Friday, March 23, 2012

Endgame... Bass Attack!!!

2012 Beddington Lake Ice Fishing Derby Lunker

Note:  At the time of this post, we have seen record high temperatures that have played in the high 70's with some nearby spots hitting 80 degrees, there now exists no quality ice near my homestead but I certainly can look back at my ice fishing season as a great success.  And for those who care, all bass were put back for future fishermen to enjoy.

For one week of my life, my text messaging exceeded that of my wife.  There had been an invite to attend one last ditch effort at Beddington Lake to get out ice fishing with my good friend Littlefield and best man Mahoney.  This required that I contact my people who needed to contact their people who in turn might know if there may be enough ice to tread without the possibility of drowning.  The best report I could gather was Seavey Lake with around 8 inches of gray ice.  This water was ENE of Beddington Lake, but our other nearest waterway Schoodic Lake had reached critical mass.

If Beddington had ice, we would fish there in a pickerel derby for our last trip there yielded more toothy bastards than I'd like to admit.  Bass were also a part of the derby with the potential to propel the fortunate angler above the level of shame and upon a pedestal of excellence amongst common anglers.  Once the boys got to the lake Saturday afternoon, they would brief me on the ice report which would then determine where I would be fishing.

The exceptionally warm weather certainly hindered our hopes and dreams with constant temperatures around 50 degrees including the occasional storm system.  My thoughts towards Beddington soured with each day, so bad I contacted a fellow Maine guide to inquire the ice status 2.5 hours north at East Grand Lake.  If there were no ice at Beddington, Ryan and I would venture before daylight towards Aroostook County in pursuit of a massive lake trout. 

Around three o'clock Saturday afternoon the results were in... 12-14 inches of decent ice with open water across the lake...

Another text message went out to Geel confirming our departure at 6 a.m.   While I laid out the details of the morning, the gentlemen opted to drive west to watch the UMaine hockey team lose an automatic bid attempt.  So while they stayed out half the night, I went to bed excited about one foot of ice and a forecast that promised 60 plus degrees Fahrenheit.

Geel was all ready when I turned into his driveway.  Little gear would be needed; just traps, one auger, bait, and food.  Two stops and a one hour drive put us at Littlefield's camp.  Mahoney had asked me to wake them up, but we all know how I roll.  We slid around the camp, down the bank, and onto the beach without detection.  As we surveyed the playing field, gear lay across the ice, pulled out from the day before without fear of being frozen in or confiscated by outdoor criminals.  I smiled for they had left the cove untouched opting for the point, so we started drilling left slightly turning into shallow water.  My research, planning, and system would put us onto late pickerel and bass.  The only thing needed was time, some strikes, and then depth sounding.  Today wasn't a day to screw around, I intended to be the man and to be the man you must fish like the man.

Mahoney was the first man to panic as he stumbled down the bank and begun setting up his traps.  Before he got his third hole tended, Geel and I were already set just under the ice prepared for our first strike.  No depths would be altered until a blip came on our radar screen.  Then it began.  A pickerel for Geel, then a two pound bass for Elmer who had followed Mahoney down from the camp.  This bass certainly had me fired up, but now the zone had been determined along with the depths.  Lines were set, a few extra holes drilled, some traps moved, and before we knew all heck broke loose.  The following video highlights some of the action, in my excitement I had neglected to charge my video camera from the last taping. 

The morning proved quite sufficient in terms of flags and fish, primarily bass.  Most bronzebacks found themselves between 1.5 and 4 pounds while the pickerel seemed to have been shut out of the fun.  Nevertheless, the weather proved above and beyond magical as the temperatures found the mid-60's.  Elmer and I opted to finish out the day in shorts, to add a little fun to the day I sported sandals.  On any account, here's the results of the 2012 Beddington Lake Ice Fishing Derby.

Elmer:  2 lb. bass, 1 pickerel, & 1 perch
Littlefield:  2 pickerel including the lunker toothy bastard
Nate:  1 pickerel
Vern:  slept in
Geel:  5 bass (largest 3 lbs.) and 3 pickerel
Mahoney:  5 bass (largest 3 lbs 3 oz), 2 pickerel, and 2 yellow perch
Duckman:  4 bass including the lunker (3 pounds 8 oz), 1 pickerel, and 1 yellow perch

28 fish were caught during the day and we conceded at 2:30 p.m. only to be talking about next year's derby.  For the run I've had these past few weeks, I can't wait uhhhh.... I mean look forward to next year on the ice.

Next up, spring trout and bass.

Take care,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

The crew on the point

Ryan and I chose the cove

Nice Bronzeback 3 pounds 3 ounces

Chain Pickerel with a 5 inch shiner

Mahoney with a nice bass

Another one for the best man


  1. Man, talk about a good day!!!

  2. Now that is a great, very informative, write-up! I'm not familiar with Pickerel, a junk fish???

  3. I'm not a pickerel fan, especially if you are chasing bass. They are related to the northern pike and can get up to around 5 or 6 pounds, but most run between 1 and 3 pounds. They are fast attacker and decent quarry, but they are very bony and not considered a top notch fish in Maine.


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