Sadly, there was no icefishing season last winter in my corner of the Northeast. Even sadder, it meant that my friend, Cliff Horton, failed to provide me with any pickled pickerel—a wintertime favorite.
Explicit Image Warning: Don’t say that we didn’t warn you! With temperatures hovering at -8 degrees Celsius, dozens of anglers gathered on the frozen waters of Picton Bay in Ontario last weekend for the fourth annual Merland Park Ice Fishing Derby. Fun, games and fishing were in great supply, but nothing to compare to the fan favorite: “Shirt Off, Fish Off.”
The Bassmaster Classic is as big as it gets in the sport of professional angling, all species considered. This year’s installment kicks off in Tulsa, Oklahoma, (Grand Lake is the playing field) on February 22, with the trophy (along with the $500,000 first place prize) being presented on February 24.
There are 53 competitors this year, and they range from student athletes (Matt Lee will represent Auburn University) to the superstars of the sport (Kevin VanDam will be fishing his 23 consecutive world championship). But of these 53, only one will get the glory. Here is a quick rundown of the guys that most likely will be wearing the next championship ring (yes, Classic Champions get rings much like Superbowl winners … damn, I mean “The Big Game” winners):
Minnesota icefishermen are either really tough, or really dumb. This video was shot last weekend during the world's largest charity icefishing tournament on Gull Lake in the North Star State. Winds gusted to 50 mph and temperatures dropped to -50 degrees with wind chill. Still, 10,500 people showed up to fish the tournament.
A fish's ear bone, or otolith, lets them orient themselves (relative to their surroundings) in water. Think of the otolith as somewhat of a compass for them. Within these ear bones, growth rings form, much like those of trees.
These growth rings allow scientists to determine a fish's age and their growth rates. Worldwide, literally millions of otoliths have been preserved, dating as far back as to the 1800's.
If you've ever seen a shark in the wild you should have the utmost respect for the calm exhibited by the spearfisherman in this video. First posted in June of last year but now tearing up the Web à la that viral thing, the post shows how best to react when a 13-foot tiger shark comes after your hard-earned fish. The guy in this vid has nerves of steel. True, real-man titanium alloy, unfaltering nerve endings.
Keeping rods looking pristine isn't too terribly difficult. Rods have few moving parts other than roller guides on the largest of offshore models. As such, a gentle spritz of water after use followed by some light lubricant usually does the trick. However, if your rod is looking a bit tired, try these tips to bring it back to life.
If it seems as if there’s a bit less elbow room out there on your favorite lake or stream these days, it’s because there is. An American Sportfishing Association study reveals that the number of U.S. anglers has grown 11 percent since 2006 and total approximately 60 million–a hugely significant economic and political force.
The dollars that anglers provide for fisheries management, habitat conservation and fishing access through the excise tax on tackle, fishing license sales and direct donations would be almost impossible to replace.
Below are some facts about recreational fishing in the U.S.
There’s little pretentiousness involved in hard-water fishing. Make no mistake, this is not angling. The phrase “catch-and-release” is rarely uttered. Winter fishermen brave the elements for the sole purpose of catching fish—as many as possible—and their go-to bait is the stuff of horror films.
Although fish seldom see these larval forms of terrestrial insects in nature, they’re nevertheless among the most effective of all icefishing baits for panfish and trout. These baits can be fished on a plain size 8 or 10 hook, but most anglers use them to tip tiny teardrop jigging spoons or jigs. On some days, fish seem to prefer the look and smell of a hook crammed full of larvae while on others a single wiggling bait will do. The key is to experiment and keep bait lively by not allowing it to freeze.