In an article by Andrew Johnson, share his trip with Dennis Foster and Andrew’s 8 year old son, Gavin as they take Gavin out for his first ice fishing trip in March.
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.
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.
As we enter the early stages of yet another hardwater (ice) fishing season; many of us with a curious and experimental nature begin to ponder new and improved ways in which to put our intended quarry on the sunny side of the ice. Our thoughts quickly turn to finding a “hot” lure to help us with this quest. Unfortunately, these are truly hard to come by.
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.
This task, to say the least, can be overwhelming given the choices available. Looking over the vast selection of models, colors, and sizes at most bait shops can cause decision overload. By following a few simple guidelines, you can narrow your search to 3 basic categories and some standard colors.
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.
Spring arrived in South Dakota March 20 in the form of a rare, but welcome, day of sunshine. And while the brief respite renewed hope that winter was nearly over, there was still plenty of ice on the area’s lakes for an ice-fishing adventure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.