Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Fishing '12

For the 5th year in a row, I had a chance to go ice fishing on Christmas day. Although I did not catch "the big one" I did as usual have some fun.


Christmas Eve day a friend of mine and I ventured out to find ice, we ended up in Fremont, on a community hole in front of Larry and Jan's Resort. Depth was 5-7 feet of water, with lots of pan fish to be had. It worked out well to drill many holes, if you found a standing weed under the hole, you could have some good action. The fish seemed to stack up right next to the sparse weeds. We caught bluegill, perch, crappie, rock bass, largemouth and even a pike. Gold was a good jig color with a mix of both bright colored plastics (bright orange and bubblegum GoJo's from J and S Custom Jigs and Plastics) as well as dark colored. (Dark Green Gojos)

It seemed like hole hopping and picking off one or two fish a hole was the most productive. After catching the first couple fish out of the hole, the others were not as aggressive. Moving to a different hole(s) then coming back around after a while seemed to produce fish quickly.

Christmas Day I got out closer to home, Sheboygan Falls near the Sheboygan River. The small lagoon I was in has a large variety of fish available to catch, many of which run on the small side, but nonetheless, it was great to get out.

Once again, I drilled many holes, looking for active fish. As I would check the holes with the sonar, if I noticed marks there were elevated/separated from the bottom I would fish the hole. The suspended marks were generally the more active fish. I followed this pattern all morning. I would not fish a hole if I did not already mark a fish as it seemed you could not call active fish to a hole, they had to already be there. It again was the case of catching one or maybe two fish per hole, then moving to the next. There were fish in many holes, I caught enough "keeper" sized fish to make a meal, but was not keeping any fish.

The rig I was using was called a Michigan rig. I had a light ice fly tied to my line about 8" up from my jig. I tipped my jig with a red Ice Mite Jr. from J and S custom Jigs and Plastics. The fly I did not tip with anything. The reason I fished with the Michigan rig is because often Crappies would come in suspended, this allowed me to fish a little more of the water column because the depth was only 4.5-5' deep. I caught bluegills, crappies and even a largemouth.

Good luck fishing! If you have questions about baits of rigs, contact me at hardwaterjeff@gmail.com.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It Begins: 2012-2013 Ice Fishing Season with Team #711

Sheboygan, WI- It’s unfortunate that the official start of winter is a couple weeks away and the chance for a quick trip onto a small body of water to test new equipment and to work out bugs in gear is unlikely before the North American Ice Fishing Circuit Championship arrives. Fortunately though, for Jeff Kelm and Adam Schumacher of Team #711, the companies they work with provide them with dependable gear year in and year out.

Once again, Jiffy Ice Drills is on board, with a history of craftsmanship and ultimate performance team #711 will take to the ice with the Jiffy Ice Drills Pro4 and 4G models in tow. Jeff and Adam have used the Pro 4 propane powered drills for a few years now and with the introduction of the new 4G 4-stroke gasoline model in their arsenal, they know it won’t matter what the weather is, they are drilling holes and fishing.

For the second year Aqua-Vu has supported the team, and allowed them to utilize the new Aqua-Vu Micro cameras. The 2012-2013 model Micros feature upgrades to the case, screen, camera and an optional built in DVR. Look for video’s to be posted on Hardwater-Angler.com this season. The Aqua-Vu 760cz, a full scale model camera with 3 times zoom, has become an absolute necessity for the team and it will get quite the work-out on Lake Mille Lacs at the NAIFC Championship.

New rods and reels will be found in the cases this year of Team #711. Jeff and Adam have been evolving along with the industry to utilize smaller fly reels, specifically designed for ice fishing from HT Enterprises. Both members of the team have found a balance with the HT Sapphire Ice rods and the new “Tightline” reels. No twist, coils, knots or loops to worry about on the ice this season.

Search high and low through the team’s rod cases this year and you will find one constant item, Vicious Fishing Line. With the team having used Vicious for years, this should come as no surprise. The 2# Pan Fish Ice line in Hi-Vis for Adam and Low-Vis clear for Jeff is the mainstay regardless of the rod and reel combo. If you take a close look at the specialized rods Jeff using when fishing in the World Championship with the USA Ice Team, you will find the same Vicious Line team #711 trusts.
    
J and S Custom Jigs and Plastics have found a permanent home in the tackle boxes of Team #711. You most likely won’t get Jeff and Adam to agree on their favorite colors, but you will hear them both sing the praises of J and S. With a line-up of unique shapes, a full array of colors and now the addition of tungsten ice jigs, J and S Custom Jigs and Plastics will ultimately be responsible for the team’s successes this season.

The North American Ice Fishing Circuit Team #711 must also thank Muck Boots, Amercianfishingcontests.com, Squirmin’Worm Bait and Tackle and Dan Small Outdoors for their support. The team has big goals this season, and without the support of each company, it would be a struggle to compete, let alone win.

Team #711 of Adam Schumacher and Jeff Kelm was founded in 2009, since then, the team has done seminars, television shows, radio programs, kids clinics, sports shows and other presentations all while showcasing the companies that support them. For more information about the team visit www.hardwater-angler.com or email Jeff at hardwaterjeff@gmail.com.