If ever there was a year to invest in more ice-fishing gear, this is it. When was the last time you can remember when we were on the ice before Christmas?
Ice-fishing tackle has been streaming out of area sporting goods stores. Some virtually sold out there initial supply, and they are re-supplying with even more ice-fishing tackle. Shelves are filling up again, and we still have a lot of good ice.
With those thoughts in mind, and hoping that the good, in ice-fishing terms, winter weather continues, here are some of the newer and more useful ice-fishing tools on the market.
Safety should be foremost on every ice-fisherman's mind. A good way to cover the basics is with the Frabill Ice Safety Kit. If you do not have all of the items in this kit, or if you need to upgrade, you should check out this kit. Included are ice picks that are designed to be worn so they are handy if you need them, rubber ice creepers that can be pulled over most ice-fishing boots and a whistle on a lanyard. Make safety your first priority in every ice-fishing outing.
Frabill is one of the major suppliers of ice-fishing gear. Here is something that is more useful now because of recent changes in the sport, Frabill's new Super Bright Shelter Light or Super Bright Shelter Light Bar. The latter has four lights which can be positioned to light the entire shelter. Both lights have beveled backs to fit any shelter poles, and they have Velcro fasteners. They are designed so you do not need to remove them when the shelter is folded. Both are powered by AA batteries, three in the Super Bright Shelter Light and six in the Super Bright Shelter Light Bar. Housings are impact resistant.
Also from Frabill are the 28-inch Bro Series Deadstick, a rod that is sensitive enough for the most timid bluegill, exactly what panfish anglers need. This rod is designed to be used with bait while you jig with another rod. The Bro Series Deadstick is built with a solid graphite blank that extends through the handle. Guides are aluminum oxide. It comes with a reel special designed for ice-fishing.
MarCum calls their new sonar unit the ShowDown Ice-Troller. This palm-size unit can be easily carried while you search for fish under the ice. Features are full-size. The screen is back-lit, and controls are push button. The 20-degree transducer sends signals that will reach a depth of 120 feet. Six AA batteries will keep it running for up to 20 hours of continuous use.
A 12-volt Performance Pack module can be purchased separately. When you get set up in one place, snap it into the module which includes a padded neoprene soft case, an adjustable transducer arm, a cord stopper, a Quick-Connect sonar shuttle, and a three-stage auto battery charger. A 12-volt rechargeable battery which is sold separately bypasses the AA batteries for extended operation.
This year Strikemaster has reduced weight and made a more rugged ice auger at the same time. All of their power augers now sport the Super High Impact Composite Handle. They promise that it is durable, impact resistant, and ergonomic. No doubt a lot of ice-anglers will be trying one this winter.
Strikemaster's new Strike-Lite 4-stroke ice auger os setting new standards for quietness and environmental friendliness. The Strike-Lite II is powered by a 35 cc, Suburu Robin 4-stroke engine. It weight just 23 pounds and comes in an 8-inch auger blade, and features High Impact Composite Handles. No oil and gas mixing is required, and has quiet, low emission.
New from Northland is their Bait-Chain Dropper Hook. Hang it from the rear hook hanger of your favorite Northland spoon, tip it with bait, then watch your bait wiggle and dance beneath your jigging spoon.
They are available in four length and hook combinations.
For more information and a 2011 catalog, contact Northland Fishing Tackle Inc., 1001 Naylor Drive SE, Bemidji, MN 56601. Phone is (218) 751-6723 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Website is www.northlandtackle.com.