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Trip Conditions:
Locations Fished: Northpoint Marina in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois
Date: 12/27/2003
Weather: Overcast, cold
Temperature: 35 degrees
Wind Velocity: 20-30 mph S
Water Level: low, Clarity: clear
Fish Species Targeted: Panfish
Fish Caught: Mixed bag of Bluegill, Crappie. Perch and Bass
Fishing Trip Quality: Fair

Unlike the day before, the bright sunny skies had been replaced by overcast cloudy conditions. The wind had increased velocity and was now blowing from the south with 20 to 30 mile per hour gusts.

I arrived at the marina at 8:00 am. There were several other anglers already fishing and they all stated that the morning bite had been exceptionally slow. The jigging action used the day before would bring fish to the bait, but they would not hit. We could see the fish approach the baits with the vexilar flashers, but they would not hit moving baits, even after a long pause. Most of the fish would not touch a spike on the same ice fishing spoon that caught numerous fish the prior day. Today the fish seemed to want smaller sized spoons tipped only with waxworms. The anglers with the most consistent action were the ones using a dead stick style of presentation. To use a dead stick presentation, you would first lower your lure or bait to the bottom. Then raise the lure or bait several inches above the bottom. Next you would place the ice fishing rod in a rod holder and leave it alone. No jigging action is used, hence the name dead stick. You wait for the slightest movement of either fishing line or rod tip. The rod is then lifted to set the hook.

Several bass, perch, bluegills, crappie and sunfish were caught. Another angler caught a 15 inch rainbow trout using a minnow.

Remember that all Bass in the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan are Catch and Release.