Innovative Ice Fishing Tools to Enhance Your Adventure
Ice fishing is a fun outdoor activity, and with the aid of advanced “tools of the trade” can result in a successful catch. But before venturing out, make sure to do your homework. Having a good contour map will help you to find depth changes and drop offs that might hold fish. Check online for contour maps, and print out a map of the lake you plan to fish. Then stop by at a local bait shop to ask about ice thickness, what the locals are catching and where. Purchase a current map, bait or the secret jig as a courtesy for the information, and follow the tips below to a great adventure:
-Start by fishing the most popular spot to gain knowledge of the types and size of fish and what type of bait or jig the fish prefer. If you arrive at the right time on the right spot then fish and have fun!
-If the bite is slow, drill more holes in the area until you find fish. If moving is the only option, mark your current spot on the map and add any important details you learned about the area. Then set off for an area similar on the map. Scouting areas with advanced equipment like sonar flashers and underwater cameras expedite time spent looking for fish. Finding a new spot is as exciting as catching fish.
-Drilling out an area using a flasher will quickly confirm the subtle depth changes that might not be evident on the map. Flashers can also tell if the bottom is hard like sand or rocks and soft like silt or muck. Flashers also show signs of weeds, brush and can read whether the fish are coming off the bottom for your jig or suspended in the water column. This information will allow you to gauge where the strike zone is, enabling you to present your jig to the fish where they feel comfortable eating.
-The ultimate view of the fish’s world is from the eye of the aqua-vu, a small acorn size camera with a screen that fits in your pocket. Not only can you see the subtle swimming tendencies of negative fish, but you can also see if they are just tasting the bait, spitting it out or just coming in for a sniff. The camera can confirm the species and size of fish and detect the type of weeds holding fish.
Using new technology to advance skills is commonplace in every sport today. Contour maps are crucial as a directional tool. Flashers can quickly determine depth and structure and underwater cameras are just plain cool. On days when biting fish are hard to find, the flasher and underwater camera will refine your search and help you learn the subtle details of the fishery. Always remember to have fun, be safe and pick up any trash that might be in the area you fished so everyone can enjoy the outdoors.
Would you like to see how some of these cool technologies work? Watch this video and share it with your friends through our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/takemefishing.
*Post contributed by Mike McNett, a world class Ice Fisherman with a 2005 North American Ice Fishing Circuit (NAIFC) Championship win. 2010 was only the second time the USA Ice Team competed in the World Ice Fishing Championship (WIFC) and they won Team Gold medals with Mike as Captain. As the current captain of Team USA he continues to educate ice anglers in the USA to compete at the top level.
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