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"Did you want to try that K-Drill?" The promise was there for a while but I either forgot to pick it up or the batteries needed to be charged. Well, the day had come - both the batteries were charged AND I remembered. The remembering part almost never happens. Now I just needed a place to use it.
It's been hard to find time for a decent fish but Andrew Snodden reached out and we had decided to get together and see if we can catch some whitefish. The plan was made a week in advance and we decided to head off the Oro side of Lake Simcoe and smack some whitefish. When the day came, we had just finished some serious high winds and warm weather so the ice had come from shore, leaving a three foot bowl of water I wasn't going to cross... or it was the rumor some dude took his truck on the ice and sunk that ice.
I phoned Andrew, who was still getting his stuff ready and told him the bad news. I decided to come back to Orillia and suggested we try and find something closer to home. As I made my way back Andrew hit up Tom Carr from Fatal Force Fishing and worked out a drop-and-fish with him. If you're not familiar with this, he takes people out, drops them off at a spot and lets them fish, picking them up later.
We met up at the north end of the lake and hitched a ride out, about a 15 minute sled ride. We held up at the bottom of a shoal and decided to setup. The day was super windy, I'm glad there was three of us to setup the pop ups and get everything else setup.
Once we had the huts up, it was time to drill! This was the part of the day I was looking forward to. I love new toys. I think all fishermen do. It's like when I worked in I.T. and we would get a new piece of tech in. You HAVE to play with it.
The drill is super light. It also has an amazing blade guard on it, held in place with a bungee that his held in place by pulling it up over the auger part. The top of the bit has a pool noodle type foam around the shaft, which is put there to prevent the drill from falling all the way down the hole. In theory, it should just bob there in place while your buddies make fun of you for not knowing how to tighten a drill chuck.
Which was exactly something I wasn't going to have happen to me! I did have a hard time with the Milwaukee drill chuck but eventually figured it out. Oh... I also had a hard time figuring out the power settings too... but once I got that handled, I was able to start drilling. The drill rips through ice well but it seems to be easily slowed as the slush builds up inside the hole. Unlike other drills, who blast the ice and snow out of the hole as it drills, this drill does not. It seems like you need to pull the drill out as it's drilling to manually move out the snow and ice. It was something I didn't figure out until after all the holes were drilled. Oh, did I mention that Milwaukee drill is SUPER powerful and almost snapped my wrist a few times!
Ah, well. At least I had some holes drilled for some fishing. We dropped down the usual Meegs. We actually thought that we were going to have an amazing day. Within 15 minutes we had marks. Most of them came and went but one of them hung around for 10 minutes. She just hung around, looking at our baits. When she went to move on, we would lift up and get her attention again.
Finally. After 10 minutes passes by she bit. It wasn't much but it was enough for me to get a good hook set. I could tell she was average size and that I had my drag too loose (as usual). After a short battle, I was able to heave her up on ice and hold her with admiration as those big cartoon Whitefish eyes looked at me. I celebrated with Andrew a bit and let her go back down.
The rest of the day didn't really pan out any better but who can complain about a day of new toys and hands covered in a musky fish scent.