We are back from the show! We had a good time at the show and got to introduce a lot of people to the FishSens underwater cameras. I also got to see a lot of friends I don't normally see in the offseason, which is always one of the best parts of the show. A few of them walked away with FishSens SondeCAMs too. I am really looking forward to seeing what kind of footage they record with their new underwater cameras. As a side note though, look for some promo codes in the coming months from us.
I mentioned in my last blog that I was finally going to get out perch fishing. I got out a day or two before the fishing show and although I wasn't expecting much, after about 8 holes I found out one of my areas was holding the mega school. It was ridiculous, especially for an evening bite. My buddy and I both got limits of really nice fish in no time. One of the important things to finding this area was looking at contours. Last year while I was out there with my Humminbird Fishsmart app with the Muskegon Lake map, the area became pretty obvious and was holding some giants. Then the ice went away and I never got to test it's true potential. Mapping on that big water is so critical since you can't just cut ice everywhere. If I am going to go out there and drill 100 holes, the more precise I can make them the better. I'm using my Helix 7 with the Lakemaster chip for mapping out there now, so things are even easier and more convenient.
Anyway those fish have dispersed somewhat, but not before my buddy Traver and I had one of the most epic days of perching I've ever been a part of. Trave doesn't always have the best luck with the timing of things when he comes out to fish with me. So it was exciting to see this one go as planned. We settled in on them and when they started to bite it was just crazy. We could only fish one rod each and I have no clue how many doubles we had on. Trave caught a keeper walleye for his first fish and I got a perch over 13 inches to top it all off. We each got our 50 perch in short order while sitting in one spot in the nice warm Clam Outdoors shanty. Clam Speed spoons were our lure of choice and were tipped with minnow heads, wax worms, and mousees. The beauty of the speed spoon is even when they would pick the minnow head off they would still bite the glow bead on the spoon without bait. They even would bite with a piece of Reel n Smoke Jerky on the hook! The big reason for them eating without a care for anything is just being on the right fish. I know I have found the right school when I catch one and others are following it up hoping to steal their food. I don't get too excited about a school of fish until I see that competition between them down there. The next goal is to get my dad on a day like that, he was just a little too late for it to be really good. We still managed between 60 and 70 but we had to drill holes and work for it. Not nearly as fun as sitting in a warm shanty and catching doubles until you are done. I definitely won't soon forget that day, bites like that are what I am always searching for when ice fishing (it's also why I love it so much).
Things got even crazier when we went searching for some new fish. I have never ever seen perch in such numbers on the fishfinder or perch that would come so far off the bottom on Muskegon Lake. I would love to be back there today, but I would like to let the lake harden up a little bit after a couple cold days. Ice conditions were fading fast yesterday while we were out there. One tip out there is they really haven't been turning on until around 10am. The bottom has just been coming alive in the right areas around that time. Some of the biggest fish have been coming early however, but if you aren't on an aggressive school on Muskegon around 10am, it is best to keep moving on. Hopefully these fish will stick around for a few weeks so I can get my dad on one of these ridiculous perch bites.
While I am fully immersed in the ice fishing world right now, I know a lot of you guys, who unfortunately, don't get out and enjoy all the wonderful outdoor opportunities we have here in the mitten in the winter. I'm sorry you're sitting there depressed thinking about bass. The new season of Dock Talk Radio has begun and that can help you pass the time (it always does for me). There is also a lot of new stuff out there in the bass fishing world to check out. Dobyns Rods has some really cool stuff going on. One thing I am particularly excited about is they brought the long spinning rods back! If you are into doing the spring/late fall scoot you definitely want to check out some of the 7'6" models. Same thing goes for chucking a senko and many other techniques. Those extra few inches can really help you to make longer casts and move a bunch more line on the hookset. They also came out with their own line of baits. I haven't seen them in person yet but the spinnerbaits and swimbait heads look top notch, as I would expect them to be. I'm also really excited about the Humminbird SOLIX 10 and am going to run one of those at the bow of my boat this year. I am a huge fan of the touch and it makes sense because I am running a SOLIX at the console. The benefits of networking with either all SOLIX or all Helix are definitely worth it. Look for some new fun products to debut at the Bassmasters Classic in March, I'll probably be out of ice fishing mode by then. Although the thought of having no ice is a hard one for me to think about right now.
Until then I'm going to be out there on the ice catching as many as I can. Regardless of what I'm pursuing in the outdoors it helps to keep me in tune with nature and my instincts sharp for when tournament season comes around. The best part about always being outside is that I never feel like I have to knock the rust off and I have a whole lot of fun!