There are two things I don’t do very often: Ice fish and catch walleyes. The former is because I’m a giant sissy that insists on 36 inches of ice before I even think about stepping on it (I’m exaggerating, but not much). The latter is because, I suppose, I don’t live in an area with a heavy walleye culture. We have them, but not many people are devoted to pursuing them. This past Sunday my friend Mark, who is an ice nut that’s been begging me to hit the hardwater for years, finally convinced me to go. Seven inches of ice, he promised, holds a lot of weight–even me. About 10 minutes after we set our tip-ups, a funny thing happened. That 2013 slump I wrote about just a few short weeks ago seemed to break. Flags started popping.


My official first fish of 2014 is the walleye above. Is it a trophy? Not by the standards of you boys and girls in Wisconsin, Minnesota, or that fish the Great Lakes. But for New Jersey, through the ice no less, it ain’t too shabby. Mark and I had a nice pick of ‘eyes, bass to 4 pounds, and monster pickerel all morning. Now, I’m not going to say the slump is over, because it’s only one trip, but I’ll say it’s a good start. Maybe, just maybe, 2014 is going to be a fishier year.

How many of you have caught your first fish of 2014 already? Let’s hear about it.