Most people are racking their brains to put these common words together. However, a few winter sportsmen are chomping at the bait to answer this simple question. In our household, these words trigger excitement and remind us of good times with friends throughout the years. So if you are still wondering what a mousie, a sucker, a spike, and a shiner all have in common, you are going to have to wait just a bit longer, while I tell you this story.
Last weekend we were looking for something to do. With the pandemic restrictions all around us, and many of our favorite activities shut down or extremely limited, we wanted to get outside. Newaygo County is so beautiful all year long and winter brings opportunities to Michiganders
that some other state residents never experience.
We spoke with our friend Jason and invited him up for a bit of fun in the outdoors. We originally met Jason and his family while we were living in Southern Ohio. After a few years in Ohio we move back to Michigan and found ourselves in Newaygo County. Jason and his family also made that trek North and found themselves living in Ottawa County. Hanging out with Jason and his family is always a good time.
Last weekend we invited Jason and the family up to try something they had never done before. His wife and kids declined because of the cold, but Jason was eager for the experience. We told Jason to bundle up and bring a chair. We would have everything else covered. With a stop at Parsley’s Sport Shop, in Newaygo, we grabbed a few last-minute supplies and we headed to Diamond Lake.
According to Michiganlakes.com, Diamond Lake is an all sports lake, located approximately 5 miles north of White Cloud, MI. The lake spans approximately 170 acres with about 25 ft of water. Fisherman report catching Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, and Pike.
During the summer, you can find people, swimming, boating, jet skiing, and snorkel in the clear waters of Diamond Lake. However, wintertime is the best time to be at the lake. The Michigan DNR maintains the boat launch all year long providing access to the beautiful Diamond Lake, and a state park pass is required.
We had finally made it and were ready for fun. We were ready to go ice fishing! This trip ended up being a trip full of firsts.
We hauled all our gear out on the ice and began drilling holes. This is the first time we tried ice fishing on Diamond Lake, and it didn’t disappoint.
We put in our first tip-up and before we could walk away, we had a fish-on! I had caught my first pike! 20.5 inches just a little guy, so we took a picture and released him back to grow a bit bigger.
We finished setting up the shanty and tip-ups and it was time for a break. There were quite a few other fishermen, and it got as the day went on. Most fisherman were out looking for Crappie or Bluegill, but we were there for pike. After about an hour on the ice, my Husband got his first flag and pulled in a pike, 19.5 inches for another catch and release.
Jason arrived a little while later and we got him all set up, 2 tip-ups and a fishing pole. This is Jason’s first ice fishing trip ever, and it was a good time. We explained the equipment, how to rig up a tip-up, discussed bait choices, and strategy. A flag went off on one of my tip-ups and we went over to investigate. I tried to set the hook and pull it in, but when the hook began to surface, all that was there was the bait. As fishing stories go, I am supposed to say it was a monster that got away.
We continued fishing and there were a few more flags. Jason was even lucky enough to catch one too. Since Jason had never tasted pike, we decided to keep a few.
Back to the question I asked at the beginning, what do a mousie, a sucker, a spike, and shiner have in common. They are common types of bait used for ice fishing. We usually get ours from Parsley’s Sport Shop in Newaygo, MI or the Hesperia Sport Shop in Hesperia, MI.
Overall, our fishing trip on Diamond Lake was quite successful, we had 7 flags, caught 5 pike and 1
bluegill! Fun was had for all and the views were priceless!