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November 2012

OUTDOOR CONNECTION Ice fishing’s future is now Youth pheasant hunt a success

More cool bird facts


2-Estherville (Ia.) Outdoor Connection, FRIDAY, Nov. 2, 2012

Kabele’s Trading Post to host Shop With The Pros There’s a lot to do in the outdoors as we head into the month of November: late open water fishing, waterfowl hunting, pheasant hunting and deer hunting…but for ice anglers, it’s waiting impatiently while waiting for that first safe ice. To make that time pass more quickly, Kabele’s Trading Post in Spirit Lake is offering their own version of a northwest Iowa Ice Breaker Event on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.! Billed as a day to “Shop With The Pros,” owners Thane and Tanya Johnson are excited to offer this special ice fishing day for anybody interested in talking “shop!” Thane says, “It’s really something we’ve wanted to do ever since we purchased Kabele’s Trading Post. Ice fishing is huge around here, and we want to kick off the season just like we do for the walleye opener in May!” Tanya added, “I can hardly wait. We have seminars, demonstrations, give-aways and discounts on select fishing equipment.” Along with all of the prod-

uct displays, Tanya and 20 yards or 150 yards or to Thane have put together a the other end of the bay.” Paul will share his game plan for mobility. Rod Woten, who hales from Stuart, IA, is also an TEVE Ice Team Pro Staffer, will insight into using a EISMAN share Vexilar flasher. Topics will OUTDOOR EDITOR include choosing the right transducer and how to use the “built in side finder”. Another topic will be how to list of pros to offer ice fish- determine bottom composiing seminars throughout the tion and use that to your day. Don’t be afraid that you advantage. Woten will also will be “seminared to address interference issues death.” There will be plenty and how to prevent them. of time in between sessions Finally, Woten will address to browse, to ask questions what is the “dead zone?” of the presenters and to talk Trever Fye, is a Rasset with other anglers. Outdoors Group pro-staffer, Kevin Paul, a guide who which includes MarCum, fishes lakes across northern Rapala and StrikeMaster. Iowa and is on Ice Team’s Trever is well versed on the pro staff, is going to focus new MarCum electronics, on mobility. “Mobility and a StrikeMaster Augers and willingness to move, often Rapala products. Trever will makes the difference also be available to show off between keeping on fish and the new 13 Fishing ice rods coming home with an empty and reels. bucket.” As a guide, Paul Scott Reed, long time IGL knows he must keep his resident and District Sales clients on fish. “I’ll stay on Manager for Pure Fishing, the move until I find fish, will share strategies for takbut once the actions slows or ing pan fish and game fish. the fish leave, we’re on the Calling it the “One-Two move again. It might only be Punch”, Reed will tailor his

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presentation to especially help anglers target Big Spirit Lake and West Okoboji. The concepts come from years of fishing experience all across the ‘ice belt’ and can be applied nearly anywhere and for a variety of fish species. As for me, I’ve been one of Clam’s pro staffers for years. The first portable shelters go back to the early years when Dave Genz began manufacturing Fish Traps in his garage in 1980. He merged his Fish Trap brand with Clam in 1992. I first met Dave when he brought the Trap Attacks to West Okoboji’s Emerson Bay. In discussions with Genz and fishing beside the ice fishing icon, he shared a lot about fishing clear waters with me. So, since my passion is triggering bluegills in the gin clear waters of West Okoboji, I’ll be talking about ways to get those finicky fish to bite. Be forewarned, however, that I do not consider myself an expert. When it comes to sight fishing gills on West Lake, I am always a work in progress! However, I’m more than willing to share

Tanya and Thane sit in one of the Clam shelters and display the poster for their Shop With The Pros event on Saturday, Nov. 17 at Kabeleʼs Trading Post. Photo by Steve Weisman

the good-the bad-and the ugly, and what I have learned from others! In addition to all of this, Kabele’s Trading Post will be brimming with ice fishing products, along with many instant rebates and free merchandise with purchases. Plus grand prize drawings for an ice shack, guided fishing trips and lodging. The cost to attend? Just show up and be ready to talk ice fish-

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ing! Now that’s the way to kick off the 2012 ice fishing season. For more information, call (712) 336-1512. Kabele’s Trading Post is located at 504 Hill Avenue in Spirit Lake. Sponsors for the Shop With The Pros include Kabele’s Trading Post, Clam, Iowa Sportsman magazine and Paul’s Fishing Guide.

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Estherville (Ia.) Outdoor Connection, FRIDAY, Nov. 2, 2012-3

Ice fishing’s future is now Editor’s Note: Dave Genz, known as Mr. Ice Fishing, was the primary driver of the modern ice fishing revolution. He has been enshrined in the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport. For more fishing tips and information on the new book, go to www.davegenz.com. BY MARK STRAND

During the course of multiple interviews for his new book, Ice Revolution, Dave Genz spent many hours digging through his memory banks, recounting the years he and his friends transformed ice fishing. Near the end of the process, he was asked to look into the future and envision what might come next for the sport. Are there more major breakthroughs on the horizon? Or have we settled into a period when evolutionary refinements will mark forward progress? “You can always wish for new things,” he said, “but there’s some pretty cool stuff a lot of people haven’t tried yet.” He came away energized about the idea of stressing how he uses current state of the art to take ice fishing into a realm most people have not experienced. High Speed, High Tech

Look closely at Genz’s snowmobile and the fabulous state of current technology becomes evident. His is a big-time, high-powered machine, but he says you can set up the same gear on any snowmobile or ATV that will get you around out on the ice. A look around the dash, handlebars, and other parts of the machine reveals creative mounting of electronics that allows Dave to fish efficiently as he searches for biters. “My GPS is right there in front of me,” he begins, “so

I can go right to the spots. The GPS with the map chips is not new. It’s been around for a while, but there’s still a lot of people who haven’t taken advantage of the GPS.” (If you haven’t used this technology, it’s downright amazing. Your location is shown superimposed over contour lines that reveal the underwater structure of the lake. As you move across the ice surface, your location updates. It becomes easy to stop right out on the tip of a point, nestle yourself into an inside turn, or work the edges of an offshore hump.) “To me,” says Genz, “the size of the GPS screen is important. I struggle when I’m looking at a handheld GPS and trying to figure out where I am on the lake, because (the display is) so small. Once I get to the spot, then it isn’t quite so bad, but you just can’t blow it up enough to get a good clear picture. A bigger screen, mounted on the snowmobile, is what I prefer. Genz continues, “I have my Vexilar (flasher) mounted right up on the dash with me, too. I really like to fish right off the seat of my snowmobile unless it’s windy. I pull up, drill some holes, and start by dropping the Vexilar (transducer) to check depth, to look for weeds or some other type of cover, and to see if there’s fish down there. “My underwater camera is mounted right there also, so if I’m struggling to see what’s down there – like if I’m fishing in the weeds – it’s really easy to whip the camera out and drop it down the hole.” The secret to Genz’s latest version of the system, in other words, is the rigging. Each piece of technology

can be employed in seconds, with no setup to speak of. That’s the difference, he says, between putting things into action or deciding it’s too much work. “The things we’re tinkering with now,” he says, “have to do with being able to easily move our equipment from shore – when we pull up to the lake – onto the ice, so we can start fishing. We’ve mounted the Fish Traps up on racks on our snowmobiles or ATVs. We’re not dragging them behind anymore. “We get to the lake and our shelters are already loaded onto the machines, packed with stuff like rods, jigs, heater, and a bucket for fish. There’s no time involved at the truck loading things. We pull the machine off the trailer, pop skis under the trailer tires if we’re going to use it to haul people and gear, and off we go.” Simply put, it’s eye-popping how fast Genz is off down the lake, once he pulls up to an access point. Rods for Tightlining

Today’s best ice rods are pretty close to complete in their evolution, with amazing feel and flex that allows them to fish “like long rods in miniature,” one of Genz’s favorite sayings. Wrapped with increasingly small and lighter weight guides, more of the blank’s natural properties remain after the rod is built. Used with fresh line that’s stretched before you begin fishing, matched up with a lure that’s not too light or heavy for the rod, almost anybody can learn to feel the cadence of their lure bouncing. Recognizing when the cadence is interrupted is the key to detecting bites, something previous generations of anglers had a much hard-

er time mastering. Comfort Catches Fish

Recent advancements in clothing have allowed Genz to fish ‘outside’ most of the time, either on the seat of his snowmobile or kneeling on the ice. That translates directly to more holes fished in the course of a day, while remaining comfortable and effective, which means more fish. “Now,” says Dave, “a nice day is any day the wind’s not blowing. Temperature really doesn’t make any difference, because our clothing is so much better than it used to be. But if the wind is blowing, your hands get cold, so you have to find a way to get out of the wind. “It’s hard to maintain the feel that you need, if you’ve got heavy gloves on. So when it’s windy, that’s when the Fish Trap comes into play. You take the Fish Trap down off the rack and fish out of it whenever you need to get out of the wind. And for sight fishing, too, let’s not forget about that. “The fish houses are easier to pull around from spot to spot than they used to be. The sleds are nicely shaped for pulling, and we put runners underneath them that make the pulling easier.” Today’s clothing and boots have also been engi-

Dave Genz, shown here with a dandy crappie, uses every advantage made possible by the ice fishing revolution. For many anglers, who havenʼt fully capitalized on available advancements, the ʻfutureʼ can be now, if they do the same. (Photo: davegenz.com)

neered for less bulk and weight, and that is a huge advantage, according to Genz: “One of the things that really helped the system move forward is the lightness of our Ice Armor clothing. Our boots aren’t big and heavy anymore. They’re light, so it’s easy to get around out there. “Especially as I’ve gotten older, it’s harder for me to pick my feet up high to clear

the top of the snow. I needed a lighter boot. But lighter and warmer is the key, so we’re able to spend more time outside while staying comfortable.” There will be additional refinements as the years go on. Perhaps even major breakthroughs. But for many anglers, there are existing elements of the ice fishing revolution that remain undiscovered.

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4-Estherville (Ia.) Outdoor Connection, FRIDAY, Nov. 2, 2012

YOUTH PHEASANT HUNT PROVES SUCCESSFUL

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mmet County Pheasants Forever, Emmet County Izaak Walton Club, Iowa DNR, and Emmet County Conservation hosted 30 youngsters at the Izaak Walton Club Grounds in Estherville on Sunday, October 21st for the annual Youth Pheasant Hunt. The event kicked off at 11 a.m., with youth hunters grabbing a bite to eat while volunteers and hunting dogs strategically mapped out the day’s events. Youth between the ages of 12-15 were provided the opportunity to hunt for pheasant with an adult monitoring each youth. Volunteer adults encouraged the youngsters to warm up with a few shots at clay pigeons and trap shooting before targeting flying rooster pheasants. Several groups departed from the club grounds to hunt local areas. Practice paid off in the end for several of the young hunters. In all, six roosters were harvested. Temperatures reached into the mid-seventies on the sunny, windy day. The dogs faced a challenge stirring up pheasants with it being so dry and windy. With that

JENNA POLLOCK EMMET COUNTY NATURALIST

said, a number of hens, partridge and even an owl were observed by the young hunters. The Youth Pheasant Hunt wrapped up at 3 p.m., following a raffle drawing of prizes. Top prizes included a hand-crafted gun rack donated by Steve Timmons, two youth 20-gauge shotguns, a number of gun cases, a dog training kit, water bottles, and orange vests and hats donated by Pheasants Forever. The day would not have been a success without the great turnout of young hunters, volunteers that shared their time, hunting dogs that shared their skills, and thoughtful donations from the community. Changing Habits

As seasonal changes begin to morph wildlife habitats in the area, hunters may get a shot at a bewildered pheasant or deer if they are dedicated. If you’re anything

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Youth and adult volunteers take a break from the hunt for a group picture at the Izaak Walton League grounds. Photo by Jenna Pollock

like me, it’s been tough to get out of bed the last few weeks. When the alarm sounds at 6 a.m., I’m greeted by night-like darkness instead of the warm, morning sun. Daylight savings time ends Sunday, November 4th so we’ll gain that precious extra hour of light early in the morning and lose the light in the early evening hours. We mere humans are not the only creatures noticing the seasonal changes. The bucks are in rut. Rut is a time of year where ruminant animals, like deer, take advantage of the shortening hours of daylight to show their affectionate side and swap Valentines, but it’s not Cupid’s arrow that they

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need to worry about. A patient hunter may snare a nice buck while raging hormones distract Mr. Buck from the hunter’s not-asconcealed-as-he/she-thinks presence. Other wildlife are making preparations as well. Winter birds are working hard to insulate their nests. Squirrels are quite busy too! Last week I ventured out to hike some trails along Ingham and High Lake surrounding the Peterson Point Historic Farmstead. My mission was to collect walnuts, acorns, buckeyes, and any other seedlings I could share with Emmet County Head Start for our “Falling for Trees” program. I ventured toward Walnuts and Oaks and scavenged for their fruits, but I found myself thwarted by squirrels. Acorns and walnuts alike have been snatched from the trees and buried for winter. I even came across a tree with a large cavernous opening in the trunk that was packed tight with walnuts. As we move towards winter the habitat for many of our wildlife friends becomes scarce so they prepare early. A week ago I overheard a hunter mention how gaunt

the deer look. The lack of fresh lush grass and the dwindled supply of field corn have eclipsed their fattening diet. They find themselves traveling further for water since some of their favorite waterholes dried up. When it comes to finding shelter the deer are much better off than the fish. With water levels low at all the surrounding lakes, if we see freezing temperatures and lots of snow the fish might not be too lucky. Frozen fish sticks, anyone? Undoubtedly, the local fauna will face challenges this winter as they do every winter. They have a keen habitat awareness that grants them resiliency. We can do our part to help by providing food sources throughout the coldest months. Come springtime we can help them further by caring for their habitat so they can nurture the next generation. Wildlife habitats are more simplified than our human requirements and yet more complex than we may realize. When I moved a couple months ago my housing requirements focused on location, but I also wanted things like indoor plumping,

cooling, heating, appliances, and affordability- to name a few. I wasn’t asking for much… Wildlife habitat focuses on food, water, shelter, and space. Add on the seasonal change factor and the bounty of information discovered might be summarized in a separate college course. New habitat

New Environmental Education Displays have been planned for the Emmet County Nature Center. One of these displays focuses on habitat. The North Union Industrial Arts class and Art Club will ensure that this display looks top-notch. I’ll do my best to ensure that the educational information provided through this display sounds as good as it looks! A wingspan display, a recycled materials drum set, and a frog chorus display are in the works as well. There are many exciting things happening at the Nature Center. If you need a change of scene participate in one of our upcoming events. Like Emmet County Conservation on Facebook for information on our latest events. Subscribe to our seasonal newsletter by emailing us at emmetccb@yourstarnet.net.


Estherville (Ia.) Outdoor Connection, FRIDAY, Nov. 2, 2012-5

First ice homework starts now Editor’s note: Jason Mitchell hosts the popular outdoor program, Jason Mitchell Outdoors which airs across the Midwest on Fox Sports North and Fox Sport Midwest. In addition, Mitchell has earned a renowned reputation as a top walleye guide on North Dakota's Devils Lake often guiding well over 250 days on the water and ice each season. BY JASON MITCHELL

Hitting the ice at the start of the season is a new beginning. There are times where we find fish right where we thought the fish should be at first ice and there are times when the fish are not where you think they should be. Some lakes that were good last winter will not be good this winter and vice versa. Finding fish at first ice is a process of elimination. There are lakes I cannot wait to hit this winter but I truly will not know whether they are good or not until I start drilling some holes. Remember the fall

If there is one thing however that can greatly enhance your edge at first ice, my advice would be to watch fall bites closely. If possible, look at some lakes that you intend to ice fish during the fall. Not only can you get a

really good handle of the size of fish and how the lake lays out much easier while in a boat but here is something that I strongly believe… water that is fishing really good come fall typically fishes well at first ice. On the flip side, water that has had a tough fall bite often has a tough bite during first ice. Fall fishing for me is as much about enjoying the last few days of open water and catching fish as gathering intelligence for the upcoming ice season. The general patterns of fall often carry over into ice and what is even wilder, the exact spots or icons where fish are holding in the fall are often loaded with fish at first ice. Rules of thumb

There are general rules of thumb and general patterns that seem to take hold on many fisheries across the board but every year has a little bit different twist. There have been times for example where deep rock piles on Devils Lake (where I spent my career as a guide) would be loaded with nice fish and at first ice, we caught fish off of those spots as soon as we could get to them. A few years later, the rocks piles were not holding fish come late fall like some other years and the fish were

really relating to shallow weed bed edges and guess what, that is where we found fish at first ice. Time on the water in the fall enables you to gather a little bit more information so that you can take the shorter path to finding fish come ice. Doesn’t matter the species or the body of water, this intelligence enhances your winter game. Size of fish can also be determined really well during the fall. If you want to find a small lake off the beaten path that has nice bluegills for example, you can fish a lot of water using a boat during the fall. Lakes that are only producing small fish during the fall are typically going to remain the same at first ice. Lakes however that have a nice average size and produce nice fish during the fall are going to be your go to lakes come first ice. These examples are merely common sense, but we still have to take the time to do our homework. When weather disrupts the transition to winter

Extreme weather is probably the only thing that can disrupt the transition from fall to winter. The worst thing that can happen to a lake or an area is extremely strong winds right at freeze up. We saw a huge example

of this on Lake of the Woods a handful of years ago where late fall winds whipped the lake into a dirty froth right before the lake froze up and the poor visibility created tough walleye fishing during first ice. We had a similar occurrence happen on Devils Lake a few years ago where eastern and southern shorelines especially over the larger bays and basins were terrible. The water visibility was so poor that you couldn’t see the bottom of the hole for about a month in these locations while opposite sides of the lake were fine. The best indicator that this has happened is jagged ice. If the surface of the lake looks like a broken jig saw puzzle with pieces of ice sticking up all over or if you drill a hole and there are multiple layers of ice, you might have to switch to the opposite side of the lake or switch bodies of water because typically, dirty water hurts you at first ice. There are adjustments you can make when you encounter this. On Lake of the Woods, anglers finally figured out that the fish were suspended right below the ice. On Devils Lake, I have had some success fishing in really shallow water when the water was dirty but this

The time to preparing for first ice is during the fall when good fall locations often lead to great first ice opportunities. Pictured is the author, Jason Mitchell with a great walleye. Photo submitted

wind affect is usually drastic and negative enough where I tend to avoid it if possible, much like fishing a river…I don’t look for dirty water. Don’t confuse stained water with dirty water, stained water can often be good but dirty water usually shuts things down. By keeping a pulse of what is happening on fisheries

during the fall, you have a huge advantage during early ice so jumpstart your season now by being observant, marking down locations and lakes and gathering information. You will shave so much time off the hunt for fish if you can put the fish to bed in the fall and be one of the first people on these locations at early ice.

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6-Estherville (Ia.) Outdoor Connection, FRIDAY, Nov. 2, 2012

More cool bird facts BY WENDELL HANSEN BIRDHAVEN

What a week this has been with Dark-eyed Juncos, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, White-throated Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, Harris' Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, American Tree Sparrows, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and the Brown Creeper all hanging out at Birdhaven! Look for new birds coming down from the north after each new cold front that comes through. Also we have had reports of the Eastern Towhee and the Spotted Towhee being seen in the Iowa Great lakes area. The Spotted Towhee is a bird of the western region and has been expanding it range slowly eastward. The Spotted Towhee and the very similar

Eastern Towhee used to be considered the same species (the Rufous-sided Towhee). The two forms still occur together in the Great Plains, where they sometimes interbreed. This is a common evolutionary pattern in North American birds.

black. Identifying the Spotted Towhee

Size: same Shape: same Color Pattern: Males have black upperparts and throat; their wings and back are spotted bright white. The flanks are warm rufous and the belly Identifying the is white. Eastern Towhee Size: 8 inches Females have the same patShape: Towhees are a kind tern but are warm brown of large sparrow. Look for where males are black. In their thick, triangular, flight, look for white corners seed-cracking bill as a tip- to the black tail. off they're in the sparrow Where to look for Towhees family. Also notice the You'll typically see Eastern chunky body and long, round- and Spotted Towhees rummaging in the leaf litter or ed tail. Color Pattern: Males are creeping through thick striking-bold sooty black shrubs. Towhees tend to hop above and on the breast, with wherever they go, often movwarm rufous sides and white ing deliberately and giving on the belly. Females have the themselves plenty of time to same pattern, but are rich spot food items. They scratch brown where the males are at leaves with a characteristic

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two-footed backward hop, then dart after anything they've uncovered. Food choices: Towhees eat many foods including seeds, fruits, insects, spiders, millipedes, centipedes and snails, along with soft leaf and flower buds in spring. They also eat seeds and fruits, including ragweeds, smart weeds, grasses, acorns, blackberries, blueberries, wheat, corn, and oats. Towhees are likely to visit or perhaps live in your yard if you've got brushy, shrubby or overgrown borders. If your feeders are near a vegetated edge, towhees may venture out to eat fallen seed.

Attracting Towhees

If you want to attract towhees to your feeders, consider sprinkling some seed on the ground, as this is where towhees prefer to feed. The oldest recorded Spotted Towhee was 10 years 8 months old. The oldest known Eastern Towhee was 12 years, 3 months old. The two Towhees always remind me of an inbreed Robin with red eyes. Birdhaven Photo contest:

Birdhaven has a photo contest twice a year, one spring/summer and one for the fall/winter. On the spring & summer contest, we got 10 out of 12

on the hit list. We were missing the American Redstart and the Scarlet Tanager. And now for the fall and winter hit list, we are looking for the Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, Common Redpoll, American Goldfinch in snow, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Mourning Dove in snow, Cedar Waxwing in snow, Spotted Towhee, Eastern Towhee, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-bellied Woodpecker and the Pileated Woodpecker. Be the first to bring in a 4x6 photo of one of the birds on the hit list and win 5lbs of seed of your choice. For more details call Birdhaven at 712336-2473.

Mr. Gʼs Photography on display BY STEVE WEISMAN OUTDOOR EDITOR

For the next two weeks through November 17, area residents will have the opportunity to see the photography of local artist Gary Gunderson (Mr. G’s Photography) at the Pearson Art Center. In visiting with Gunderson about his photography, he noted, “It is all about perspective. When I photograph wildlife, I am trying to capture the natural habitat. On the other hand, when I take a photo of an old barn or something more historical, I try to capture the memories. I want people to think of the stories that could be told.” As an artist, Gunderson tries to be unique in what he does. “I want to do things differently than other photographers. Gunderson uses PhotoShop and Portrait Professional to work with his photographs and uses time-lapse techniques, along with having the ability to transfer photos to

Gary Gunderson with one of his many photographs on display at the Pearson Art Center. Photo by Steve Weisman

other medias. He specializes in all areas of photography including family portraits, senior portraits, prom photos, class reunions, freelance, landscape, wildlife, cars and pets. In addition to the current

display at the Pearson Art Center, Gunderson’s photos are displayed at A Piece of Work in Spirit Lake, Carol’s Cottage at Shaw’s of Okoboji and Side Street Gallery in Arnold’s Park.


Estherville (Ia.) Outdoor Connection, FRIDAY, Nov. 2, 2012-7

Welcome to Ice Force BY JOHN GROSVENOR JTG EXPEDITIONS

Sponsors of JTG Expeditions include Great Lakes Marine and Skeeter Boats, Eagle Claw, Pure fishing, Otter, Dura Lift Boat Hoists and the Dry Dock Restaurant and Four Season’s Resort. Something new is brewing in the ice fishing industry. Five of ice fishing’s top brands have joined their marketing and pro-staff efforts to continue providing the best products possible to ice fishermen around the country. Rapala, Otter, Polaris, Marcum and Strikemaster have joined forces to become the most visible ice fishing entity in the world. Late October 2012 Rapala head quarters, Minnetonka, MN was the setting for the

inaugural meeting of Ice Force companies and their Pro-Staffers. For several years I’ve served on the pro-staff of Otter Outdoors. Otter is the most expensive portable shack on the market for a reason. It’s built better and will last you longer. There is quality and durability in Otter Portable shacks that you will not find in any other product on the market. That’s exactly what Ice Force is striving to provide…the highest quality products on the market. Not necessarily the least expensive. The newest product from Strikemaster this year is the new 35cc Honda Lite 4stroke auger. It weighs in at a very lite 23-pounds. It’s extremely quiet...does NOT leak oil or gas…and pull

starts with little or no effort at all. During the off season Rapala USA purchased Strikemaster Augers to add to Rapala’s well known line of ice fishing products. But, to me, the most impressive presentations I saw were that by Marcum Technologies. Holy Smokes! I’ll admit…for years…I’ve used another brand of fish finder on the ice. But after seeing the clarity and separation that the Marcum products provide I can’t wait to put them to use. The Marcum flashers and fish finders can show separation of only half”. That’s a picture that gives you more than double the performance of its nearest competitor. It’s hard to show in words. But if you ever get the chance…compare. There is certainly a

Company representatives and Ice Force pro-staffers learn about new product lines at Rapala headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn. Photo submitted

clear winner. Polaris offers the most popular ice fishing ATV’s on the market. Their new 2013 Rangers are quite impressive. Available with a track system that’ll get

almost anywhere at speeds up to 40 mph. But keep in mind, the track system will cost you about $8,000. Ice Force has brought together some of the finest ice fishing minds in the

industry. The collaboration will join pro-staffs and marketing to develop and provide the best products to ice fishermen for years to come. Exciting times!


8-Estherville (Ia.) Outdoor Connection, FRIDAY, Nov. 2, 2012

STORING YOUR FISHING STUFF FOR THE WINTER BY BOB JENSEN FISHING THE MIDWEST FISHING TEAM

In some areas of North America, anglers have the good fortune to be able to open water fish year 'round. In other parts of North America, anglers have the good fortune to have the opportunity to go ice fishing for several months out of the year. If you live in an area where ice fishing is a reality, you're probably starting to think about it. Before you get too wrapped up in ice fishing, you need to store your open water gear so it's ready to go when open water fishing season returns. Following are some ideas for storing your open water fishing stuff. The best place to start is Make sure your fishing gear is stored properly so that with your boat. You can probwhen open water returns youʼll be ready to go fishing. ably get by with just parking Photo by Steve Weisman

it in the garage and not doing much to it for a year, maybe two, but eventually, improper storage will create headaches and expenses. Have the motor winterized. Some handy anglers can do this themselves: I'm not handy. However, the motor that I run, an Evinrude ETEC, can be winterized by anyone. It's a simple two minute deal. What I really like about this is, if I find out the walleyes are going on the river, I can go fishing and, when I'm done for the day, I can quickly and efficiently winterize the boat again. If you have to take the boat to a mechanic for winterizing, you're probably not going to take advantage of those unexpected fishing opportunities. Remove the boat's drain plug. Also, make sure there's

no water in the lower unit of the motor. If there is, and if it freezes, you could have big problems come spring. Check for line in the prop of your outboard and electric motor. Also check for dings in the prop and have them fixed. Some folks take the batteries out of their boats and store them someplace where it's not cold, but if you want to leave them in the boat, make sure the battery is charged and then disconnect the wires. Check the charge of the battery a couple of times during the winter. Lots of anglers like to take the depth-finders out of their boats. Do a walk around the trailer. If you've got a bad tire, replace it. Make sure all the trailer lights are working. Now is the time to fix any that aren't.

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FISHINGTHEMIDWEST.COM Get as much boat/trailer maintenance done now that you can so you're ready to hit the water when you want to. When it comes to reels, back off on the drag. Reel experts say it's harmful to the reel to store it with the drag tightened down. If your line needs to be replaced, strip off 50 yards. I like to take the line off now, but I replace it in the spring. Open your tackle box and let it dry out. You don't want to store your baits in a wet tray. If you take care of these tasks now, you'll be ready to go when the water warms up and the fish start biting in the spring.

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November 2012 Outdoor Connection