Hi Folks, After a short respite from guiding due to unsafe ice conditions, I am back at it! We currently have 7.5” of black ice with a thin layer of snow pack on top of the ice. The walking is pretty good. We have been focusing our efforts on warm water ponds and lakes. Fairly shallow basins that form ice more quickly that our deeper cold water trout lakes. We have been jigging yellow perch and pike in the shanty and setting tip ups or traps around the shanty location. Big weed beds have been most productive. I find the larger fish are on the outside edges of the weed beds and the smaller fished are tucked into the vegetation. Bait is not easy to come by in Vermont these days. We have been catching our own bait. Small yellow perch have been excellent for big northern. We have been wounding the perch and hooking them on tip-ups. With cold water temperatures, many predators are looking for an easy meal. A wounded bait fish or even dead bait can often be really productive.  Most of our sets have been just off the bottom or hovering above a weed bed. Spreading tip-ups out is always advantageous. It’s a matter of covering water. On the jigging front, we have working an assortment of Hali jigs. I like to tip the jigs with live maggots, cut bait, and small minnows. We have been chumming the heck out of the holes in the shanty. It’s interesting how the chum brings in the fish and often holds them around. When the perch bite slows, it generally means a larger predator has showed up on the scene. We have hooked several large pike recently with light jig sticks designed for perch fishing. Really exciting attempting to land this large fish on light tackle. A jigging Perch Rapala and a Fire Tiger Hali Jig have hooked northern. Hopefully it will stay cold and I can begin to broaden my horizons. I want to walleye fish. Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home. Have Fun, Willy