Annual Ice Fishing Shows
But to the perpetually expanding legion of hardwater warriors, ice fishing is anything but but odd or nuts—it’s the real deal. Just like other facets of fishing, the pursuit is replete with an amazing array of new lures, gear and high-tech devices. Even while growth in other segments of fishing has leveled off, ice fishing just keeps getting bigger.
Stroll the aisles at one of the upcoming perennially popular Ice Fishing & Winter Sports shows in St. Paul, Minnesota and Syracuse, New York, and it’s easy to pick up on the vibe—these are super energized anglers who anticipate winter like deer hunters anxiously waiting on the fall rut.
“Tons of ice anglers view the St. Paul and Syracuse ice shows as the official kick-offs to the hardwater season,” says Roach, a full-time guide from Central Minnesota, who will discuss his revolutionary “ice trolling” strategies during the St. Paul Ice Fishing and Winter Sports Show, December 3 – 5.
Boshold, a member of the gold medal USA Ice Team, will detail his tournament-winning methods at the Syracuse Ice Fishing Show, December 10 – 12. “I love these shows because attendees are so hungry to learn,” Boshold notes. “They want to hear about how I go about fishing a tournament; they want to know what lures and equipment I’m using.
Not coincidentally, most of the hottest new products introduced at this year’s Ice Shows are ones designed and tested by Roach, Boshold, and renowned ice angler Brian “Bro” Brosdahl. The following is a snapshot of the sport’s hottest new gear—the equipment everyone’s buzzing about.
FORAGE, a breakthrough series of baitfish-mimicking spoons and bladebaits that bring unparalleled realism to ice lures. Look for lifelike digitally imprinted yellow perch patterns, as well as “live” golden shiners, fathead minnows and baby sunfish. Also take a look at new BIONIC ICE LINE—a premium monofilament, designed expressly for extreme ice conditions – northlandtackle.com.
In the same vein as the iPhone and other handheld devices comes the new ShowDown Troller— the first hand-size sonar unit that fits in your pocket, while still offering all the high-end fish-finding features found in topflight ice electronics, all in an easy-to-read digital vertical LCD display. From Anchorage to Denver, this is the unit ice anglers are clamoring about – showdownfishfinder.com.
MarCum Technologies has brought HD-quality viewing to its new line of underwater cameras. The VS825SD and VS625SD feature large sunlight-viewable LCD monitors, industry-best high-resolution Sony optics, and switchable color/B&W displays. Systems also feature on-screen depth, direction, water temperature, and include a free Auto Camera Panner accessory – marcumtech.com.
Livebait is the ice angler’s best friend, and StrikeMaster’s new Bait Puck Plus is the slickest critter carrier to grace baitshop shelves since the Flow Troll minnow bucket. The crush-proof Bait Puck Plus not only protects and insulates your bait, it fits in your shirt pocket. While a clever moveable screen isolates baits from bedding—just give a little shake and the mesh separates the “meat” from the “potatoes,” meaning you get a pinch of bait, not a clump of sawdust. Take a gander at this, plus StrikeMaster’s full line of German-engineered power augers and new Strike Lite II 4-stroke auger – strikemaster.com.