I had a real good buddy come up to visit for the weekend. He and I had one mission and that was to get a nice batch of panfish for a fish fry.

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My buddy Adam who I have known for over 20 years came up to visit for the weekend. It has been a while since he and I had been out on a lake doing any fishing. It's actually been an entire year since the last time we ice fished together.

Last year we tried a lake for the very first time and brought back a nice haul of crappies.

This year we knew we wanted to return to the lake we caught the crappies on but also a lake that we fished last spring that has nice bluegills in it.

Nichols Lake

Our first stop on this fishing journey started early Saturday morning with a trip north on M37. Adam and I used a lake map to find Nichols Lake a couple of years ago. Based on what we saw on that map we decided to fish there a couple of times last spring. We caught a few nice bluegills each time we fished but not enough to bring home but the ones we turned loose were really nice in size.

My son and I hit the lake a few more times last summer in hopes of figuring out the lake better. We did catch more bluegills but no real size to them and we caught a lot of bass while trying to catch pike and walleye that are also found in the lake.

This past Saturday morning Adam and I ventured out to ice fish and drilled several holes but only caught a few tiny perch. We both brought ice fishing finders with us so the electronics were also telling us time and time again that we were in the wrong location.

We fished the best part of the morning away but still looking to find an area of fish. It is a long walk across Nichols Lake especially dragging a bunch of gear out with us so we were getting a bit tired after moving so much and drilling so many holes.

We did finally get on an area that had some decent perch. I got on a hole that I was catching fish after fist in and finally ice 3 decent perch. Adam, he iced one and I turned probably 25 loose before the flurry of fish came to an end.

Just when we thought we had a good area to explore the battery died on my ice auger so we only brought back 4 fish after leaving to find another battery since mine hadn't been holding a very good charge.

Diamond Lake

After getting a new battery and charging it up for the ice auger we set out for Diamond Lake which is another lake just off M37 just north of White Cloud. We brought home close to 30 keepers last year and who knows how many we lost right at the hole but it was a great fishing experience we wanted to recreate.

We got to the location we were looking for and drilled a lot of holes before finally marking some fish. Still, we only caught a couple of small bluegills and perch. We kept drilling holes working an area we knew had fish but it was a matter of finding them.

Once we started marking fish with only about an hour of light left. We managed to get into some good crappies but we were on limited time and I forgot to bring the lantern. We did ice fish right up into when it got dark outside but we lost a lot of fish that would have made our haul a lot better.  Finally, the bites stopped and we had 9 crappies on the ice. It wasn't the same flurry we had last year but finally, we had enough fish for a fish fry.

We slept in on Sunday and missed out on a return to Nichols Lake but did get back out to Diamond again for but only got a few Northern Pike and one Crappie. The rest were just tiny fish for another day in the future.

That was a lot of work for just one meal of fish but we did have a lot of laughs and learned more about both lakes so the next time we visit we hope we do a little better.

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