I don’t want to put the cart out in front of the horse, but ice fishing has started. I should be talking about the fishing on the river and if weather permits catching some really nice fish on Sakakawea or the Tailrace. Instead we will talk a little about ice conditions and also some equipment.
We are seeing a few creepers inching around the Devils Lake region and also on a few small bodies of water around the state. Reports of 2 inches all the way up to 6 inches are being reported. For me, this will have to wait until at least deer season is over. I spend enough time on the ice guiding all winter, I definitely don’t need to rush it. I will continue to report on conditions as we go.
I am however beginning to get all my equipment ready. I’m not sponsored by a lot of companies anymore. Back in my PWT days I spent countless hours at sportshows, in store promos etc. For me, the guide discount works just fine if companies offer it. I’d rather put my efforts into guiding than working shows etc. As a guide, it’s a hands on promotion daily. Too many companies haven’t realized this yet, but it is what it is. If a company doesn’t help me I do not go out of my way to help them. I won’t go out of my way not to help them either. Just simpler this way.
If I am using a product these days, trust me, I feel my clients will or are benefiting getting to use it also. First thing I will start out with is JT Custom Rods. I exclusively use them in the summer. I feel they help my clients catch more fish! I don’t exclusively use them in the winter because to be honest, I personally can’t afford this yet. It took me a long time to acquire the rods I have for the summer. I do have plenty of JT’s I use in the winter. Again, I feel they help my clients to catch more fish. If you are looking at upgrading go to www.jtodp.com and use promo code Mpeluso. You will receive a discount on a rod.
Another product I absolutely love it the KMDA Float Suit. Again, I use these both open water and frozen to keep me warm and dry! They are absolutely the best float suit on the market for the price! Again you can go to www.kmdainc.com and use promo code Mpeluso and save a few dollars.
So between making sure my rods and suits are ready I need to make sure my augers are good to go. Changing blades and making sure batteries are all ready to go. I use a K drill for dirty ice and I use a strikemaster for clean ice. Love them both!
Tackle? I do use a fair amount of PK lures. I love their PK ridge rattler baits for walleyes, especially on Devils Lake. The rest of my tackle I get ready is a buttload of tungsten jigs. No certain ones whatever is on sale works for me.
My depth finder that I use and I also have my clients using are Helix 5’s. I seem to get a lot of vexilar guys that find the Helix fun. It’s all personal preference if you ask me. I will be incorporating a 360 into my searching and I’m gonna use my Panoptix even more this winter. I changed all my batteries last year to lithium and I did like them and got way longer time using them on