The Search Continues: Walleye & Pike in Saskatchewan

The Search Continues: Walleye & Pike in Saskatchewan

The Search Continues: Walleye & Pike in Saskatchewan    

 

 

Locating fish on new and different types of lakes can be challenging. What works on your usual fishing holes, more times than not, won’t be as productive on unknown lakes. Not all lakes are created equal and this couldn’t be more true than in Saskatchewan. Boasting 68 different species of fish, inhabiting more than 100,000 lakes in Saskatchewan, the differences are as vast as the province itself. My “home” lake is a man made reservoir that was once a river system. It now holds an abundance of walleye, pike and perch. This flooded river channel provides exceptional habitat for these fish as well as their forage.

 

The southern Saskatchewan lakes I frequent range in depth from 0-60ft with my typical target depths from 6-30ft. More often than not, the middle range of these depths is the sweet spot for the longest period of time through the winter, which is about 12-24ft. Locating fish with extreme differences in structure and depth can be challenging especially on a reservoir lake. Drilling a hole in one spot at 18 feet of water, then taking two steps and drilling another hole and being in 35ft can be a challenge, but also rewarding when these close proximities of depths are available. Typically, when you find yourself in this situation, you have hit the old river channel and this can be a productive spot at certain times of day and year.

 

       Timing is everything

 

We all know that fish move around, but knowing when and where they will end up, is always a challenge. I spend countless hours before ice up scouting spots, mapping the lake both on my electronics and in my head. So in my opinion, the more information you can collect throughout the year will make all fishing seasons more productive. When scouting late in the fall I’m looking for weed edges that will be decaying as the ice shows up. These edges will be key areas at first ice, for feeding pike and walleye, as these areas are habitat for our target species and their forage.

 

At this stage you’re going to want to focus on shallow waters of about 6-12ft. If you can find a weed edge near a drop off you hit the jackpot as these fish will feed along the weed edge adjacent to an escape route near the depths. As the season rolls on and the ice thickens, fish will be headed for structure and this is where things can get confusing. Early to mid winter I head for points and breaks, typically near wood or rock structure that I’ve marked on my GPS during open water in the fall. This seems to be where the fish are in ambush mode which will produce some aggressive bites, but not for long.

 

 

 

Transition

 

Feeding patterns change as pike and walleye do what I call “selective eating” as we reach mid to late winter. These fish are now transitioning into a morning and night bite pattern on vast mud flats. During this time, they roam to feed and when they are full, they will head to that deep river channel. I rarely fish the 25+ft depths at this time of year as I find those fish have just finished eating and are not interested in my offerings. I also don’t like to risk barotrauma to the fish at these depths. This can be a frustrating time of year if you’re looking to catch fish all day. If you’re willing to slug it out, the morning and evening bite usually makes the slow mid-day worth your while.

 

March Madness

 

Now, as we get to that time of year when you’re looking at the snow melting off your boat, most anglers have had enough of the ice and well, guess what? I’m just getting fired up! This is the time of year when the fish are putting a serious feed on before the spawn which typically yields my biggest fish of the year.

During “March madness” I move closer to bays and river channels. Theses river channels seem to act like a highway as the fish move up out of the channel to feed as they are headed to staging areas near their spawning locations. During the end of the season I forget the middle depth ranges and position on 6ft shallow and 18-25ft deeper edges. These fish that are deep wont pass up an easy meal during this time of year and the ones that are holding in the shallows are there for one reason, and that’s to eat.

 

 

 

 

Now the above may apply to my home lake but like I said, not all lakes are created equal. Typically any structure is good structure on most basin or pothole lakes where structure is few and far between. I recommend an app like Navionics if you’re going to head out to a new lake in pursuit of those big fish, or a different species altogether. There is an abundance of information and technology available to us now and if that fails, I will always do it the old fashioned way and talk to people. Most anglers will be happy to divulge information so that you can have a successful day on the ice, and if they don’t, then you probably don’t want their advice anyway.

 

Knowledge of what fish are feeding on is the key to a successful day on the ice. I try to select lure patters and types based on available forage in the lake and my target species. The utilization of an underwater camera and flasher to determine how the fish are reacting to different lures and baits can be invaluable information, especially when trying new lakes. I have seen fish take off like a rocket as soon as I move a lure and a simple size or color adjustment is all it takes most times. Have you heard guys say “I saw lots of fish but they just wouldn’t bite”? I have, so many times, and I always ask did you change colors or sizes? 90% of the time the answer is no.

 

 There are so many choices these days when it comes to lure selection but I have never seen a lure more versatile than the Kamooki Lures Ltd. SmartFish. This is a lure I use extensively in the summer and one of the very few that get moved over to my ice fishing tackle come winter. The variety of color patterns Kamooki offers makes matching the forage base in almost all lakes simple, with my three favorites being Natural Perch, Walleye, and Fire Tiger. The 3 sizes available allow an angler to make small adjustments based on target species and aggressiveness of the fish. On my home lake, walleye can be very finicky and five times out of ten wont touch anything bigger than the 2.5” version, but if I’m on a bigger body of water with a typically more aggressive and bigger class of fish, I will size up to the 3” version (The same goes for pike from 3” to 4” sizes).

 

 

 

Presentations

 

When targeting pike, I will exaggerate my color selection to maintain the attention of the fish with something bright or shinny. When vertical jigging the Kamooki Smartfish, a variety of presentation types can be used, and I typically deploy these on the same fish until it strikes.

For pike, I aggressively rip-jig the Smartfish 0-2 ft off bottom with a 1-3ft lift 3-4 times then, I simply pause at or above the fish and wait for a reaction. If this fails to tempt or better yet, trigger a strike, I will then bounce it on bottom a couple of times and slowly “flutter jig” the Smartfish while raising it upwards. This usually re-activates the fish’s attention and will often strike if they didn’t first attempt.

 

For walleye, I use the same “flutter jig” method with a less aggressive approach starting on bottom and fluttering it as I raise it up 1-2ft, then allowing the Smartfish to fall back to bottom. Another technique is to bottom bounce the Smartfish.  The key principal here is in two phases. First, the attracting phase which is a series a bounces on bottom stirs up sand, silt and mud. Second, which involves allowing the bait to settle on bottom, will trigger walleye to attack and devour the easy meal in front of it. The Kamooki Smartfish is perfectly designed for this method with its nose down, tail up design. Let the fish tell you what they want by learning to read your electronics. Making a mental note of how the marks (fish) are reacting or following will keep you in the know throughout the day.

 

Here’s a tip from Exist To Fish Canada Editor in Chief Jamie Wilson “A triggering phase is this; when a walleye, pike or any fish for that matter, becomes interested, simply reeling the Smartfish away which mimics a fleeing baitfish will more often than not, seal the deal”. He continues “call them in with the vibration and rattles, get them keyed into the presentation, then, trigger a response. Predators such as pike and walleye are programmed to attack when a baitfish swims away in fear. When jigging the Smartfish, you will find that it swims upward with an erratic spiraling action so make sure to always tie on a quality snap swivel to combat line twist”.

 

Don’t be afraid to try different speeds and levels of aggressiveness when jigging. If a fish comes in to investigate, but doesn’t hit, alter your tactics slightly the next time that you see a follower on the sonar.

 

When using hard baits or lipless cranks, I rarely attach bait which alters the action and natural presentation of the lure. When forgoing bait, I have encountered fish that followed and were interested in the lure, yet, just wouldn’t commit to the visual cues I’m presenting to them. To remedy this I use Liquid Mayhem on all of my lures. You see, fish are mainly visual feeders, but when visual cues aren’t enough, scent definitely comes into play in my opinion. Matching the scent to the available forage in the lake to will make for a truly natural offering, and thus, prolonged success and consistency. My go-to scents when targeting walleye and pike are Pike/Muskie (Sunfish) and Walleye (Garlic Minnow). Liquid Mayhem sends out a powerful “scent trail” which is enticing due to the fact that amino acids and proteins from real baitfish are present. Due to the cold water in the winter, Liquid Mayhem stays on lures a long, long time. I simply apply a line of it to the belly of any lures or artificial baits and when I feel it has worn off, I just re-apply.

 

Tackle Selection

 

 When targeting walleye and pike through the ice I keep my tackle simple. I have two small tackle organizers that fit in my pockets. One, I have filled with various tungsten and standard jigs up to ¼ oz in various colors. In Saskatchewan we are not able to use live minnows so my jigs are tipped with frozen minnows, night crawlers, or mealworms. I utilize these offerings as a dead stick presentation not far from the hole that I’m working with a lipless crank, hard baits or jigging spoons which serves as an option to target a second “bonus” species such as perch. If the fish aren’t apt to hit the aggressively worked hardbaits, they will almost always take the easy meal nearby. My second tackle organizer is loaded with Kamooki Smartfish in various sizes and colors, some Jigging Raps, and various styles of jigging spoons in a variety of colors. “One little trick” says Jamie “when it comes to Jigging Raps, you can replace the split ring with a Mustad “Fastach Clip” which gives you the ability to remove the treble, thread a minnow head onto the shank, and quickly re-attach the hook. You can thank Gord Pyzer for that one”.

 

Last Ice

 

As last ice approaches I will put the “ice palace” away and move around freely with the portable hut, punching holes along flats as I follow fish into pre-spawn areas. This is the most exciting time of the year which, as I mentioned earlier, often produces my biggest fish of the year. The run and gun approach at this time of year is a must as fish are moving over a variety of depths as they migrate into the pre-spawn staging areas. Also, as the season progresses to this late ice period, more aggressive presentations become increasingly effective. “Longer days” Jamie explains “along with raising water temps, will fire up a fish’s metabolism which lends to faster more erratic retrieves. Triggering a feeding response in ravenous pike and walleye is job one”.

 

 

Gearing Up

 

For light panfish jigs and spoons, a 28-30” ultra-light combo spooled with 4lb braid coupled with a light 4-6lb fluorocarbon leader works. For the 2.5” Kamooki Smartfish a medium/light-medium action combo paired with 6lb braid, coupled with a 6-8lb fluorocarbon leader will suffice. For 4” 1/2oz Smartfish, a 30-32” medium heavy combo paired with 10lb braid coupled with a 10-12lb fluorocarbon leader is the deal. Jamie explains “A stiff fluorocarbon leader is important when jigging the Smartfish. As with all lipless crankbaits, you have to minimize the occurrence of the hooks getting caught up in the line”. And again, always tie in a quality snap swivel.

 

Well, there you have it. As they say “it ain’t over ‘till it’s over” so get out there and put these tactics to good use. Fish behave differently from man-made reservoirs to natural lakes so get to know these bodies of water and hit them with a well thought out game plan. The biggest bites of the season await so stay safe and have fun!

 

 

 

Written by Dean Schenk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jamie Wilson

Permanent Ice Shack Tactics!

Permanent Ice Shack Tactics!

 

Ice fishing has progressed substantially from what it was when I first started to what it is today. Growing up sitting on a 5-gallon pail in the blistering cold blindly waiting for a fish to strike and the opportunity to pull it through a hole in the frozen lake. Now today as I’m comfortably sitting on a couch in a t shirt watching the hockey game on TV at the same time pulling fish through a seemingly similar hole in the ice but from the comfort of my permanent ice house.

Ice house, ice shack, hut, shanty, or permanent house just like the many names for these structures on the hard water there are many types. From scrap wood thrown together to form a floor, four walls and a roof to luxury camper style houses on wheels that lower onto the ice. Whatever size, shape, or style they are designed to keep you out of the elements, warm, comfortable, easy set up and moved onto the lake and remain until spring arrives and the ice starts to melt. A permanent shack is a great option when you don’t want to spend your whole day punching hundreds of holes and setting up multiple times while battling the elements.

With the introduction of pop up shelters and “run and gun” style of ice fishing vs sit and wait there has been much debate over levels of success with these two styles. While my pop up shelter gets a workout throughout the ice fishing season I can’t argue my success and comfort when fishing in my permanent ice shack. Sometimes it’s not about the number of fish caught but the memories made with family and friends in the ice shack. Using a few simple techniques, you can catch just as many fish in a permanent shack as drilling hundreds of holes and covering the entire lake with more time fishing and less time drilling and setting up. Here are a few tactics I use to put more fish on the ice.  

I utilize early season ice that won’t hold my permanent ice house to deploy my pop up and the run and gun style to scout for hot spots and figure out patterns. These hot spots and intel gained during this time set me up for success when the ice is thick enough for the permanent ice house to make its way onto the ice. Once I have established and GPS marked things like structure, drop offs, depth and number and size of fish caught in these areas as well as time of day it’s time to determine where to drop my permanent ice house.

 

Although not necessary the use of electronics can greatly increase your level of success when fishing in a permanent ice house. Being able to see the structure, slope, and direction fish are moving on my Marcum Recon 5+ underwater camera and see how the fish are moving and reacting on my Marcum LX7 can determine whether I stay put and wait or move. I typically move my ice house 10-20 times a season to stay on the fish or in pursuit of higher numbers or bigger fish but not without doing some homework and most of the time it’s a slight adjustment closer to structure, deeper or shallower determined by what I’m seeing on my electronics.

 

 

I typically target Walleye, perch and pike on a reservoir lake with old river channels, rock and wood structure, and vast mud/sand flats. More times than not and like most lakes there is a prime-time bite and you must wait it out in between roaming fish mid-day. Now you could go run and gun when fishing slows down after prime time but If you’re like me and you put in your time sitting on a 5-gallon pail and now enjoy being warm and comfortable while enjoying the sport of ice fishing there are some options to increase your success.

When the bite slows down I typically do two things. One is switch up my lures and techniques. When the fish traffic slows, I tie on something that will attract them. Maybe they have moved off the mud flat to the nearby river channel and are not far away. For this some of my favorites are the Kamooki Lures Smartfish it has an extremely loud rattle and action that can call fish in for miles. Another one is the Matzuo Ikari Shad perfect for vertical jigging with a loud rattle, vibrations and bright patterns that the walleye can’t resist investigating. Now typically these will call them in and when investigating if they don’t attack the lure they will take the easy meal of the simple minnow and jig head on my nearby deadstick. Another secret weapon I use is scent. Using an attractant on your lures such as Liquid Mayhem can bring in nearby fish and get them to stay longer and hit harder. Second I typically try to position my permanent shack where I can utilize many different options and techniques throughout the day. Positioning near structure that holds fish or on the mud flat close to the river channel where mid-day the walleye move to. I can now throw out a tip up to cover more ice but still watch the flag from the comfort of my couch and not miss the 3rd period of the hockey game. I prefer to battle fish with a rod rather than hand over had so my go to tip up is the I Fish Pro tip up. This is also an option I use at night paired with an LED light that activates when the flag is tripped that I can see out of the window of my shack.

You don’t have to spend your whole day drilling holes to catch fish and you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for catching fish. Utilize a few of these tactics in your permanent ice house and I guarantee you will put more fish on the ice this winter and have more fun doing it.

 

Written by Dean Schenk

 

Top 5 Fall Fishing Destinations in the Kawartha’s Northumberland

Top 5 Fall Fishing Destinations in the Kawartha’s Northumberland

Top 5 Fall Fishing Destinations

The angling opportunities available year round are simply astounding. The fall is a special time of year, however, and the scenery is simply breathtaking. With so many fishing destinations with over 350 lakes and rivers to choose from, here are my Top 5 Fall MUST fish locations.

Number 5–High Falls

Eels Creek and High Falls

Photo Courtesy of Ontario Travel

GPS Coordinates: 44.588126, -78.070699

Put your canoe or aluminum boat in Eels Creek off Northeys Bay Road and head north to the High Falls. The scenery is breathtaking and the fishing is top notch as well! Bring your Muskie tackle because this stretch is chalk full of fish! Inline bucktail spinners and 6-8” crank baits imitating the cyprinid forage throughout the river will provide great success for anglers of all levels.

Number 4–Lovesick Lake

Lovesick LakeGPS Coordinates: 44.555582, -78.203433

This little hideaway is tucked between Lower Buckhorn Lake and Stoney Lake. The beautiful rocky forested shorelines to please the victors eye. An often overlooked stretch of the Trent-Severn Waterway that is absolutely loaded with Bass, Muskie, Walleye, Crappie and several other panfish species. Bring your arsenal because this little beauty has trophy fish in all of the above mentioned species. Put your boat in at the launch directly across from the Burleigh Falls Inn and joy the beautiful scenery this lake has to offer while catching your next Kawartha Legend.

Number 3–Burnt River

Burnt RiverGPS Coordinates: 44.776225,-78.6844606

Launch your boat in Kinmount and make your way up the river. If you have a small boat or canoe, walk it down below the dam in Kinmount and make your way down stream. Be prepared to portage a few narrow sections of the river along the way, but all the effort is well worth it. Not only is the scenery absolutely majestic but several fish species reside within the river and are seemingly always whiling to bite! Walleye, Large and Smallmouth Bass as well as Muskies abound, in high numbers and really great sizes! Your arms will be sore from reeling in fish!

Number 2–Stoney Lake

Stoney LakeGPS Coordinates: 44.565477, -78.136769

Launch your boat at the public launch directly adjacent to Viamede Resort at the end of Mount Julian Viamede Road and let the adventure begin. Known as one of the most prestigious lakes in the region, Stoney offers some of the most picturesque landscape in the world! Not only is it an absolute pleasure to view but the lake also boasts a very healthy fishery! The Bass, Walleye and Muskie populations are VERY good! Chris just recently fished a tournament event on the lake and over the course of the three days, Chris and his tournament partner landed over 300 Smallmouth Bass!

Number 1–Belmont Lake

Belmont LakeGPS Coordinates: 44.486377, -77.817640

Launch your boat at the end of Mile of Memories Lane. Be sure to keep an eye open for wildlife on the way in as there are often deer grazing in the fields or wild turkey running about. This hidden gem of a lake is absolutely loaded with good sized Pike and the occasional monster Muskie. The bass fishing, both largemouth and smallmouth, is phenomenal. And did I mention the Walleye population is just ridiculous? Located near Havelock, Ontario with travel times into town being 15-25 minutes on average. Travel time to the Greater Toronto Area is within 2 hours making this lake a very popular spot for those escaping the city for vacation rentals even during the off season! The size of Belmont Lake is 1872 acres with a maximum depth of 51 feet and mean depth of 20 feet. Belmont Lake is part of the Crowe River system, the Crowe (Deer River) enters the lake at the north from Cordova Lake, the North River enters from Round Lake and then exits as the Crowe River to the east heading into Crowe Lake. Just a beautiful little lake that offers some of the best fishing in the region! Shhhh… don’t tell anyone! For a great stop after a day of fishing, take a trip up to the north end of the lake and visit Belmont Lake Brewery. They’re a small craft brewery open on weekends. And always boat and drive responsibly!

Written By Chris Huskilson

Written By Chris Huskilson

Pounding For Perch

Pounding For Perch

Justin Girard-Exist To Fish Canada Writer with a pair of nice perch!

Justin Girard-Exist To Fish Canada Writer with a pair of nice perch!

Pounding for Perch

Jumbo perch can be a very challenging, yet rewarding fish species to target during the cold winter months. Not only are they a blast to catch, keeping you entertained for hours, but they make for a tasty meal at the end of a long hard day on the ice. Keeping things simple is the key to enjoying a bent rod and a delicious shore lunch.

 

Where to start is always the challenge. I always like to hit my “usual” marked GPS spots but even I get caught up in over thinking perch and their habits. During the early winter months, I will begin by targeting depths of around 10-15 feet in areas that have an abundance of aquatic plant life. Perch love hanging around weeds during the early winter months because they produce small organisms that they tend to feed on, like nymphs or freshwater shrimp. If you find plant life, you will typically find some feisty perch.

 

Colin Booth with a handful of Perch!

Colin Booth with a handful of Perch!

Exist To Fish Canada team member and Lake Simcoe local Colin Booth has a similar take on prospecting for perch. He explains “I look for weed/sand transitions. I like to sight fish when perch are holding in shallow water (10-15ft deep) which is like picking through the bad apples to find the one you want” He continues “As they pull into deeper water, a good sonar is key to locating schools on prime locations”.

 

As the winter season progresses and fishing pressure increases, I typically move to deeper sand flats, in and around the 30 to 40ft depth range. The key when fishing the deeper areas is to move around or “run and gun” with the goal of being a step ahead of the schools. I will give it around 20 minutes of pounding bottom, then, if I don’t see any activity on my sonar I will make a move to another area. When moving around in the deeper areas, I usually don’t move too far to find the school, at times only moving 50 to 100 yards at a time.

 

 

Tactics & Lure Selection

 

Perch Pounder Rig

Perch Pounder Rig

I mentioned earlier about pounding bottom, as this method has been key to my success out there, especially during those slower days. This technique of “pounding” entails tying a heavy weight and an old spoon onto to 50 pound braided line. Have I gone crazy? Not yet, just bear with me. When I get to a typical high percentage spot and the sonar is blank, I put my “perch pounder” down and Perch1you guessed it, I pound the bottom with it. This will create a cloud of sand and vivid vibrations through the water which will catch the attention of every fish in the general vicinity. Let’s face it, when you are laying on the couch, watching TV and you hear a loud noise outside of your house what do you do? You get up and try to find out where that noise came from and fish are no different, especially perch.

Keep in mind, you can make one of these “perch pounder” rigs with whatever you have available, there is no right or wrong way to make a perch pounder. The key is to ultimately get their attention thus calling them into the real estate below your feet.

 

Once I get their attention, it’s game on. This is when I show them my go-to presentation which is a drop shot rig, but instead of having the weight on the bottom, I use a small spoon like a slab grabber or buckshot spoon as the weight. And about 15 inches above that, a small hook with a bait of choice such as live minnows, maggots, small plastics or anything that matches a particular lakes forage.

 

Colin Booth has a very similar take on this. “I’ll use a flashy spoon to call them in, and when they show up I will work through my tackle box and try to nail down the right presentation. Small spoons, plastics or jigging style baits all have a time and place”.

 

Here’s a neat little trick Jamie Wilson (Exist To Fish lead writer) spoke of for live bait, particularly minnows. “If a treble hooked spoon or jigging style bait is your thing, try replacing the split ring with a tiny snap swivel. Then simply thread the head of the minnow onto the hook shank, snap the hook back into place and voila, you have a long lasting live bait rig”.

Exist To Fish Canada team member, and professional guide Aaron Jolicoeur subscribes to the idea of heavier weighted presentations for perch. He explains “Heavy-weighted baits are crucial as it

Aaron Jolicouer with a pair of JUMBOS!!

Aaron Jolicouer with a pair of JUMBOS!!

gives you the ability to quickly drop down to fish roaming below”. He continues “sonar with good target separation helps you to target the bigger perch in the school. Also, the more fish you keep under the hole, the better as this will attract numbers of larger, territorially competitive fish”.

 

An ultra-light spinning combo spooled with 6 pound braided line coupled with a 4 pound fluorocarbon leader will always get the job done. This set-up will have the sensitivity and feel to detect the lightest of bites which is very important. When using soft plastics, scent provides a distinct advantage through the realism of a scent trail and a blast of taste and the perception of a slime coat. Liquid Mayhem “Garlic Minnow” gets top honors here for sure as fish seem to hold on longer and often just try to swallow the bait whole.

So no matter where you are in this great white north that we live in, go pounding for some perch. Dial in the right presentation and have a blast putting some juicy jumbo perch topside.

Have fun and play it safe on the ice everybody!

Justin Girard-Exist To Fish Canada Writer

Justin Girard-Exist To Fish Canada Writer

Lead Writer/Editor Jamie Wilson

Lead Writer/Editor Jamie Wilson

 
Product Review: Deeper Fishfinder

Product Review: Deeper Fishfinder

Date: Jan.29, 2016
Product type: FishFinder – Sonar
Manufacturer: Deeper
Reviewer: Dean Schenk
   

Deeper

 

 

 

Introduction:

Deeper fish finder is the first of its kind portable, wireless sonar, compatible with 7000+ iOS and Android devices, specially designed to find the location of fish, depth, water temperature, bottom contour and much more. Let’s see how it works on the ice!

 

 

 

(Deeper Fishfinder) Specifications
Type Bluetooth Wireless Sonar
Length 65mm (2.6 inches)
Weight 100 grams (3.5 oz.)
Material ABS
Hooks N/A
Colors Black
Origin USA – Lithuania
MSRP 299.00 CA

 

 

Quality/Construction:

The quality and construction of the Deeper Fishfinder is very good. The ABS plastic held up to being dropped on the ice in -30C weather as well as dropped into the hole and hitting the sides of the ice when a fish was pulled through the hole. The markings on the deeper to ensure you have a proper seal were a nice addition. With a built in Bluetooth antenna and no power switches or cords to worry about makes the Deeper very mobile and versatile.

 Deeper2

Quality Ratings for (Deeper FishFinder)
Finish(1-5) Level of Detail(1-5) Hardware(1-5) Craftsmanship(1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest )
5 5 4 5 19 20 9

 

 

Performance:

The Deeper performed as advertised. Right out of the box and into the water after a quick charge the deeper was easily connected to my Ipad and Iphone. The Deeper app is easy to navigate and is full of additional features beyond the sonar screen. The sonar screen was easy to read and view without any adjustments. There is a slight delay from the Bluetooth signal about half a second but once I got used to it there was no issue. Highly accurate and clear sonar shots revealed most of the fish species with crystal clarity as well as any size hook that I used. Interference from surrounding sonars is an issue with no interference rejection options but this will occur with any sonars in close proximity.

 Dean with deeper

 

Performance Ratings (Deeper Fishfinder)
Castability(1-5) Ease of Use(1-5) Quality of Action (1-5) Position at Rest (1-5) Durability (1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest )
N/A 5 N/A 5 5 25 8

 

Features/Design:

The Deeper Fishfinder is really small and light making it very mobile when hole hopping or traveling and it comes with a small protective carrying bag. The deeper doesn’t take up very much room in the hole so not having to remove it when you catch a fish is great. Also being wireless there is no issues with tangling fishing lines around cords. I would recommend a waterproof protective case for your mobile device so splashing water isn’t an issue. There is an LED light indicator to let you know when the Deeper is charged and ready to go.

 

Feature /Design Ratings (Deeper Fishfinder)
  Consistency(1-5) Weight(1-5) Realism (1-5) Range of sizes (1-3) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest )
5 5 3 3 16 18 10

 Deeper on phone

 

Application: 

I would use the deeper when traveling and I am unable to pack a lot of gear. It is a great option for hole hopping when you want to quickly see if there are any fish in the area and keep moving to stay on top of them. I would most likely be using the Deeper in a heated shack or hut as mobile devices don’t agree with really cold weather for extended periods of time. I will also be using the deeper from shore and in my boat this summer. The size and mobility of the Deeper is key to always being able to utilize sonar technology in situations where you might not be able to take your larger permanent sonar units. It won’t replace my permanent or large sonars but will be a great addition to cover every situation on the ice, water and shore.

 

 

(Deeper Fishfinder) Collective Final Rating
Construction/Quality 9  
Performance 8  
Price 9
Features 10
Design (Ergonomics) 10
Application 7  
Total Score 8.8
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = MUST HAVE  

 

Conclusion:

The Deeper Fishfinder is a great entry level sonar. Perfect for someone who wants to use sonar technology without breaking the bank. It is well built and performed as advertised. The only issue I had was not with the Deeper but with my mobile device not working in really cold weather -30C. The Deeper App is packed with options and features. I can see many applications where the Deeper will be a welcome addition to my tools to catch more fish. Anyone who doesn’t have a fishfinder the Deeper fishfinder would be a great place to start. If you do currently have sonars/flashers the deeper is a nice addition to compliment them in many situations.

Exist To Fish Christmas Wish List

Exist To Fish Christmas Wish List

Well it’s that time of the year again.  The boats are put away for the winter as the ice starts to form.
With Christmas around the corner, many of us are starting to think about  what we would like for Christmas or are looking for gift ideas for friends or family.
If you are anything  like the Exist To Fish Staff, you probably lost a few baits this year.
We are all excited about new and existing fishing product’s that we have not had an opportunity to purchase or test out. They just were not in your budget at the time or perhaps you are thinking about trying a new lure this winter or in 2016!!
I asked the Staff at Exist to Fish what they where going to ask Santa for this year.
Here are the top picks on their wish list!
Dean Schenk  : “On my Xmas wish list would be a pair of Smith Backdrop sunglasses to protect my eyes when on the water and ice”. 
SMITH Backdrop

SMITH Backdrop

Product Features:
A perfect medium-sized complement to the Touchstone, the Backdrop incorporates the same great features like stainless steel spring hinges and megol contact surfaces at the nose and temple tips. ChromaPop™ polarized lenses provide the highest level of enhanced color and clarity, or choose Techlite glass lenses for unparalleled optics and scratch resistance.
“Also a tube of liquid mayhem walleye attractant in my stocking as I use it on the hard water all winter”.
Liquid Mayhem

Liquid Mayhem

Product Features:
  • Made with real minnows in a super concentrated form. Contains natural baitfish enzymes infused with powerful amino acids and other bite stimulants
  • formulated to target a fishes olfactory glands and trigger big strikes. Fish hold on to artificial bait longer meaning more hooks ups and more fish in the boat
  • No mess formula stays on the bait, not in the boat. Super concentrated. A tiny amount goes a long way.
Mike Lamoureux : “I would like the EzCam post. I would love to have the EzCam mounted to my boat to give me the extra camera angle for my fishing videos with my Go Pro!”
EzCam Post

EzCam Post

Product Features:
The EzCam Post is the worlds PREMIER universal camera mount. It will work with any camera, smartphone, and/or camera accessory. It will secure to any object up to 3” in diameter and telescopes from 27” to 6’ in height. Not only will you be able to capture stunning pictures and videos, it will protect your camera from falling over. Perfect for use in boats by attaching to seat pedestals, simple and quick to set-up and use. The mounting plate has a reversible thread, 1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 like any good tripod or monopod, so you can be sure any camera or accessory can be mounted to it.
Chris Huskilson : “I would like a underwater fishing camera!! I can think of a million different situations where I would use this! Having the ability to mark fish on my graph and drop a camera down to identify the species would be a huge benefit! This Camera, from Pyle,  looks incredible! And is very reasonably priced in comparison to other models out there.”
pyle camera

pyle camera

Product Features:

  • Take Pictures and Record Videos Underwater in Color
  • Drop the Camera in the Water and See Where the Fish are Hiding
  • Waterproof Marine Grade Camera
  • 3.5” inch Digital LCD Display
  • Instantly Preview your Videos and Picture on the LCD Monitor
  • Durable, Reinforced & Submergible Wired Camera
  • Infrared LED Night Vision Sensors Illuminate Dark Environments
  • Camera Cable Sinks up to 15 Meters Deep
  • Micro SD Memory Card Slot
  • Easily Save Files and Transfer to PC or Mac
  • System Includes Wired Camera, LCD Display, Display Holder, Pole Mounting Brackets and Charging Cable
  • Conveniently Mounts to Your Fishing Rod
  • Brightness, Contrast & Color Display Adjustments
  • Built-in Rechargeable Battery: 3000mAh (3.7V Lithium)
  • Up to 8 Hour Battery Life
  • Observe Underwater Fish Behavior and Environments 
    Camera:
  • 30 Mega Pixel Wide Angle Lens
  • Built-in IR LED Night Vision Illumination
  • Resolution: 640 x 380
  • Image Sensor: ¼” inch
  • Size: 0.8” x 1.0” inches
  • Weight: 0.35 g
  • Operating Temperature: -10 to 40 Celsius 
    LCD Display:
  • Screen Size: 3.5 inches
  • 4X Digital Zoom Function
  • Resolution: 960 x 240
  • Backlight Brightness: 300cd
  • Protective Flip-Open Cover
  • Universal Threaded Mounting Insert
  • Easy Operation Touch Button Controls
  • Display Housing (L x W x H): 4.2” x 3.0” x 1.9” inches
  • Weight: 150 g
  • Sold as: 1 set
  • Weight: 1.26 lbs.

Jamie Wilson : “One item I truly want from Santa this year is, without a doubt, several packs of Lake Fork Trophy Lures’ “Live Magic Shads”  This segmented plastic swimbait has an amazing and very unique action, along with exceptional durability and a great line of colors. With the ice fishing season just around the corner I have to start gearing up so I’m ready for big, hungry Lake Trout. Then when summer comes, there’s nothing better than a swimbait to fire up big Bass. So come on Santa I’ve been a good boy this year, a couple in every color in both 3.5″ and 4″, regular and boot tail please! P.S- come down from the North Pole anytime and I’ll put you on some big fish!”

live magic shad

live magic shad

Product Features:

Our New Boot Tail Magic Shad Swimbaits feature a “Boot Tail” design that utilizes an innovative tail combined with the patented swim slots of our “Live” Magic Shad Lure. The slots in the tail enhance the lure’s realistic swimming action-especially at slower speeds used for umbrella rigs, jigheads, Carolina rigs, or swimbait hook rigging. Hook slots on top and bottom aid in weedless hook rigging.

Length Quantity per Package
3.5″ 6
4.5″ 4

 

 

Alex Meletis: “I would absolutely like my go to bait weather it be trolling or casting for both muskies and pike. The Shallow Invader from Musky Innovations They provide a color chart, so any pattern is possible. Why I want these is because I know they catch fish in all conditions and are a reliable and durable bait.”
Shallow Invader

Shallow Invader

Product Features:
LURE DESCRIPTION:  The Shallow Invader is one of the most innovative shallow crankbaits on the market today.  This “hybrid” lure combines a hard plastic crankbait head with a hand-poured, soft plastic action body and tail.  This knockout combination creates incredible serpentine action that drives large gamefish crazy.  The tail is replaceable.  If it gets chewed up or you want to change colors, changing it is a snap.  Pull the tail straight back until it pulls off the tail post.  Push your new tail on the post until the rib on the back of the head is seated on the ridge in the tail.  You can add some super glue for an even stronger hold.
LURE SPECIFICATIONS:  The Shallow Invader is 9″  long and is about 2 oz.  It has extra strong 3/0 wide gap hooks for best hook-ups.  It comes in many different fish catching colors for all your angling needs.  The Shallow Invader runs 2-4 feet and is a lethal twitch bait.
HOW TO FISH THE INVADER:  Use the Shallow Invader in all shallow crankbait/twitchbait situations.  Cast or troll on shallow flats, rocky points, mid lake reefs, and over the tops of weedbeds.  The Shallow Invader can be used as a very effective twitch bait.  A good technique is to pause several times in mid retrieve.  Because the lure floats when stopped, it is very effective in the weeds.   It imitates an injured bait fish often drawing strikes from even fickle gamefish.
Matt Arrigo :  “I would love to add a Deeper Sonar to my arsenal this coming season.”
wireless_Deeper_sonar_fishfinder

wireless_Deeper_sonar_fishfinder

Product Features:
Deeper – smart sonar is a first of its kind, portable, wireless fish finder that utilizes technology on your smart phone or tablet. Specially designed for amateur and professional fishermen.
Tech Specs
Size: 2.6″/ 6.5 cm diameter
Compatibility: From iOS 5.0 and Android 2.3 to the latest iOS and Android devices
Construction: ABS
Weight: 0.22 lb/ 100 grams
Connection: Wireless Bluetooth connection
Bluetooth Range: Up to ~140 ft – 160 ft/ ~40-50 meters. Depends on the OS and smartphone model.
Depth Range Max/Min: 130 ft (40 m) / wide angle – 4.3 ft (1.3 m); narrow angle – 2 ft (0.5 m)
Temperature: Water temperature Sensor
Temperature unit: Celsius / Fahrenheit
Operational Temperature: -4F to 104F/ -20C to 40C
Battery: Lithium Polymer, 3.7V Rechargeable; lasts for 6 hours of non stop usage; takes 2 hours to fully charge.
Power Adapter: Compatible with 110V / 240V. Micro USB.
Sonar type: Dual beam
Frequency: 290 kHz (15°) / 90 kHz (55°)
Color: Black
Models and logistic GLOBAL version: SKU: FLDP09; EAN: 4779032950213; 32pcs/master carton;ASIA version: SKU: FLDP10; EAN: 4779032950206; 32pcs/master carton

Robert Conley: 
Shelley Langley: “The best and most functional item under her Christmas tree would be an Eclipse UPF 50+ shirt to protect my skin from the sun while fishing.”

Eclipse UPF

​Keep an eye on Eclipse for an exciting new product launch coming soon.

Product Features:
Eclipse is a Canadian company offering UPF 50+ clothing to protect against the sun’s harmful rays. After being cleared of skin cancer back in January of 2014, I decided to protect myself against further damage by creating a line of apparel that offers UPF 50+ with high quality fabric. Eclipse products are Made in Canada and offer protection through the fabric and not a chemical coating. The current product line is a generous size that accommodates both men and women that want protection from the sun while outdoors. More products including long sleeves will be available soon. 
Colin Booth : “I have had my eye on Eco Pro Tungsten for some time now and would love to add some of their products to my arsenal.  I love to flip plastics so their tungsten bullet weights are an easy pick for me!”
Eco Pro Tungsten Flippin Weights

Eco Pro Tungsten Flippin Weights

Product Features:

Eco Pro Tungsten weights are 97% pure eco friendly tungsten. Fray Free, insert free and lead free, Eco Pro Tungsten weights offer serious advantages over lead. Eco Pro Tungsten cast farther and more accurately than lead. Actually feel what you have been missing! Smaller, dense tungsten is super sensitive, allowing you to detect more strikes and catch’s more fish while greatly reducing hang ups! Special “seal coat” painting resist chips and scratches.

“Nobody makes all the cool colors than Eco Pro Tungsten does. They allow me to match my weights with my favorite plastics!”

David Reid: “I would like nothing more than some more Rod Sox.  With their proprietary unique feature, a snag proof, hook resistant rubber type mouth makes loading and unloading my rods quick and easy.”
Rod Sox

Rod Sox

Product Features:

RodSox Features:

Breathable – Rod Sox can go on wet or dry equipment. The breathable mesh allows air to easily pass through allowing any moisture out and drying your rod and line.

Safety Tip – The hardened tip of our Rod Sox protects the last guide/tip of rod from the wear and tear of placing or removing rods from rod lockers or any type of storage.

Durable Tag – With the addition of a hang hole in the new, durable, rubber tag, rods can now be “hung up” for storage, a great and safe way to save room and keep your rod out of harm’s way laying or leaning elsewhere. After the Rod Sox is completely seated on the rod, a gently tug on the rubber “mouth” will “Lock” the Rod Sox in place, and it won’t slip off. When it’s time to go fishing, a simple push of the mouth upwards releases the “lock” and the Rod Sox will just slide right off.

Easy Identification – The hard tip is wrapped with a color tape indicating the length of the rod it fits so that you can easily tell your rods apart and know which Rod Sox go on what rod when ready for storage. (For Example: green tip tape is for a 6’6″ rod, while red tip = 7′ rod, etc…)

Tangle Free – Avoid the tangling of rods and line when carrying gear to and from the water.

Mesh Density – The Original Rod Sox have the densest mesh of any rod protector on the market. This makes them more durable over time, improves the protection of your rod, and allows a tighter weave for added safety of rod guides, especially microguides.

Improved Mouth – The new and improved pliable, rubber-type “mouth” on the bottom end of the Rod Sox seals the mesh from fraying or unrolling, as well as protects the rod paint from any scratching from open mesh. In addition, the rubber mouth provides about a 1 3’4″ protective barrier between the hook and the mesh to prevent lure hang-ups.

Since I only asked the Team for a couple of products that they would like to have, as I know their wish list would have been too long for this article longer, Please visit http://existtofish.com/ and check out our Product Reviews and Articles for more ideas.
From all of us at Exist To Fish Canada, Merry Christmas and may your Holiday season be joyous and safe.
Exist To Fish Canada Writer David Reid

Exist To Fish Canada Writer David Reid

ETF xmas logo

 

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