Icefishing - First trip of the Season - Bullhead

So I finally got to go ice fishing. My arms are still sore from having to auger through 6"+ ice, one of these years I'll get a power auger or at least a Nils. It was windy so my wind tip ups got to work. It was also really cold so I had to keep scooping ice out of holes, even with covers the holes were freezing over.

It was a really slow day. The only bait I brought for my tip-ups was nightcrawlers, I probably would have gotten more flags if I brought some shiners. I got two flags, one was probably the wind, but I got the adrenaline rush I had been craving.

Respooling all of this line was not much fun.
The real flag had been on one of my jigging buddy wind tip ups. So as I was running to the tip up I could see line being pulled off the spool. I was expecting it to be a pickerel, most of what I catch on tipups are pickerel, but it didn't fight like a pickerel, just sort of hung off the hook and let me pull it in along with a pile of weeds.

Bullhead, aka pout
It was a bullhead. Not very exciting. But one fish is more fish than I iced last season.

Those that visit my blog for my cats might be interested to know that bullheads are also called pout, and that ugly little catfish is Little Boy Pout's namesake.
Little Boy Pout

I got a few nibbles jigging but didn't catch anything that way. I left the pond shortly after dark. My least favorite part of ice fishing is packing up my tip ups to go home. The line is wet, it's cold, my fingers do not want to work. I keep a small hand towel to dry my hands after wrapping each spool then I stick my hands in my pockets with a hand warmer, but it's still unpleasant and takes forever. If I ever get rich I'll buy a Nils auger and hire some poor soul to collect my tip ups after every ice fishing trip.

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