba, but heard reports of ice (unsafe ice), so off to the open water (hopefully) of the ladders.

The drive wasn't too slippery but the air was bitter cold. As I passed Deer Creek, I was enveloped by a thick blanket of fog that smothered half of Heber Valley. Driving in thick fog is something that freaks me out a little, but I can't help enjoying it. It just seems very quiet when a good fog rolls in. The roads were fine most of the way up to Daniel's Summit. There were a few patches of hard-packed snow on the road, but I managed to keep at least 2 tires on good asphalt.

I checked out the latest report on the DWR site for the area and it said that the parking lots are now being plowed, so I was hoping I didn't have to park along HWY 40 this time (especially now that they put up a sign that says not to). According to the DWR the lots are being plowed and access on the West side is limited past Strawberry Bay Marina. I guess that means Mud Creek is accessible for you ice folk.

I pulled up to the ladders around 7:30 and was pleased to see that the lot was plowed very well and access was simple for my little car. I parked and caught a glimpse of the sunrise:



And then a little later, a shot presented itself:



I took some video footage of the area but it didn't upload properly. I'll add it to this thread later tonight. The video shows the waves of broken ice chunks rolling on the surface while the wind pushes them along. It also shows how difficult the fishing conditions were, but I was stubborn and dealt with it.

I could've saved some room in my tackle box by leaving all my lures at home. The ice chunks were packed up so tightly that using a lure would be pointless.

I couldn't fish a minnow very well. I would find a gap between bergs and drop into it, but the gap would close up, the line would freeze to a chunk and then my minnow would get pulled up to the top by the drifting "plate" and eventually get munched up in the ice grinder.

The only solution I could think of was to rig a sliding weight set up with a swivel and an egg sinker. I'm pretty sure I had 2 takers today, but they either stole the minnow or the ice was just messing with me. I think they were sluggish fish that just didn't swallow the minnows quickly.

I've had serious problems with the line on my other rod, so I brought my sister in law's rod this time. It's the same brand/model rod that I got my wife for her birthday (before the tip snapped off) with the nice German Line (D.A.M.) on the spool. Her sister decided to get one just like it (that she keeps at my house, hehe).

Getting the bait below the layer of ice was problematic in that keeping it where I wanted it was almost impossible. The moving ice would just carry it around, so I threw on a barrel sinker and a swivel and dropped a plump nightcrawler down the side of the little concrete wall to roll around on the bottom of the channel. That worked right away.

I had something on the other end, but it didn't offer a lot of resistance. I figured it would be a small cutt, but it turned out to be a really nice bow. My biggest from the berry and my longest by a half inch.



Another look:



I had to give a couple of hollers because my whole day had just been made. I stuck around to see if I could get into a nice cutt, but only got a couple of teasers with the minnows and didn't get any more action from the worm.

After I fished for a couple more hours, the wind picked up a bit more and all the ice in the vicinity had mashed itself into a floating, rolling layer of slush. I got what I came for and could easily stop by the Charleston Bridge on my way home for a possible brown or another bow. My day at the berry was over.

I was happy enough with the day's catch so far, so I wasn't too bent on getting into more fish. I didn't fully realize how big that bow was until I put it in my 36qt cooler:



I stopped and fished the Charleston Bridge for about an hour and a half, but didn't get any hookups. I saw a medium sized brown observing my minnow, but it turned me down (probably noticed me when it swam into my shadow) and disappeared.

The bridge was kind of a waste of time, but I couldn't help myself. Sometimes that bridge can treat a man right. Today, I'd already been treated right. No matter.

I pulled over by the DC State Park turnoff and snapped some pics of Deer Creek's current status (and a gratuitous Timp shot :wink: ):





Looks like next week people will be all over DC. The Wallsburg arm is about 99% frozen, but I'm not sure about how safe it is. There was snow covering the ice.

So my open water year is probably over and now I'll have to rely upon the charity of others to get me out on the ice. Cheers to the best fishing of my life this year and the upcoming chapters yet to be written.

I'm just grateful to have had the opportunity to get out today. I really really needed it.

Happy ICEHOLE Fishing, Humans!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! It was fun.

The bow was 20.5 " long and very tall.

The video I mentioned earlier just finished uploading, so I'll post it.

This is just to show the current conditions at the ladders...And to show what a pain it was to fish. Maybe I just got lucky today:

 

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Those pic's make DC look like a 'wasteland'. Pretty cool !!! 8)

Good report LOAH !! Still finding 'open' water is something...and that bow is one fat monster !!.. :)
 

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LOAH thats one nice bow! Im yet to get one outta Strawberry, just cutts! I was actually out on the ice at Mud Creek today, too bad I didnt know you were there you coulda came and jumped on the ice with us! Good to see you had a successful day and found the last bit of open water around! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I didn't drive down the road to Strawberry Marina, so I don't know about there, but I never saw any ice fishermen. The ice was mostly broken pieces, but it won't be long until those all freeze together. When the wind blows, it breaks it all up again.

I tried to wade out a little ways to hit a channel in the area, but the field of ice chunks started beating me up a bit with the waves.

Most of the lake is ice free but the shorelines and bays are freezing over. If the temps stay as low as they have been, the ice won't take long.
 

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You are one crazy SOB!

Great post as always! That was a beautiful bow you caught.

And again... you are one crazy SOB!
 

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LOAH said:
...So how was Mud Creek?
It was on the slow side, but we managed to bring in a couple. From what I heard from the other people it was slow for them too. Which is uncharacteristic of the berry in the first weeks of ice on in my experiences.
 

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if that's a bow, i'm gonna run for president. ya'll all better look alittle closer, if the first pic is what your looking at?
 

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BROWN BAGGER said:
if that's a bow, i'm gonna run for president. ya'll all better look alittle closer, if the first pic is what your looking at?
I think we need your real name so we can write you in on the ballot. 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
BROWN BAGGER said:
if that's a bow, i'm gonna run for president. ya'll all better look alittle closer, if the first pic is what your looking at?
You're right! The first pic is a mountain and some ice.

Sorry, gotta be a smart-A. The fish in the first fish picture is the same fish as the other photos. It was a rainbow.

Are you sure you meant to question this post or the Jordanelle one, President Brown Bagger?
 
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