Read full article – Retro Walleyes Chubbing Big Fish
With the recent-and quite welcome-influx of unseasonably warm weather, most folk’s thoughts are on anything but Ice Fishing. Many of you are probably out happily pounding away on Pheasants and gearing up for Deer Season. But…you should be putting some thought into what is inevitably going to come, and quite frankly will be the best release for our outdoor energies once the hunting seasons draw down.
The advent of the all-terrain vehicle and its accessories has changed the face of ice fishing. We are living in an era where mechanization and technology continue to escalate at an amazing pace, and it seems nearly impossible to keep up with everything being presented to us.
First ice is nearly here-and that can only mean one thing…ice fishing! The first forays into hard water, in my eyes anyway; stirs up something deep in the soul akin to a religious experience. There is a direct correlation, as after all, we are mere mortals are indeed walking on water.
Last month I began a discussion on developing a wish list for some great new products to put to use this Ice Fishing season. Christmas is coming and I will expand upon this and give you enough time to drop some not so subtle hints and make yourself “not that hard to shop for.”
If you are a serious about walleye fishing, participating in a tournament or two might help you evolve into a better angler. There simply is not a better way to force yourself into focusing on the task at hand and catching big fish.
As we near the end of the Hardwater Season, (from late February till Ice Out) we’ve typically experienced: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. The good being at first ice when Walleye’s are generally conducive to biting and the results are favorable for numbers, with a few good fish mixed in.
By this I respectively am referring to Ice, Chubs, and Oversized Predators. Late ice is great ice, this most of us are keenly aware of. And, it goes hand in hand with fishing big chubs for the heftiest fish any body of water has to offer. I generally target walleye’s, but you will also undoubtedly encounter some huge pike as well. This system works equally well for both, just need to beef up your leaders if you target the slimy ones.
I’m not talking about the quality of the ice itself but the about your opportunity to enjoy some of the best fishing of the hard water season. Once the calendar roles around to late February or early March a lot of the enthusiasm for ice fishing has waned. Just as you begin to notice less and less anglers out, all species of fish activity will be increasing proportionally
First ice brings months of anticipation — better yet, anxiety — even long before the first leaf slowly tumbles down in early fall. But as good as early ice-fishing always is here in the Dakotas, I can honestly say that the urgency of what awaits us as we drift from the common doldrums of midwinter into the late- to last-ice periods can easily override even the best days that we have enjoyed to date.
If you are like most anglers, you have not given much consideration to incorporating artificial bait alternatives in lieu of live bait. Berkley’s numerous offerings in their PowerBait and Gulp! lines being the most accepted. This reluctance is nearly universal when it comes to ice fisherman. A few of you may have used some for a very brief time, lost confidence in it and reverted to your old standby’s of live bait. Too bad, because you’re limiting yourself and ultimately your rate of success by doing so.
What I relate here has been extracted from years of experience on expansive reservoirs such as those on the Missouri River—most notably Oahe—but applies on any large waterway with long stretches of relatively shallow structure, breaking sharply into deep water.
If you haven’t kept up with the latest innovations, I think you’ll be truly amazed at just how comfortable and enjoyable this sport can be. The days of being hunched over a five gallon pail, hoping to catch a fish, before frost bite sets in are long gone.