It's starting to feel like winter out there and if you are like me you are hoping we are on the cusp of an early ice fishing season (before Christmas would be awesome). As duck season is winding down, the whitefish run is over and I'm starting to get anxious about being on the ice. First ice is always amazing fishing and I've got a bunch of new tackle from Clam Outdoors to try out.
I'm especially excited about the Clam Kenai Pro Stealth series shanty. It is a 1 man flip over and a true dark house. I have a couple sight fishing opportunities on first ice in my area and that is really going to light things up below the ice. There's also tons of space in the tub for all the ice fishing accessories I could want and tent space for fishing in deep water. It will be super warm with the thermal skin, once you try a thermal shanty there is no going back. It hasn't helped that the ice fishing shows are going on right now. I spent a day at D&R Sports last weekend and this weekend the ClearH2O open house is going on. If it's anything like last year there will be some killer deals down there in Edwardsburg.
Humminbird also has some cool new things coming to the ice. CHIRP Helix ice units are here! The better target separation that CHIRP provides is definitely going to make things even better on the ice. Plus they come with a split screen that allows you to view flasher mode and 2d sonar mode at the same time. Good news for previous Helix ice users, the old units can be updated with a free software update to do the same thing.
There's no question the FishSens SondeCAM (we will be at the Novi ultimate fishing show this year) is going to be a big part of ice fishing this year too. I cannot wait to see those bluegills snatching up my bait on the camera and all the other surprise fish that roll through. It is the most entertaining tool on the ice for sure and if you really want to learn what is going on down there. There is no substitute for actually seeing it all happen in real time. There's no doubt I will have enough tools at my disposal to be extremely successful on the ice. If I don't catch them it is definitely on me and not my equipment.
Until then I'm going to keep working on the ducks for the rest of the week. The game has changed a little bit in the last week to mostly big water divers in some situations that aren't ideal for Hutch. It feels wrong to have to sneak the gun out the door while he is outside going to the bathroom and dress in street clothes so he doesn't realize I'm going without him. He knows what the gun and the camo mean so if I'm not sneaky he gets all wound up. I'm hoping there will be an opportunity or 2 during the late seasons or this coming weekend to get him in the right environment. Either way we have had a great time hunting this year and there is no doubt he knows the game at this point. It always amazes me how he won't go outside in the rain to go to the bathroom. But there is zero hesitation to jump into icy water in weather so cold that water is freezing on his vest and hair if it means he can fetch a duck. They definitely like to go more than we do.
Until we get on the ice I don't have much else going on. But I do want to give a couple shout outs to some companies who contributed to something very important to me. In January we are having a big fundraiser event for my friend Jess (and Aaron) as Jess continues beating cancer. They've got an extended stay in Houston to get this done and it won't be cheap. So big thanks to Reel n Smoke and Gather Detroit for helping out! Also Reel n Smoke is having a big sale, 25 percent off your entire website order with the code CHRISTMAS. If you haven't tried the grilling kit yet it is amazing and if you follow the instructions with the oven bags and ribs you will be amazed at the results. That's all I've got for now, see you on the ice hopefully soon.