When is the last time you went fishing and had terrible results, but seen others succeeding? It happens to the best of us, not a single bite, yet the guy 20 yards from you is just hammering the fish. Sometimes it really could be the spot, but most of the time it’s something you are not doing. So do you just endure the agony or actively search out the answer to catching the fish? I love to catch fish, so I have no qualms about asking them what is successful for them. I remember the first time I asked a fellow fisherman, that was a complete stranger to me, what the fish were biting on and what kind of technique he was using. It can be a bit humbling to admit to our short-falls, however 2 minutes of humbling sure beats hours of not catching a fish!
But sometimes it’s best to actively seek out answers before you go fishing, by reading the fishing report or talking to the bait shop in that area. Even talking to people on forums can lead to fishing success. After all, the more you know, the better your chances are at catching fish.
Another valuable resource are fishing seminars given by industry leaders & pros. I try to make it to a couple every year, and it seems that the ice fishing seminars pack more bang for your buck, meaning instead of a one or two person seminar, the ice fishing seminars usually pack in 4+ pros & industry experts. Sometimes a small fee is charged at the door to pay for convention space, but how many of us have wasted 2 scoops of minnows without learning a darned thing, so a small price for valuable information is well worth it. Not only do the people hosting the seminar present you with new information, they also allow questions to be asked, so start finding out what the pros would do in your scenario!
Kabele’s Trading Post & Lodge in Spirit Lake, Iowa, had their first annual “Shop With The Pro’s” event this past weekend, with awesome deals on ice fishing gear, amazing product give-aways tied into purchased items, as well as free raffle for prizes, and an awesome amount of swag (stickers, trial baits, hats, etc) to hand out to patrons during times of the day. They also had seminars thru out the day from 5 industry leaders & pros, with many question/answer sessions as well. Not only did they have all day seminars, it was a free event to attend!!
Rod “Munchy” Woten from Ice Team & Vexilar gave demonstrations of tournament ice fishing scenarios, vexilar cone angle scenarios, as well as tips & tricks to maximize your catch on the ice with using plastics and your flasher.
Kevan Paul from Ice Team & Clam gave insight about thinking outside of the box in order to save money on bait, catch more fish, and how colors have affected him the most on the ice.
Scott Reed from Berkley Pure Fishing spoke about techniques on using the bigger baits to catch the bigger fish, as well as rod techniques to entice the fish.
Trevor Fey from Ice Force (A conglomerate group made up of rapala, marcum, strikemaster, suffix, etc.) spoke intensely of the new Marcum LX-9 being released, giving one-on-one demonstrations of the product most of the day, as well as demonstrations of the new Strikemaster Strike Lite 4 Stroke ice auger, showing that a young 8 year old girl could pull start this easy to maintain essential for the ice.
Steve Weisman from Clam & Outdoors Editor expressed how the industry has changed for the better as well as showing some of his tricks from the past that still continue to bring in massive amounts of fish.
Not only were these pros & industry experts sharing a wealth of information, they were not afraid to share information that would benefit the average angler or the next up & coming tournament angler. Product demonstrations, question & answer sessions, go-to lures and plastics for area lakes, examples of finding the better fishing spot over the average hole, etc. Even the most seasoned veteran could gain knowledge from this event packed with fishing wealth.
So next time you see an ad or flyer about a fishing seminar, give it a try and see if you can learn something new, something to help you put more fish on the ice, or habits to stay away from to ensure fishing success! And don’t be afraid to plug them with questions, as they will answer to their best ability to help you out!
( From left to right – Kevan Paul of Ice Team & Clam & Pauls Fishing Guide, Trevor Fey of ICE FORCE, Scott Reed of Berkley Pure Fishing, Rod Woten of Ice Team & Vexilar, Steve Weisman of Clam & Outdoors Editor, Tanya & Thane Johnson of Kabele’s Trading Post & Lodge )
Lastly, I want to give a big thanks to 13 Fishing, Clam, Northland Tackle, and Calcutta who provided a majority of the swag. Also, a big thanks to Marcum, Rapala, Strikemaster, Clam, Aquaview, Vexilar, Ice Armor, Pflueger, Berkley, Shimano, Jiffy, and Fenwick for all the give-aways included with a purchase. Your support of events like this mean alot to anglers, bait shops, and even seasoned veterans like myself. Thank you.