What a wild week! In my off-season I travel for shows and fishing trips. Last week I did both. I flew to Raleigh on Friday to emcee the Bass University. We had a super two-day show with Mike Iaconelli, Ott Defoe, Kevin Short, Pete Gluszek, Brandon Palaniuk, and Ish Monroe. Nearly 100 guys took notes as these top bass pros presented Power Point seminars on everything from electronics to using specific lures.
A flight on Monday landed me in Erie, PA for an ice-fishing trip. I had never done this before. It was tough to pack for Raleigh's 70-degree days and Erie's 20-degree days. FLW Kellogg’s pro Dave Lefebre picked me up at the airport and took me straight to the ice. I layered up in his Suburban, put on my boots and mentally prepared myself for a new fishing frontier.
Dave lent me a pair of his strap-on Stabilicers ice spikes to make me sure-footed on the frozen Erie bay. Three days and not a slip. I even dragged the Otter sled with a pop-up thermal shelter out to our spots while Dave used an electric StrikeMaster ice auger to create our fishing holes.
Dave also introduced me to two electronic assistants. MarCum makes an ice fishing flasher and an underwater video camera. Both helped locate and identify fish. The lures were unfamiliar, but with a familiar name, Rapala. Baits smaller than a dime came in various styles and colors with a few Trigger X soft body attachments too. Jigs that vibrated or rattled came in fish catching-colors. The Jigging Rap jumped around when jerked, bringing fish to check it out.
Line was like human hair...only 1-pound test! I needed the reading glasses for my knots with this gear. The rods and reels were really cool! In addition to spinning reels, ice-fishing specialist 13 Fishing has round reels and bait casting style reels to pair up with rods with different actions for hook size and lure weight.
I have to say I enjoyed this trip. Trying something new and catching bucketfuls of crappie, bluegill, and yellow perch kept it interesting. Several rainbow trout, a brown trout and some largemouth bass warmed me up! But hanging with a pro angler and some outdoors writers made this trip memorable.
Until next time, see you on the water. WEAR a PFD! I’m gone fishing.
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