Great Lakes Angler Blog

A Wearable Underwater Cam!

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Crosslake, MN – What if, rather than carrying that smartphone or tablet in your hands, technology allowed you to actually “wear” these indispensible devices? Imagine having the device always at the ready in front of your eyes, convenient, low profile and completely hands-free.  Read Full Story

Ice Fishing from a Boat

Friday, November 08, 2013

CROSSLAKE, MN – Just because your favorite lake has yet to freeze over doesn’t mean you can’t go ice fishing. No, we’re not talking about performing miracles, or walking on water like another ancient fisherman once did.

 

Rather, it’s all about the fact that as water temps move into the mid to low 40s, fish of many species are fairly settled in the same spots they’ll be once the surface seals the lake shut. Find ‘em first in a boat and you’ll be light years ahead of the pack once safe ice arrives, with fresh hungry fish awaiting lures below.

 

 

Last year, three top teams at the North American Ice Fishing Circuit (NAIFC) Championships hopped into boats a month before the December tournament and discovered some real gem fishing spots—places that eventually lead to monster crappies and winning weights. Anglers Shawn Bjonfald, Kevin Fassbind and Brandon Newbie travelled to Mille Lacs Lake in Central Minnesota on a cool fall day to literally search the water for hotspots.

 

The key, Bjonfald noted, was the use of GPS alongside Humminbird Side Imaging sonar, which made clean sweeps of large shallow flats. The anglers’ eventual quarry—palm-stretching crappies and sunfish—were known to haunt very specific patches of vegetation. But on Mille Lacs’ shallow southern bays, the best plant patches—including pondweed, elodea and coontail—only grew in small gardens. The choice greenery housed the biggest panfish, too, but was often surrounded by empty acres of clean sand substrate.

 

“Finding these spots with Side Imaging in a boat,” noted Bjonfald, “was infinitely more efficient than it would have been on ice. We searched hundreds of acres of featureless, fishless water before finally finding our best spots; can’t imagine how many holes we would have had to drill had we waited to start searching at first ice.”

 

 

For Bjonfald, Fassbind and Newbie, the strategy involved motoring slowly across expansive 10- to 15-foot flats in a parallel grid pattern, simultaneously inspecting 100 feet of real estate on both sides of their boat.  Bjonfald’s Side Imaging unit clearly uncovered not only the location of vegetation, but revealed the tallest pondweed stalks interspersed with little openings—perfect habitat for monster crappies and sunfish.

 

“Not only did the Humminbird reveal the best weed beds,” he said, “Side Imaging also let us zoom in and drop GPS waypoints on tiny pieces of turf—areas we returned to during the tournament to catch big panfish.” Bjonfald and his comrades noted that the coordinates were often so precise that literally just one hole was needed to position them directly over a sweet spot.

 

The teams also attributed their precision and eventual success to Aqua-Vu Micro underwater cameras. “In prefishing, anytime we saw something promising on screen, we would drop the camera optics and verify it—often spotting fish relating to specific plant stalks. When we returned to fish the Championship, the fish were still there.”

 

After the two-day competition, which hosted nearly 100 top-qualifying teams from across North America, the enterprising anglers had nearly made a clean sweep of the tournament, capturing 1st-, 3rd- and 4th-place finishes. Bjonfald took “big fish” honors with a trophy 2-pound crappie, eventually finishing 4th. Fassbind and partner Nick Smyers took 3rd, while Brandon Newbie and partner Ryan Wilson iced nearly 25 pounds of panfish to win the Championship by over 6 pounds. Newby and Wilson also won two other qualifying events in the 2012-13 NAIFC season, leading to a Team of the Year title.

 

Recently, Bjonfald and company were back afloat Mille Lacs. Once again, they searched the shallows for those elusive giant crappies and, perhaps, another successful showing at the upcoming 2103 NAIFC Championship, December 21 and 22.

 

Even though most of us won’t be fishing for anything more important than bragging rights among buddies, the same strategy of scouting for fish prior to the big freeze can make you a big winner. Wait for one of those nice, calm late November or early December days. Launch the boat and you’ll likely have the lake all to yourself— and set the stage for the best ice season you’ve ever had.

 

  Read Full Story



Recent Posts



Tags

Aluminum Deep V Series Micro-Mobile Pro Viewing Case LCWCC InvisaSnap Records Line Recycle Bin ice fishing, Bro Show, Traditions Media Asian carp Mercury Marine iPhone Yamaha Extreme Baitcast Reel ABT X-2 Countdown Sportsman's rights Barry Brown Marine Ice Features Rippin Lips LakeMaster Western States Version Electronics Marsh Madness Custom Jigs & Spins Bass Pro Shops Lights Gunnison, CO Skarlis Absolute Outdoor, Inc. The Harry Lure Line Delorme Mack's Lure Plano Tackle Boxes Niagara Falls Wind Power Grunden's Yamaha ATV Dave Mull Jonathon VanDam sunglass Personal Flotation Device Contaminants Corey Schmidt Ryan Kleckner Todd Sokolow Rain gear Size limits jeffstackleshop.com Side Thruster Apps tackle storage Tight Lines Jewelry Bug repellent Endura NMEA yachtpaint.com Rods Youth Vick La Mar Deep Sea Diver SeaLife Cameras KVD Speedbag Wormfile treestand injury HELLA IGFA Rapala Great Lakes Troller One-Handle-Does-It-All System Ranger Boats Marine General Soo Locks Jack Links theft Crankbait Net Lake of the Woods blue marlin Whistler Spoon The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls Mosquito repellent Walleye iPilot Link Swim Whizz Green Bay, Wisconsin Team Aqua-Vu Holland thieves trailer tongue ABT trailer tongue SOG BASSMASTER CLASSIC Big Bear Products Izaak Walton League Grab Rail Promise Keeper Boat Covers Olcott, NY Hunting Full Throttle Strike King Sport Shows Shelter Mark Zona Milennia MIL-iDock Scott Martin Mark Chmura Conservation Pop-Up LED Bowlights Rubrail GPS Speedometer Brown trout Lake trout ODNR binoculars Global Spectrum Frigibar Bass fishing Onyx Speakers Jeff Gustafson DSC Humminbird Aquatic AV FLW Dan Egan Aqua-Vu Tracker Marine Swanson-Russell Tournament Grade Circle Hooks Brad's Beckson Marine Stowaway Bag Plate Minnesota Hamlin Evinrude Mack's Lures Tommy Skarlis Lip-Stix ATV ShowSpan Moisture Muncher Bristol Bay Salmon KVD Speedbag Rugged Shark Chronglobal Fishing Rig'N Tails NAIFC Championship BOLT Padlock splice ONIX Contest www.bigweeniebrand.com Ranger National Guard Coleman Odd'ball Fin Spin YUM Dinger Navigation Legend Gold Tip-Up MULL BLOG Simrad Prosepec Electronics dock lines Traditions Media Boat US STRATTEC Kindle book Normark Army Corp of Engineers Angler 175T McMurdo Ultracoat B.A.S.S. St. Croix Rods Air show PRADCO DuraSafe Electronics Lock Grand Rapids Ultimate Outdoors Show South Haven MWC Kevin VanDam bimini top Shoes clubs Marine Speakers Insurance Knives Angler Salmon Unlimited of Illinois Kayak fitness Radio Berkley Skamania Mania Hevi-Beads Shock Wave Lund EZ Dock Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel spinning rod cruzin Interlux Ravenswood Media Alaskan Costa Sunglasses Black Earth Creek Aqua Vu Bass lure Beckson Marine Spreads Salmon exotic invader Buff Shoremaster Hobie Snow-Shoe Tip-Up Mr. Twister Sunstream Boat Lifts PFDs Bheestie Bag Ethanol Whale Z-Man Marine Lighting Mary Snyder Northwest Indiana Steelheaders Stabenow Brite Wash TRAC Ecological Michigan City, Indiana Autotether Bristol Bay Michigan Launch ramp Owners tournament Smartfind S20 Personal AIS Beacon Lund Boats Boat lifts Audio Telescoping JIggler Long Rod Headgear Tides Tyee Topwater Pro Polish 580P lenses Bass Pro Shops Four-Person Dome Tent with Screen Porch Dogs Mag Light Kayaks Gull Lake Marine Keep Kool Ranger Aluminum Deep V Series New Zealand exotic species Iaconelli METS University of Buffalo Streams Boga Traxstech Smart Guide to Freshwater Fishing Technology Ditty bag USSA WeatherStation BoatUS Angler Fiberglass boat Sphaera Silver Horde Fish Hawk XD4 CLASSIC Lake Superior Video Camera mount RedHead Ned Rig Michigan DNR Alabama Rig Coleman cooler Uncle Norm's South Haven, Michigan Hobie Pro Angler BoatUS jigs Bethel University Oculus Trade Shows Honda Soul5 Tackle Labs Lead Walleye tournament thieves Legend Extreme Bad Elf toilet Extended Warranty Masters Walleye Circuit WFN Up Stream Hydration Back Pack Future Fisherman Foundation AKOYA Radial Chatterbait Lighting hardbaits WileyX Fort Wayne, Indiana JVD Lakemaster USCG Port of Indiana Earth Day JBL Bass Rescue Alaska Gear Glorvigen eZSplice 1675 Pro Guide Gary Dollahon Shurhold Beckson Marine Deck Plate OHIO News/Social Scott Glorvigen Flat Slider 75 Boat names Swedish FireKnife award Betsy Chargers TRAC Mazurek Rushton Gregory Downriggers marlin Quantum MUSHING Sunglasses U.S.S.A. Safety Bait Rigs Insect repellent Boating safety Tom Neustrom Fiberglass tiller Fishouflage Jeff's Tackle Shop USCGA Footwear PLB Multitools High school bass fishing Optima Boats USO Catch & Cook Davis Instruments weather EZ Splice Fasteners Serious Shine Blue Heron Communications Plano Pharmaceuticals Venice, Louisiana Gene Larew Mustad Kurt Mazurek Tim Popfinger Martin-Flory Wedding Ring spoon Muscle Squared 65 Chicago barrier Brian Brosdahl Weather Buoy Water Buddies Free Fishing Weekend EVOLVE FISHING CO Personal Flotation Devices Oshkosh SeaEra QC Reese Boat maintenance Ryan Wilson Volvo Penta Titan Chain DuraSafe GPS for Lightning Connector Church Tackle YUMphibian Accon Marine Bibs Marine NewsWire Cabela's Soft Jigwobbler On board Wild River series inReach MATE USA Ice Fishing Beckson VMC Bass Pro Oakley Sunglasses Lock Frabill RAT FINKEE Andrew Semprevivo Airmar Ranger VS1780 Ditch Tournament Dollohan Foul weather gear boat rental Lake Huron Side Imaging Princecraft radar Batteries Synergy Outdoors Grady-White Matt Serbenski Jerky New York Catfish Lures KVD CMP Global Okuma Muskie Lure Raritan Thermacell Shipping Clam Sun protection Husky Jerk great lakes Mystery Tackle Box Manistee Nautical Games Sharpeners Ultimate Flannel Shirts Costa Del Mar Mike Seymour Fuel Matt Straw LineSnubber Tackle Bag Wisconsin Seakeeper gyro Power Marine Radio Northland 360 Invasive species Balog Practical Sailor Cannon Fish America Foundation iPilot Storage PulseTech Goby Larson Electronics Rough Weather New Lures iPad Fishing Clubs ChartSelect Lake Assault Lake Erie CUSTOM JIGS 'N' SPINS Swim bait Safe boating Sheldon's Jeff Wenzel Dunkirk, NY Traditions Wildlife Forever redfish Minn Kota Slide Moor Torpedo Divers LineGrabber Wake Fishing ASA F-Series Storm Gear Whale Pumps Plano Synergy Lake Michigan Bro Brosdahl Walleyes River Fishing Forage Minnow Home Port Marine Marketing Orca Fin System Homeport Marine Marketing Blue Collar Outdoors spreader light Bug bite relief Faria FRIDAY FUNNIES Bait head St. Croix Gill NA Innovative Outdoors John E. Phillips Lake Ontario Gary Giudice Triton Boats Wounded Warriors Kill switch Green Bay Gravity Reef Runner Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo Louie Stout Conservation Marathon Rovermax LR 100 Monel Metal Dollahon YUM Aqualuma Dogwood Canyon Trail Runs Ascend Bass Pro Shops Gift Card News Slender Spoon Kevin Van Dam Tools Smart Guide Publications Accessories Andrew Dordek Brian "Bro" Brosdahl Tournaments Deck Plate Bob Schmidt AmVets Knife sharpening Marcum Costa Multi-species Steve Wood tree stand injury Indiana DNR Beckson Marine Stowaway Bag Plates and Kits Glacier Glove Clay Dyer Trout Unlimited Cliff Pace Coast Guard Boating BASSMASTER Spencer Yachts Magnum Flow-Troll Bait Holder Lowrance Macho Minnow Turning Point Props Acme mudsnail Rain suit Scholarship Chaco EZ BoatPort Rippin' Lips Brandon Newby Dave Genz Evolve Dave Mull Blog Baitcast Fishing Pole BBQ Lighter Black Velvet Patrick Hurst LOTSA

Archive