With fall approaching rapidly, it won’t be long till my favorite fishing season is upon us….. Chunky Water Season! That’s right, cold weather will be here soon! While most will be keeping themselves hibernated indoors, I will be out in full force popping holes in the ice and enjoying the absolute pleasure of “jigging for fish”. Last winter I made a few spendy purchases to make the season more enjoyable, like an Eskimo ice shack, a Jiffy gas auger, and a Marcum LX-5 sonar unit. Those 3 items along with hot new baits and lures I tested last year put many fish on the ice, as well as bringing more fun to the outings. This winter I have a few more surprises up my sleeve……
Ice fishing with the Marcum LX-5 last winter was well worth the price of $499 for the unit. It kept me from fishing areas where there were no fish. It also showed me what depths the fish were located at, as well as the position of my lure. Ice fishing in 51 feet of water on West Lake Okoboji, it was a much needed tool in catching perch and walleye. Even in 25 feet of water at the gravel pits in Rodney, Iowa, the LX-5 told me that the crappie were hovering at 15 feet, as well as showed me the position of my lure. Without it, I wouldn’t have found out those crappie wouldn’t bite on anything till your lure was between 10 and 12 feet of depth. A trip up to West Lake Okoboji to fish with my friend Shawn Haley of Milford made me fall in love with his Marcum LX-7, an 8 inch lcd version of sonar with even more appealing options for a hefty price tag of $699 for the unit.
However a few trips to Spirit Lake and the super lite bite of the perch and walleye on that lake, I knew I was missing something to help put fish on the ice. Fishing with my good friends Rich Dublinske of Milford and Dave Isom of Sioux City at Spirit Lake, watching them put fish on the ice made me wonder why I was only seeing the fish on the unit instead of putting them on the ice. They were using underwater cameras that helped show them when a fish would suck the lure into their mouth. The bite was so lite in 21 feet of water, you just couldn’t really feel them on your line, so the camera played an important role in icing a few fish. I knew this season I would have to make that purchase if I wanted to overcome the super-lite bite like that, I was just torn in which direction to go. Fast-forward to early July of 2012, Marcum had a press release of the New LX-9 for $1199, available this winter.
The Marcum LX-9 might be the answer to my dreams and then some….. LCD sonar like the LX-7, underwater camera, dvr with sd card slot so I can record myself catching those big lunkers or even just watch the habitat as I try new lures, all in 1 easy carrying package. Another fancy option of the LX-9 is the ability to have the camera display as a nice background behind your sonar displays, a split screen version of your sonar and camera display, or just the camera alone in the display. And if retailers have online specials like they did last year, that price tag might be bumped a little bit lower, like for example how an instant rebate at gander mountain and a mail-in rebate at Marcum turned my $499 purchase into a $349 purchase! Stay tuned for the review of this hot item, I am sure it will be love at first site once you get past the hefty price tag…..
Also coming soon, I will be seeing what all the buzz is about with a group that call themselves 13 Fishing. Since late spring, I have been hearing snippets of information about this group and their offerings. Digging up information before I-cast has been a chore, however I am pleased with what I have learned so far. 13 Fishing was started by a couple guys who have been behind the scenes for some time now, and decided it was time to leave their mark by offering a collaboration of user-defined ideas wrapped up in superior products. Kind of reminds me of the old FUBU commercials in the 90’s, “For Us, By Us” mentality. From catchy product names to products that look purely amazing, I would say they are off to a great start at becoming a major player in the business. But like everything else in life, the proof is in the pudding, so I will be testing the waters so-to-speak with 3 of their products this winter, and bringing you the inside scoop. From the Black Betty 27″ ultra lite combo, to an ultra lite offering of their Wicked line, and an ice fishing case designed so well to pack in all your essentials that you might just decide to purchase more gear just to fill it to the brim.
Here’s a sneak peak of the Black Betty…..
Their Wicked offering……
And the 13 Fishing carrying case…..
Stay tuned, the fun is about to begin….