Hi Folks, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone. Back on the hard water. I found 5” of solid black ice today. Was 4” on Friday. Plenty safe to walk on. I would still suggest bringing along rope and wearing picks of life. The ice is just forming and many lakes and ponds are not safe enough to travel on quite yet. The buddy system is a good idea this time of year. Foot spikes are a good idea for traction. There is not much for snow pack on our lakes. The lack of insulating snow  allows the ice to form more quickly accompanied by colder nights. Guided my first trip today. The fishing was decent. We jigged numerous yellow perch.Only a couple of true yellow bellies with a majority of the perch  being bait size. Perfect, we set our tip ups with the yellow perch caught. We caught all of our perch on fire tiger colored Hali Jigs. We had 1 flag. Unfortunately, we lost the nice northern pike at the hole. It tossed the hook. The fish ate a wounded perch and made a really long run. My thought is the amount line off the reel prevented a good hook set. We got a look at the big pike. Oh well, there will be more opportunities. All of our action was in 8’ to 10’ of water. I will be on the ice all week. Looking forward to mixing it up and fishing various bodies of water. Remember to clean your gear and keep the non native species at home. Have Fun, Willy