Plan B works out Just Fine

Posted 3/9/22

Hello friends, Sometimes plans change and that is what happened for this week’s outdoor excursion. I was supposed to be heading to Little Bay de Noc with Doug Cibulka and my stepson Travis Dushek …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Plan B works out Just Fine


Hello friends,

Sometimes plans change and that is what happened for this week’s outdoor excursion. I was supposed to be heading to Little Bay de Noc with Doug Cibulka and my stepson Travis Dushek for a four-day trip with the hopes of icing some big, prespawn walleye. The day before we were to leave my informants told me that deep snow on the ice and a very slow bite might want to make me alter my plan. At first, I was super bummed, then I had a brain storm and decided to head back to the backwaters off the Mississippi River near Buffalo City for some quality northern pike fishing.

Friday, February 25th High 35, low 25

Doug would join us early Saturday morning. Today Trav and I had the big job of making four, three Otter Sled trips with my Polaris 550 snow machine. This would once again be a learning trip for me and today it would be in the way of watching Travis, and eventually Doug use what is called the Finicky Fooler which is a rig that allows you to use a spinning rod with your bail open. When you have a fish take your minnow a flag is tripped, and the fish is able to take your bait without feeling resistance. I ended up buying one from Travis at the end of the trip and let me tell you, these guys were fish catching machines with the Finicky Fooler, catching both perch and gators.

After we got camp-built Travis put on a fish catch ing marathon and I kind of sucked as I just was not on top of my game.

Saturday, February 26th High 37, low 29 Doug joined our campaign today and the three of us would spend every day from dawn to dark outside fishing and did we catch the gators and perch. I finally put my fish catching hat on and did very well today with my big fish of the day being a 33-inch northern pike that would have weighed a good 11-pounds. Doug and Travis were working the perch and gators and these guys put on quite the show with both tip ups and Finicky Foolers. A couple of interesting subjects, by the time this fourday trip was over all of us had intense sunburns on our faces like I have never seen before. All of us swelled up like a pumpkin and in all of my years on the ice I have never witnessed sunburns so extreme.

Another interesting story is that neither Doug or I had purchased our shiners or rosey reds in the Buffalo City and we should have. Doug ordered two dozen shiners and was given 20. I ordered two dozen at a different place near Necedah and had the same luck. Generally, bait shops give you two to five extras and this really set us back as we were having a ton of action.

My cure for this dilemma was to put a rosey red on a #10 treble hook with a dead shiner and it saved shiners and kicked butt on the gators. Long story short, if you are selling shiners charge more and give extra. The word gets out that you are a tight wad and people will buy bait somewhere else.

We had a major camp with three insulated Eskimo shacks and at night we stayed up until 1:30 cooked a great meal and laughed a lot. Doug and I grew up together and Travis is also quite skilled at pegging out the fun meter.

Sunday, February 27th High 43, low 26

Doug and I got to watch Travis catch a 33-inch gator on his jig pole today and I was able to watch both of these guys do very well on both of our targeted species, we were definitely running low on shin ers. I honestly believe that the dead shiner/rosey red combo was the hot ticket and once again tonight it was a fine meal in the shack and 1:30 was the bewitching hour.

The following morning the big job of breaking camp took place, and the last fish of the trip was a dandy. I had a flag and when I got to it most of the line was off the spool and I soon realized that I had a big, fat, pigasaurus on the other end. I love fighting big gators and this was what I was after. When all was said and done, I iced and then released a 35-inch northern pike that seemed to be as big around as it was long.

On this adventure, we were either laughing, catching fish or both!