Even in an age where dozens of fishing shows play weekly on TV, In-Fisherman's Ice Fishing Guide television has become wildly popular. The show is well shot and edited and the In-Fisherman Staff and Field Editors are an entertaining and knowledgeable crew. We also have a nice mix of sponsors; so we get to work with top-notch products and you get to see them in action.
Some viewers watch for the novelty of it all. Those spread outside the Ice Belt can't fathom that we fish like this. Indeed, my brothers and parents live in Texas and they tell me many people there can't wait to tune in and see what the idiots will be doing out on the ice this week.
People fish in 10°F weather and consider it fun to snow machine across frozen lakes when it's -20°F? It doesn't compute. Yet many times over the years we actually get folks from beyond the Ice Belt up here to fish with us. Dress them in good clothing. Show them how to apply sonar to the fishing. Give them a perfectly balanced rod and reel. Put them in a slick portable shack. And they're not only comfortable, they're hooked. Remarkable, they say. Never had so much fun.
This annual issue of Ice Fishing Guide is a salute to the season, with new-product fan fare, along with technical tips about select fishing situations. We want to capture the energy of it all as well as to provide details to help you catch more fish.
New things hit the scene each season. The last two years, for example, as depicted on the cover of this issue, anglers have been cracking big walleyes on Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, by jigging bass-style lipless crankbaits. Big water; widely roaming walleyes; big fish; big, bold, noisy presentation. Might this not be the answer on many other big waters — Lake Erie and other portions of the Great Lakes? Might it not also be an answer for anglers on more traditional-sized waters when they're on hot fish? We began to experiment last season, but don't know the answers just yet.
The quest is always to better understand the fish we seek, so we can find them, then fine tune to catch them. The ongoing experiment on ice is the challenge, just as in open water. In this issue, it's Pyzer, Schmidt, Genz, Bro, Gruenwald, T-Roach, Quinn, Straw, Balog, Gustafson, and Johnson — the best and brightest in this business offering perspectives based on hard-won field experience, so you can go well armed onto the ice this season.
We're lucky, those of us who can get out there each weekend, living like we do in Ice Country — great sport, great fun, and fine meals of fresh fish to boot.