With the days growing colder and snow already
falling in some parts of North America, ice fishing season looks
like it will be upon us shortly. Time to lug out last seasons gear
from the shed or basement, and organize it in anticipation of that
first step out onto hard water. Upgrading and updating some of that
"old" equipment can mean more productive and enjoyable days out on
the ice - a great help when the true cold finally sets in. Pick up
some new gear that is guaranteed to bring phenomenal results, and
look forward to a rewarding year while out on the ice.
How many anglers are still using the same old "multi-species"
rod they have had since they can remember? Although it may still
catch fish, you are certainly putting yourself at a disadvantage
when it comes to sensitivity, action and responsiveness. Ice fishing
is much like freshwater fishing when it comes to having different
rods and reels for different species and fishing applications.
Today's new graphite rods are far more superior in craftsmanship and
will make working a lure and fighting a fish much easier and
beneficial. Why chase panfish with a rod that could haul small
muskies out of your hole? By downsizing and choosing the appropriate
rod size and weight for each species and situation, you will be well
on your way to finding and catching more fish.
Line is an important connection between you and the fish, but how
many people continue to use the same line year after year when out
ice fishing? Start fresh this season and look into some of the
specialty lines that are now on the market. There are numerous lines
on the shelf that are specifically designed for cold-weather
fishing. These "new" lines maintain their suppleness in severe cold
and will not coil up as badly as regular mono will come winter. A
variety of the new "superlines" can also be a great addition for
heading out on the ice. These lines have virtually no stretch, no
coil and are easy to handle both on a reel or fished under a tip-up.
My suggestion would be to choose a dark-coloured line for tip-up use
as it can be easily seen against the ice and snow.
How many anglers continue to head out on the ice without a sonar
unit or electronics, virtually fishing blind? Ice fishing has become
high-tech now, and electronics make the job of locating fish and
staying with the school downright easy. My advice is to pick up a
portable flasher or fish finder (prices are relatively inexpensive)
and see the difference they will make to your day on the ice.
Finding dropoffs and weedlines (prime spots for hard water fish) is
a breeze with these handy little units, and they have literally
saved the day for me in showing me prime spots, or in some
instances, not such prime spots.