Read full article – Retro Walleyes Chubbing Big Fish
One of the distinct benefits of being an outdoor writer and involved in the fishing side of the industry, is being exposed to a lot of the latest lure and gear offerings. I’m fortunate to be called on to field test and evaluate prototypes before they’re available to the angling public.
It’s now time to drag out all of our ice fishing gear and put some serious thought into what goodies you need to add to your arsenal. Be sure to jot down a list of what you just can’t do without; and conspicuously leave it lying around the house as a not so subtle Christmas wish list. With that in mind, I’ll list some of the most notable new equipment for this year.
It’s official-winter is now upon us. Time to think positive, as the days will start getting longer and best of all we have ice! Deer season is over, the ducks have followed the retired folks south, and you should have shot your fill of pheasants by now. As a sportsman there is but one pursuit to focus on and that is of course, ice fishing.
Like any good mechanic will tell you, the proper tools always help you get the job done in the most efficient and trouble-free manner. And, when it comes to ice fishing, it’s easy to be amazed or even a bit overwhelmed with the pile of new tools that are now available to help us catch more fish.
Here in the Dakota’s, most of us are fortunate enough to enjoy the Outdoors in one form or another. It is this Rural Tradition that keeps many of us here permanently, despite some Economic and Meteorological conditions that people in other parts of the Country might find less than appealing.
By skinny, I am referring to depth of water. The contradicting term fat, corresponds to the oversized mature fish you will often find in the form of dominant predators, such as Pike, Bass, and Walleye’s-in Northern latitudes. Just enough water to float a fish, will keep them perfectly content-and even more so-when there is a security blanket of ice directly above them.
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.
Crawlers and walleyes go together like cookies and milk, but rigging a worm right isn’t as intuitive as you might guess. What you’ve been doing with crawlers may be timeless and proven, maybe a spinner harness on a bottom bouncer or as part of a trolling spread. Or maybe you prefer nose-hooking a fat crawler behind a slipsinker and letting it dance across complex structure. How about a Slow Death Hook and half a crawler.
A fact that most of us are aware of-but nonetheless need to reminded of-is that all creatures are by nature opportunistic…and will always take the path of least resistance to whatever they are seeking. There are two overriding biological forces constantly at work
in all animals, including humans.
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.
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.
For Ice Fisherman, once the calendar rolls over to a new year, we begin to enter what most would could consider the mid-ice period of our ice fishing season. Maybe just a little earlier or later, depending upon what part of the country you live in; but nonetheless having a reputation for the fishing becoming a bit tougher than at first ice.
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
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.