Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How to Stay Safe While Ice Fishing

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Fishing with tip ups a way of life in cold climates, staying safe should always be a major concern.

Fishing with tip ups is a way of life in many cold climate areas. Fishing tip ups allow both men and women and children to really enjoy the great outdoors and the great sport of ice fishing. If you live in a cold climate and you enjoy fishing, but have never been ice fishing, you are really missing out on a great time.

Of course, you will enjoy it more if you go with an experienced ice fisherman. Going blindly, out onto the ice isn't a good idea. There are dangers that you need to be aware of beforehand for your own safety. Ice conditions is always a concern for safety.

The new ice fisherman, should always learn the many dangers that ice can yield. One should never venture out onto thin ice for any reason. There isn't a fish alive that is worth gambling your life over.

Fishing with tip ups allows the ice fisherman to have that many more chances at catching their daily bag limit, If your state or region allows tip up fishing.

You always need to be aware of the fishing regulations for the place that you choose to fish, as often times each body of water may have its own set of laws.

Tip up fishing allows you to catch fish that you may never have a chance at during open water fishing. Big fish search the shoreline structures in shallow water looking for bait fish to eat. These big fish often times, seem to have learned to steal your bait, without getting caught.

Shorelines can often times be unsafe. Rocks just under the ice may create an unstable area of thin ice. Ice often times will shift and create an open reef. These reefs may not affect you, unless you happen to be fishing on the wrong side.

A reef may appear at anytime, so if you don't see any when you venture out onto the ice, doesn't mean that there won't be one appear, before you head back to shore.

Ice Fishing... Is A Great Way To Speed Through The Winter Months, But Stay Safe!

There is a way to level the playing field with these big fish, but stay safe and it is all explained in my free book called; Tip Up Secrets

Monday, April 30, 2012

History of Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing on the River Severn
By Robin Lambert

Fly fishing is an ancient sport, with records of Romans in 200 AD using flies to catch trout and the more complete history of fishing in England and Scotland beginning in the 17th century. The Japanese form of line casting, Tenkara, is traced to the 19th century, but Japanese anglers have been tying flies for hundreds of years. American fishing tackle production in the 19th century evolved from primitive rods with horsehair line made by hand through early line.

Many credit the first recorded use of an artificial fly to the Roman Claudius Aelianus near the end of the 2nd century. He described the practice of Macedonian anglers on the Astraeus River:...they have planned a snare for the fish, and get the better of them by their fisherman's craft. They fasten red wool round a hook, and fit on to the wool two feathers which grow under a cock's wattles, and which in color are like wax. Their rod is six feet long, and their line is the same length. Then they throw their snare, and the fish, attracted and maddened by the color, comes straight at it, thinking from the pretty sight to gain a dainty mouthful; when, however, it opens its jaws, it is caught by the hook, and enjoys a bitter repast, a captive.

The first book concerning fly fishing was written by Dame Juliana Berners. The Treatise on Fysshynge with an Angle is found in The Boke of St. Albans which was published in 1496. It included tips for making flies, rods and lines. Fly fishing gradually became more popular throughout the eighteen hundreds in Great Britain.

In 1653, Isaac Walton wrote "The Complete Angler" is a book which contained many chapters on fly fishing. All information contained in this book show that fly fishing is well known in England and Scotland. Many clubs in fly fishing came in the 1800s England and this has enabled this popular sport to expand to the way it is today.

In Scotland, many anglers also favoured wet-fly fishing, where the technique was more popular and widely practised than in England. One of Scotland's leading proponents of the wet fly in the early-to-mid 19th century was WC Stewart, who published "The Practical Angler" in 1857. In Scandinavia and the United States, attitudes toward methods of fly fishing were not nearly as rigidly defined, and both dry and wet fly fishing were soon adapted.

Scotland is world famous for its loch-style tradition of using at least three flies per line which, until now, has always been permitted in the championships. Scotland is also the home of competitive fly fishing, with the oldest fly fishing contest in the world held on Loch Leven on July 1, 1880 when most anglers used four flies. In September, anglers will be awarded 100 points per fish.

A study of fly-fishing-history indicates that the earliest hooks were made from bone about 3000 years ago in southern Europe. They are of a simple design and are not dissimilar to modern day hooks.

Early references to fishing with rod and line can be found on ancient Egyptian tomb paintings.

The first flies were produced after man discovered, much to his surprise, that covering the hook with feathers fooled the fish into thinking that what was really a piece of sharpened bone was a nice tasty fly. The first references to fishing with flies originated in England during the 13th century. The fly was described as a hook tied with feathers and was used for fishing trout and grayling. These early flies were used to catch fish for food.

The technique used by these early fishermen was to simply 'lay' the artificial fly on the water's surface, similar to dappling the fly as used in Scottish loch style fishing today.

Early fishing-lines were simply lengths of uniform-section horsehair and it wasn't until the advent of the first reels that people realised that the lines could be tapered. This discovery led to lines of different tapers being produced which made them easier to use and more accurate.

According to the writers of the time, it was not until the end of the 15th century that fly fishing was practised as a sport by the English upper classes.

Some anglers say fly fishing is more than a past time and hobby, it is a sport and an art, requiring a lot of concentration and patients from the angler. It's different to other fishing in that the angler uses fly's which they can tie themselves or buy ready made from their local tackle shops.

Modern fly fishing is normally said to have originated on the fast, rocky rivers of Scotland and Northern England.

British fly-fishing continued to develop in the 19th Century, with the emergence of fly fishing clubs, along with the appearance of several books on the subject of fly tying and fly fishing techniques. In southern England, dry-fly fishing acquired an elitist reputation as the only acceptable method of fishing the slower, clearer rivers of the south.

In fly fishing, fish are caught by using artificial flies that are cast with a fly rod and a fly line. Todays fly lines are mostly coated with plastic and is heavy enough to cast in order to send the fly to the target. Artificial flies can vary dramatically in all morphological characteristics (size, weight, colour, etc.).

Artificial flies are created by tying hair, fur, feathers, or other materials, both natural and synthetic, onto a hook with thread. The first flies were tied with natural materials, but synthetic materials are now extremely popular and prevalent. The flies are tied in sizes, colours and patterns to match local terrestrial and aquatic insects, baitfish, or other prey attractive to the target fish species.

Fly fishing is a distinct and ancient angling method, most renowned as a method for catching trout and salmon, but employed today for a wide variety of species including pike, bass, panfish, and carp, as well as marine species, such as redfish, snook, tarpon, bonefish and striped bass. There are many reports of fly anglers taking species such as chub, bream and rudd while fishing for trout.

From the ancient methods of catching fish on a pole, horses hair line and bone hooks with feathers tied to them up to today's method, the production and technology has been astronomical with newer, finer and stronger materials being used.

There is a growing population of anglers whose aim is to catch as many different species as possible with the fly, but a true angler will say it is for the enjoyment and the thrill of piting your wits against the fish (who normally come of the best).

When taking up fly fishing for the first time it can be a daunting experience not knowing what to purchase. Hopefully the information within this website about the various tackle manufacturers around the world at your disposal will be helpful in some way and suitable to the money you have to spend on your sport.

Robin Lambert

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Robin_Lambert

Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ice Fishing - Enjoy Fishing All Winter

Just what is a fishing trolley, definitely? Fishing trolleys are essentially those stroller like things that hobbyists use to be in a position to lug all around their instruments with ease. With a fishing trolley, it is simpler to go around simply because, for a person, it has wheels, and also, these trolleys are created to have ample space on them for all the fishing hobbyist's instruments as nicely as the fish that he would be in a position to catch, so he can be positive that his issues will not be falling all over when he goes around.

Sounds like such a great device? It does, but even now, fishing hobbyists have to have to be cautious when finding their favorite fishing trolleys from a full range of trolleys in the market. It would unquestionably aid to be capable to pick out a single which would be most functional as it is simple to use.

Prime Tip: Pick a Fishing Trolley that is Jam Packed with Other Features

That is appropriate - numerous fishing trolleys are truly made to serve not just the purpose of trolleys for each se, but quite a few other capabilities as properly. Between these are as follows:

1. As a fishing chair - lots of trolleys in the marketplace now double as chairs which fishing hobbyists could easily sit on whilst waiting for a fish to swim by or bite on their bait.

2. As a storage for fishing implements, this sort of as fishing rods, lines, and hooks

3. As a miniature ice box for storing bait or catch

four. As a portable compartment that serves as storage room for scaled-down fishing resources like as hook removers or pliers

Therefore explained, it would definitely enable for fishing hobbyists to be ready to store about for their solutions on the most effective fishing trolleys in the market place. Even though it is all right to make the price the key consideration, it is nevertheless far better to be in a position to get one particular trolley that would give them the very best value for their funds by packing in a multitude of features in just just one fishing gadget.

Tip Amount two: Verify for the Building

Fishing hobbyists need to pretty properly know that some lakes or ponds teeming with fish can be accessed only on tough or muddy accessibility roads, so the trolley really should be up to the challenge. A person issue that the fishing hobbyists want to make guaranteed of when checking on their desired fishing trolleys is if its wheels are functioning as they really should.

When gearing up for a fishing trip, or a day out fishing you require to have the accurate machines ready to assure that the trip is ensured and not expended annoyed with tools, or put in unpleasant sitting on the grime. A fishing trolley can aid you assure your fishing journey. A fishing trolley is simply a trolley intended for fishing, it has areas to store the majority of what you ought to will need even though fishing.??

A Fishing trolley however does not only have the areas to shop some things that you may possibly have to have, but it assists you delight in your fishing extra. It has a great deal of capabilities integrated which will help you save time, and room when receiving all set for fishing.

I have a whole lot of enthusiasm for fishing and its related tools to bring this recreation to the upcoming bigger degree. fishing trolley is anything that I am interested into lately which can assist the fisherman like me a great deal.

Fishing Trolley, Fishing Trolley

Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gift Ideas For The Fisherman In Your Life.

Just no..

It is never easy buying Christmas gifts a man. Even obtaining Christmas gift ideas from a man is not an easy thing to do. If your man is a true fisherman, that is he lives to fish, I have some fishing gift ideas for you that might make your christmas shopping a little easier. Remember that everyone likes to be remembered and if you find him that perfect fishing gift, it will be much appreciated.

If the man who you want to buy for enjoys fishing during the hottest part of the summer, you might want to consider buying him a Columbia fishing shirt. These shirts are "air conditoned" in the back and made out of a very lightweight material so that he will not get too hot on those dog days of summer. A huge selection of Columbia Fishing shirts can be found at http://astore.amazon.com/infobarrelc05-20 . I have a whole closet filled with these shirts. They make the unbearable heat more comfortable and they are made of a material that is designed not to hold odor like cotton does.

Some anglers enjoy fishing during the winter. Not all of them are ice fishermen, some like to fish from their boats in the winter. Nonetheless, they all need to be kept warm. Keeping warm is high priority for a winter sportsman. Warm socks, Under Armour Coldgear undergarmets, rabbit fur lined mad bomber caps, or a great pair of gloves are all items that most men will not buy for themselves, but would be much appreciated if given as a gift.

Buying can become even more complicated when it comes to fishing poles or reels. Anglers tend to become very specialized and require very expensive and specialized equipment. If you have a hardcore angler like the kind I have just described, the best thing you could buy for him is a Bass Pro Shop gift card. This will help him to defray the cost of a brand new and top-of-the-line fishing rod or a reel. Most sensible men will not pay $300 for a fishing rod, but if he had $150 in gift cards, he might be more willing to purchase the rod he has always wanted. the reason that I chose to tell you to purchase Bass Pro Shops gift card is that Bass Pro carrys a fanastic selection of rods and reels.

Another great idea for a Christmas gift is a guided fishing trip. A day on the water with a fishing guide will take year's off of the learning curve of any fisherman. Before you invest in a fishing guide make sure that you make some phone calls and research your guide. Most sucesful guides advertise heavily and have a great reputation at all of the local bait shops. Call the local bait shop and talk to the owner about local fishing guides. Most bait shops have guides who work out of their shop. After you have talked to the bait shop, call the guide and talk to him. Then make your decision. A guided fishing trip will be a very well received gift.

Fishermen are challenging to buy for to say the least. they tend to be picky when it comes to their fishing equipment, and a true fisherman thinks about very little other than fishing. This is exactly why I wrote this article giving you some ideas about what to buy for the fisherman in your life.

Article written by Jay Angel for Infobarrel.com

Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Hawaii Fishing Vacation

By Richard Young

I really didn't need a cup of coffee. Yet I find myself here, at Starbucks, across the University of Seattle, with coffee in hand wondering if there's anything fun that can come out of today.

It seems ironic that we left the "high-eighties" in Hawaii thinking we were headed to the cooler, maybe even rainy, Pacific northwest! Instead we are greeted by temperatures that made what we left seem cool! With some time to kill while the students I accompanied here attend their workshops, it would seem a great opportunity to break away and enjoy the city. Seattle is a wonderful place and the quick drive into town from the airport last night reinforced my appreciation for the impressive architecture, the exciting waterfront, the greenery, and overall charm which I've admired on this and each of my two prior visits.

Today, I am in a different mood. It may be that the heat is intense enough to make any sightseeing pursuit more a feat of endurance than a pleasant pastime. Or perhaps I realize that anything that seems exciting...like the run out to Tillicum Village, or exploring the shores of Puget Sound or Lake Washington would only make we wish I had my fishing gear to really enjoy being here. But then, even if I did have my gear, I know neither where to go nor what to do to in these waters that are completely foreign to me!

So, I sit here in Starbucks, where the air-conditioned comfort seems more pleasant than anything else I can think of doing today. My thoughts drift back to my part of the world, Hawaii. I can't help but wonder how many visitors to the islands are feeling this same, "it's nice to be here but I'd really be just as happy fishing back at home!" I also wonder how many, like me, go through the tourist "must-dos" and bypass fishing altogether because Hawaii beaches, while great for tanning and swimming, seem just a bit too "foreign" to them!

For the fishing Mecca that Hawaii is, relatively few will do some serious fishing outside of the pricey options that grace the tourist publications that are literally everywhere you turn. Certainly, we'd all love to charter a sport fishing boat, but how many of us have the budget to do something like that more than once or twice? Most will agree that a day of fishing does not a vacation make. But a week or more spent doing our favorite activity in a new and promising environment could very well be the closest thing to heaven imaginable.

So how do you begin to prepare for a Hawaii fishing vacation? Read on, it might be simpler, more enjoyable, and less expensive than you think!

Get A Home Base

Looking at a condo or vacation rental home rather than a hotel room is a great start to setting yourself up for a serious island fishing. Aside from offering kitchen facilities and more space, condos or vacation rental homes come at a relatively lower cost than equivalent hotel rooms. And while the price of a rental might initially seem out of range, the actual number of people that can be accommodated in these units and the ability to prepare your own meals will result in an overall decrease in your daily expenses.

What's more, condos and vacation rentals will allow you the full impact of your fishing vacation for you'll find, in Hawaii, the fishing experience goes far beyond the catch. If you've ever enjoyed the many and varied ways that fish is prepared in the islands, you'll know that enjoying your catch at the table is as much a part of fishing as is the fight! The opportunity to experiment with different local recipes will enhance your vacation experience and the ability to wow your friends back home with some exotic (many quite simple, too!) dishes you've learned to prepare will probably be the most treasured souvenir of your entire vacation!

Try Some Local Fishing Techniques...

We could spend hours and not scratch the surface of fishing in Hawaii. But one or two days of purposeful (and genuinely interesting) investigation can get you ready for some serious fishing fun in Hawaii that is not only productive and exciting but quite inexpensive as well.

Pick up a book about Hawaii fishing and add to that a visit to the local fish markets and fishing supply stores to learn about the edible fish and which to expect in different types of waters.


If you've developed some proficiency snorkeling or diving, visit any of a number of "mom & pop" fishing supply stores on the islands and ask them to show you a "Hawaiian sling," a simple inexpensive spear with a rubber tube that's probably the most popular piece of hardware for catching fish in Hawaii!

Many of us local enthusiasts started out with these simple spears and continue using them today!


If you prefer fishing from the shore, you'll find Hawaii's coastlines offer a range of different conditions for a variety of fishing techniques ranging from a simple hand-pole to the most sophisticated fly- and surf-casting! The small size of the islands make it possible to spend a day or two looking for possible fishing spots on one day, talking to fishing supply people and those you come across on the beaches... then going it on your own the next day! Before you realize it you've already enjoyed yourself touring the island... meeting island folks with whom you share a common love... and you haven't blown a load of money trying to entertain yourself!

If you're looking to cut the learning curve, there are a couple of shorefishing guides that can take you out for a day and provide you with a sufficient background in that time to enable you to go it on your own the rest of your vacation while feeling quite confident about what you're doing.

Kayak Fishing

Fast becoming a sport unto itself, kayak fishing has become a venue for those with limited budgets and/or the desire to pursue an exhilarating form of fishing. Hawaii kayak fishermen are regularly boating such sport fish as amberjacks, tuna, dolphin-fish, wahoo, and more as well as smaller reef game fish that are equally enjoyable cooked up!

Of course it'll take a bit more planning to set-up your equipment and plans for some serious kayak fishing but if it sounds appealing to you now, you might not want to do anything else during your entire stay. Everyone who's done it will attest that landing a decent-sized fish on a kayak is an experience to which one can easily become addicted!

A Permanent Trophy

In the very possible event you land a fish worthy of permanent display, look into some of the local gyotaku artists. Here is a process where an imprint of your fish is made by applying a non-toxic paint to your fish then using the "painted" fish to imprint its image onto a piece of cloth. It's an old Japanese method serving the same function as taxidermy which allows for the fish to be eaten. Yes, you can forever display your fish and eat it, too!

Just as it is fishing back at home, nothing can guarantee you'll catch what you're fishing for. But I'm confident that the time you spend planning for a Hawaii fishing vacation will be as enjoyable as any itinerary you've ever prepared and the subsequent trip might just be the paradise you were really looking for!

Yes... a Hawaii fishing vacation. Give it some thought because the possibilities are endless. I could go on forever but, perhaps, I can share more later. Right now, I think I'll head down to the waterfront and find out what folks are catching on Puget Sound!


The author, Richard Young, is the creator of Hawaiibeachcombers.com, a website about Hawaii beaches which includes Hawaii shore fishing, kayak fishing, snorkeling and diving, and freshwater fishing along with other ocean-related activities.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Richard_Young

Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top 10 Fishing Spots In The World

1. Sutherland, Scotland

To borrow a line from the author and keen angler Jonathan Raban, hanging a "gone fishing" sign on the door is like announcing to the world that you have retreated to your own private Tahiti. Sutherland is my Tahiti: remote, wild, achingly beautiful - somewhere I can get lost in the hill lochs for a few days. I take a tent and will eat the trout I (hope to) catch and then repair to the hotel on Loch Inchard for a proper meal, a bath and bed.

Where to stay: Rhiconich Hotel (01971 521 224). Rates from £39.50 per person per night, including breakfast. Permits available for the Rhiconich Estate's 11,500 acres.

2. Lough Corrib, Connemara, Ireland

There is a special school holiday in the village of Oughterard, on the west coast of Ireland, that they call Mayfly week. May is the best month to fish for the red-fleshed Corrib trout, and the village takes on a festival atmosphere at this time as fishermen descend on the town to go "dapping". This local custom involves hooking a live mayfly on your line and suspending it on the water's surface to lure the hungry trout. Before the holiday became official, classrooms would empty every year as enterprising children bunked off to catch hatching flies and sell them in boxes to fishermen. Rather than police the truancy, the local schoolboard decided to go with the flow and give the kids an official holiday. Very Irish.

Where to stay: Corrib Wave Guesthouse (+353 91 552 147), on Lake Corrib, two miles from Oughterard. Rates from £24 per person per night, including breakfast.

3. South Stradbroke Island, Queensland, Australia

I have not had my most productive ever day fishing here, hunting for flathead from the surf, but how often do you get to see humpback whales breaching on the horizon and wallabies poking their heads over the dunes as you stroll along the beach lazily casting your line into the ocean?

Where to stay: Couran Cove (+617 5509 3000) Resort, on the island, 40 minutes by ferry from the Gold Coast. Rates from £134 per person per night for room only.

4. Tusket River, Nova Scotia, Canada

"Then away to the heart of the deep unknown, where the trout and the wild moose are. Where the fire burns bright, and the tents gleam white, under the northern star" (Albert Bigelow Paine, The Tent Dwellers, 1908). I had long dreamed of staying in a log cabin in the backwoods of North America, Jack London-style, idling my days away flicking out a fly in search of brook trout. The Tusket River lies in the Tobeatic wilderness: deep, deep forest and home to black bear as well as moose. Take a guide - you do not want to get lost here. Accommodation is modelled on the great hunting lodges of the turn of the century - huge spruce logs and chiselled granite.

Where to stay: Trout Point Lodge (+1 902 482-8360). Rates for a double room only start at £54. The lodge will fix you up with a local guide, for around £100 a day.

5. River Lochy, Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown is the self-proclaimed adrenalin sports capital of the world, and while some people may raise an eyebrow at the mention of fly-fishing in the same sentence as steely-nerved bungee jumping, this is undoubtedly the high-octane end of the sport. There are only two ways into the Lochy River - by helicopter or by boat across Lake Wakitipu. Sheltering beneath trees and behind rocks in the gin clear waters that run through the folds of the Eyre Mountains, the wild brown and rainbow trout grow to thumping great sizes, although they are notoriously skittish. Local guide essential

Where to stay: The Dairy, Queenstown (+64 03 442 5164). Double rooms, with breakfast, from £123 a night.

6. River Lanio, Swedish Lapland

Another hypnotic slice of wilderness. Salmon, sea trout and grayling glide through fast-flowing glacial waters.

Where to stay: Visit Sweden has accommodation suggestions.

7. River Moyola, Northern Ireland

The river rises in the rolling Sperrin mountains and meanders through moorland and meadows, but you are only 40 minutes from Belfast here. At Castledawson, it runs behind a council estate flying the union flag, but put the Troubles behind you and push on upstream beyond the bridge: you will soon be enveloped by high hedgerows and small-holding Ireland again. Good for wee brown trout and local dollaghan. Stock up on potato cakes from Ditty's Home Bakery in the town to tide you over till dinner.

Where to stay: Laurel Villa Guest House, Magherafelt, Co Derry, 028 7963 2238. Rates from £25 per person per night, including breakfast.

8. River Wye, Monsal Head, Derbyshire

The Peak District is close to my heart - I grew up nearby - and, for my money, Monsal Head offers the most scenic fishing spot in England. The river threads its way through a deep and narrow gorge and there is no finer place to be on an early summer morning than casting a fly from the bank to a rising wild brownie, the red spots on its flank flashing in the sunlight. In the evening, when you emerge from the darkening valley via the vertiginous winding lane, enjoy the view over a pint at the Monsal Head Hotel.

Where to stay: The Peacock at Rowsley (01629 733 518). Double room from £145, including breakfast. Monsal Dale Fisheries (01629 640 159): £25 for a day ticket

9. River Teifi, Wales

Long gone are the days when the rivers of Wales were bible black with pollution. Now even the Taffy around the Millennium Stadium boasts a good head of fish. But the real prize is sea trout, sewin, and the Teifi around Lampeter and Llandysul positively boils with them. Only trouble is you have to catch them in the dead of night, which makes casting tricky, but it all adds to the alchemy.

Where to stay: Falcondale Mansion Hotel, Falcondale Drive, Lampeter, Ceredigion (01570 422 910). Doubles from £130, with breakfast. Will Mains (01559 363 700) can advise on the best fishing beats in the area. Fishing day tickets: £17 through DR Jones and Son Llandysul (01559 363700).

10. The one that got away: Rio Grande, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

It's good to dream ... this is the holy grail for fly-fishermen. The end of the rainbow at the bottom of the world, it costs a king's ransom to organise, but ticks all the right boxes for walloping fish, scenery and adventure. Maybe one day.

Where to stay: Roxton Robinson Bailey (01488 689 700) can arrange tailor-made inclusive itineraries, with flights, from £4,950.

Article written by Andy Pietrasik for guardian.co.uk

Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sonar Devices

Historically, ice anglers depended on clip-on lead weights to determine depth. By drilling hole after hole, anglers could drop these weights to bottom, repeatedly measure depths and eventually locate drop-offs and other underwater structures. Those with a sensitive touch could even differentiate hard bottom from soft bottom. But this was a time-consuming, often difficult task.

Today, modern sonar makes the same process relatively easy. These sensitive electronic devices feature transmitter/receivers called transducers that transmit sound waves to the bottom, receive these echos back after they bounce off bottom and return, then display these signals on a dial or screen. Once ice anglers learn to understand these displays they can easily determine depth, and by simply moving through an area and noting the depth at various points, piece together the precise location of drop-offs, underwater points, humps, holes, weeds, timber, rocks, plankton, baitfish, gamefish and differentiate bottom hardness.

The sonar available to the modern ice angler is nothing short of amazing. In fact, many anglers don't even drill holes through the ice unless they first spot gamefish with their sonar. How is that possible? By simply pouring water on solid, clear ice and placing the transducer in the water, the unit can transmit and receive sound waves through the ice, allowing you to see the depth, weeds and even fish.

Sonar Types

Sonar comes in a variety of types, but traditional flashers, liquid crystal flashers, liquid crystal graphs (LCG's) and some hand-held specialty models are the primary tools of modern ice anglers.

Traditional flashers, such as the Vexilar(r) FL-8SLT and Zercom(r) ColorPoint, show the sonar signal on a calibrated dial, which reveals depth, bottom content, cover, fish, even your lure or bait. Uniquely, flashers provide a simultaneous reaction display. In other words, if you move your lure, you see its motion displayed on the screen at the same time, providing a distinct advantage for ice anglers who want to see when fish are moving in and how they're reacting to precise presentations. Traditional flashers do, however, require a great deal of battery "juice" to power a motor and bulb, making it necessary to recharge batteries after a few days of hard use.

Liquid crystal flashers. Like traditional flashers, liquid crystal flashers display the sonar signal on a calibrated dial display and, due to some spectacular engineering feats, provide simultaneous reaction display. Some models, like the Zercom LCF-40 Ice, are custom-designed for ice fishing and feature special grade freeze-resistant display fluids. Liquid crystal flashers use much less battery juice than traditional flashers, extending battery life.

Liquid crystal graphs. LCG's display the sonar signal on a televisionlike screen made up of varying numbers of squares, called pixels, which reveal depth, bottom content, cover, fish and your lure or bait. The larger the number of pixels, the more defined the resulting picture. While close, response time is not simultaneous as it is with traditional flashers-a disadvantage when immediate response times are desired. Liquid crystal graphs also feature liquid filled screens, making them subject to freeze up if a cold-weather grade liquid is not used.

Specialty sonar: Gun-or hand-held units, such as the StrikeMaster Polar Vision, are a convenient way of determining depth and the presence of fish, but aren't as useful for providing information regarding bottom hardness and presence of cover.

Important Sonar Features

Once you've chosen the sonar style that best meets your ice-fishing needs, you'll want to consider several important features when selecting a specific unit, including portability, depth capability, transducer style and angle, power, frequency, target separation and display resolution.

Portability is crucial, because you'll need to easily carry the unit from hole to hole to locate and catch active fish. Most sonar devices marketed for the ice fisherman include either a durable plastic case or zippered carrying case.

Depth capability is the unit's ability to display signals from shallow or deep water. Most units feature several ranges, such as 0-30, 0-60, 0-120 and 0-240, and a number of modern LCG units even allow you to program the specific depth range being covered, allowing you to "zoom" in on a specific range or feature you want to view in greater detail.

Flasher colour is a flasher readout dial presented in color. The Vexilar FL-8SLT, for example, shows the strongest signals in bright red, light signals in green, and modest signals in orange, making it a very user-friendly flasher.

A transducer is the sonar device's transmitter and receiver. The primary consideration here is the unit's cone angle, which determines how large of a cone-shaped area the sonar sound waves cover. A narrow cone angle concentrates the signal strength into a small area, making it best for detecting fish holding in deep water or tight to bottom. A wide cone angle spreads the signal throughout a larger area, making it weaker, but good for covering more water, detecting suspended fish or locating fish in shallow water. Some units may feature a dual or three-way transducer, which allows you to interchange between two or more cone angles.

A self-aligning transducer is a big advantage to ice anglers, simply because the transducer is suspended in the water, causing it to automatically level itself and provide optimum readings.

Sonar power is measured in watts and determines the strength behind the sound waves being distributed to the bottom.

The more power a unit has, the more potential it has for obtaining detailed readings, including small targets in deep water. Most units run 400 to 1000 watts of power.

Frequency is measured in kilohertz (kHz) and simply determines the pattern of the sound waves being distributed and received by the transducer. Most units feature 200 kHz. The advantage of using a different frequency is simply that interference from other units is decreased or eliminated.

Target separation is the distance a transducer receiver and display screen or dial can separate targets appearing within the sonar cone. The smaller the target separation, the more clear your readings will be.

Display resolution is the ability of a calibrated dial to display the details of a signal being provided by the transducer. A liquid crystal graph with a powerful transducer and low pixel count, for example, may pick up detailed signals but not be able to fully display them.

How to Use Sonar

Often, the biggest difference between the catch of an ice-fishing expert and everyday angler is the expert's knowledgeable use of sonar. By learning how to properly read what the unit is revealing and taking advantage of that knowledge, experts vastly improve their understanding of the under-ice environment and how fish are reacting to it, then make the adjustments necessary to increase their winter catches.

To set up a flasher-type sonar for ice fishing, be sure the power button is in the "off" position, then connect your power and transducer cords to the unit, and hook up the battery. Next, set your transducer level in the hole, turn on the unit, and lower your lure about 5 feet down. Increase the gain until you clearly see the bottom and just make out your jig. Fish will now show up as they move through the sonar signal. Note that as you lower your jig deeper, you may need to turn up the gain with some units to ensure good readings.

As you spend time viewing your flasher screen, look for the following signals:

Depth appears as a solid band. On the Vexilar FL-8SLT shown below, the depth is 14 feet. Rock, gravel or sand bottoms are indicated by a second mark (double echo) at exactly twice the real depth; soft bottoms, by a wide, dim band, with no second mark.

A lure appears as a distinct, solid mark suspended at the depth you've lowered it. The gain on a Vexilar should be adjusted so the lure shows as a green or green/orange mark.

Baitfish and Plankton appear as thin marks unconnected to bottom. The Vexilar shows baitfish as thin, green marks. Because baitfish are often moving quickly, their flasher signal quivers and moves accordingly.

Weeds and other cover appear as irregular, thin, stationary marks projecting off bottom. On the Vexilar, weeds show up as thin, green marks.

Fish appear as distinct, strong, solid marks either suspended or holding just off bottom. The Vexilar indicates a fish located directly below the hole as a bright red mark.

Battery Basics

Most ice anglers have declared gel-cell batteries the winter sonar battery of choice. They're relatively lightweight, won't leak acid and can be drained and recharged numerous times without needing replacing. For best results, bring your battery inside after each use, and once the battery reaches room temperature, charge overnight to maintain the battery at peak charge. Batteries should also be charged periodically during long-term storage

Article source: gandermountain.com

Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site