Late Autumn to Ice‐Up Fishing

Late Autumn to Ice‐Up Fishing

Late Autumn to Ice‐Up Fishing

Fall fishing in the Kawartha’s Northumberland Region is one of my favorite times of the season. Not only is the fishing spectacular, but the sheer beauty and fall colors have made their appearance in full. The leaves have turned and begun to fall. The nights are cooler, the air is crisp and the fish are feeding up in preparation for winter.

For myself personally, this is the time to focus my efforts on trophy Muskies and Smallmouth Bass. These two species are without question my favorite target from mid-September right through to ice up. Why you might ask? Well the answer is this. Not only are they aggressively feeding during this time, but they are much more likely to be susceptible to simple angling techniques in areas that are much more obvious and easier to access. I keep my techniques very simple during this time and the results are always very good.

When targeting Smallmouth Bass from late September through November my approach is simple. During this period the fish within the region tend to school up on shallow rocky points extending out from the shoreline. Points close to deep water. Fall equals BIG smallies. Fish at this time of year feed heavily on crayfish and minnows in preparation for the cold winter months. I always start my search right on the bank in as little as a foot of water. Early morning “walk the dog” style topwater baits are a great option. I will fish them very slowly and in a color pattern resembling the local forage. In most cases white will do the trick. When the water is really starting to get 60°F or lower, nothing beats the steady cadence of a suspending jerk bait. I will allow for very long pauses between jerks to allow enough time for the fish to commit to the bait. The pause is the key. This is a great time for the shore angler to take advantage of some great accessible shallow water fish! Check out the “Fish From Shore” fishing locations on the Kawartha’s Northumberland website and catch the fish of a lifetime! Below are a few lake recommendations and examples of baits I suggest you try.

Chris Huskilson holding a bass

Lake Recommendations
  1. Dalrymple
  2. Rice Lake
  3. Stony Lake
Tackle Recommendations

A White Jerkbait is a great minnow imitator. Remember to allow for long pauses between jerks to trigger strikes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your cadence though! The fish’s reaction will dictate the amount of time between twitches.

White Jerkbait Fishing Lure
White Jerkbait

A walk the dog style topwater bait in shallow water first thing in the morning can be a great way to trigger big fish to strike. The same rule applies during this time of the year. Slow and steady wins the race.

Topwwater Bait Fishing Lure
Topwwater Bait Fishing Lure

When targeting Muskies from late September right through until Ice-Up, my approach is even more simplified. They are packing on pounds before winter as well and quite literally can be found in the same areas as the Smallmouth–Rock and/or weed points with close proximity to deep water. While I will shy away from top water presentations during this period, I will lean heavily towards a suspending/neutral buoyancy type bait that will allow me to impart a jerkbait type presentation triggering bites in the exact same manner as I would with the Smallmouth. It is during this period that I lean heavily on large profile soft plastic baits. Large swimbaits and water dwelling rodent imitators are a favorite for me as well as large Tube style baits that have been rigged weightless so that I can fish it in the upper portion of the water column instead of the bottom. Long pauses are key! Fish slowly and the fish will come. The Muskies within the region this time of year are feeding heavily! They are opportunistic, meaning no bait is too big. This is the time to increase in size and hang on for the fish of a lifetime! Below are a few lake recommendations and examples of baits I suggest you try.

Chris Huskilson catching a muskie

Lake Recommendations
  1. Balsam Lake
  2. Pigeon Lake
  3. Cameron Lake
Tackle Recommendations

A heavy leader is an absolute must and will ensure you land your fish of a lifetime. I prefer Fluorocarbon leaders made from only the finest and strongest components.

Heavy Leader fishing lure

Large swimbaits slow rolled are a great local forage imitator and trigger big bites!

Large Swimbait Fishing Lure

Water dwelling rodent type baits are exceptional this time of the year as they present a big meal to big opportunistic fish!

Rodent Bait Fishing Lure

Large profile casting tubes are an absolute staple for me during the cold water periods. Fished like a jerkbait with grewat hang time and long pauses trigger some of my biggest bites of the year!

Large Profile Casting Tube Bait

Late fall right through to ice up presents some of the greatest Muskie and Smallmouth bass fishing of the year in the Kawartha’s Northumberland region of Ontario. Your opportunity to truly catch a legend awaits right here. Come see for yourself!

 

 

muskie

Chris Huskilson- Exist To Fish Canada Writer

 

ALL FISH IMAGES IN THIS ARTICLE WERE CAUGHT AND RELEASED IN THE KAWARTHAS NORTHUMBERLAND REGION OF ONTARIO! COME SEE FOR YOURSELF!!

Hot Summer Bass Tactics!

Hot Summer Bass Tactics!

Jamie2

Hot Summer Tactics

To say this has been a hot summer is an understatement. With countless scorching days along with little rain, this bass season has truly been a grind for many anglers.

Low water levels, high water temperatures and nothing but sunny days means tough, hard to predict fishing right? Well, not really. Are bass easy to predict? Yes. Are they less than agreeable? Kinda. Don’t cuss me out just yet.

At this point of the season there are a few key variables that make for a seemingly difficult equation to solve for the best of anglers. Really, the variables or unknowns are where and when do these ghost-like fish show up? Feeding windows become dramatically shortened and strike zones shrink which can make for a pretty frustrating day on the water. Smallmouth will suspend at various depths in relation to the thermolcline (a steep temperature gradient marked by a layer above and below which the water is at different temperatures) and where the forage they are targeting are located. Their green cousins, largemouth bass, can be found on deep weedlines, under trees, docks or buried beneath undercut banks.

Jamie3

SmartCraw® uses patented Kamooki SmartFish® precision-balancing technology to deliver the most crawfish-like presentation available. Power and control are at your fingertips.

Now, we are talking about mid-day, but what about dusk periods? What about cloudy days with a falling barometer? Put that stuff on the backburner for a moment. These are the dog days of summer so just focus on the things you can control. As smallmouth “suspend” does that mean they aren’t oriented to the bottom? No – not at all. One great tactic right now is dragging on bottom. This is a great option because you can cover a lot of real estate, ultimately searching out aggressive feeders and the hot spots they are holding on. Don’t just drift aimlessly. Use whatever wind and/or current may be available while using an electric motor for precise positioning and a drift sock to control your speed if the drift or current is too swift. Also, the use of GPS can be crucial here. If you have a couple good bites, or better yet, catch a smallmouth, mark a waypoint and double back asap as smallmouth tend to travel in (sometimes) large groups. Why you ask? Forage, that’s why.

If smallmouth are actively feeding on bottom there are a few presentations that will mimic said forage. For this I lean heavily on craw imitations of both the hardbait and soft plastic variety. For hardbaits, a perfect choice is the Kamooki Lures ltd. “Smartcraw” as this lipless crankbait has a forward weighted, nose down/tail up position at rest which mimics a crawfish in a defensive posture. Simply dragging and bouncing no more than 6” off bottom will trigger some pretty serious strikes my friends. The unique sound of the zinc weight deflecting off of rocks coupled with the internal rattles will catch the attention of lethargic fish while the posture and realism fools them into attacking. In addition to this, a soft plastic creature/craw imitation can pay dividends as they can be rigged weedless and weighted accordingly to depth, structure and cover. For this I prefer creature baits such as Lake Fork Trophy Lures “Craw Tube” and “Flipper”. One little trick during these tough conditions is the use of scent. I will apply a generous coating of Liquid Mayhem “Garlic Craw” to these presentations. I mean, why not appeal to as many senses as possible right? (especially when strike zones diminish).

xzone

X Zone Lures’ success in tournaments and expertise in using the “dropshot” technique has made us a household name in the fishing industry. The ‘Slammer’ has become one of the most dominant baits in Canada and the northern United States. It has been so successful that it’s popularity is quickly catching on all across North America!

smartfish

Get ready to fish like you have never fished before! SmartFish® is engineered with patented technology to deliver the most versatile presentation with every cast. The power is in your hands to SmartFish® your way

Craws aren’t the be-all, end-all for this technique as Smallmouth will often pick off baitfish feeding on bottom. Many anglers lean on shaky heads for this which is pretty deadly, so are swimbaits rigged on football heads as well. One particular hardbait can re-create this type of feeding response trigger and that is the “Smartfish” by Kamooki Lures ltd. which has the same patented forward keel weight resulting in a nose down/tail up position. This is precisely how a baitfish forages on bottom, and is their most defenseless position.

For this dragging, bottom bouncing technique I favor a medium heavy/fast action spinning rod coupled with a 3000 series spinning reel spooled with 20lb Gamma braid paired with (depending on the nature of the structure) an 18” 10-15lb Gamma Fluorocarbon leader.

Colin2

Colin Booth loves to dunk deep weed with a Liquid Mayhem laced jig! Seeing the pockets in the weeds is key and he does so with his Smith Optics sunglasses.

If this bottom bouncing tactic proves unproductive, that’s fine. While drifting keep a keen eye on your sonar in search of arcs/fish holding at a particular depth, killing two birds with one stone if you will. If there are zero bites on bottom and you see a depth pattern then pick up a few baits that will run at or just above the depth the fish are holding. Mark a waypoint, double back and fan cast the area until something gives. If a horizontal presentation isn’t cutting it, try vertically tempting them. Experiment with subtle and aggressive cadences and retrieves as well, while keeping water clarity in mind as well. Natural/muted colors work well in clear water while bright, flashy colors catch their eye in murkier stained water. I’ll mention the Kamooki “Smartfish” once again as these can be fan casted horizontally or jigged vertically and come in many colors to suit clarity and forage base. I also lean on spinnerbaits and a variety of crankbaits of various diving depths for horizontal presentations as well.

 

 

 

 

As far as the ‘where’, breaklines, mid-lake reefs, and main lake points with both access to deep and shallow water are great places to search for smallmouth. My theory is that this variety of depths within relative close proximity offers everything fish need, as well as the anglers that chase them. We’ve discussed the daylight hours but when the sun dips, smallmouth can pull up into shallower waters to feed. But, sometimes they will become more aggressive and will chase down anything that moves, at just about any depth, so keying on these spots that offer variety is the right move.

 

What about largemouth? Well, during these hot months, they can become very lethargic and hunkered down. Lush vegetation offering an abundance of oxygen, docks, trees and undercuts and providing a canopy of shade are great places to skip or flip soft plastics or jigs. What I like to visualize is a big huge, grumpy old bass sitting in a proverbial lazy boy recliner in the shade. Skipping a stickworm, fluke, swimbait, flipping a jig or creature bait into its little piece of heaven will do nothing but anger that fish, resulting in a very angry response. This is the more “predictable” tactic and if you hit as many of these types of cover on a hot sunny day, you will inevitably run into a few not so gentle giants if you’re willing to work for it.

jamie1

See more with Smith Optics ChromaPop! When you see more you can do more. Our proprietary ChromaPop lens technology enhances clarity and natural color to let you effortlessly see more detail. More detail gives you the advantage needed to perform confidently and have more fun.

liquid mayhem

did you know that a fresh water bass can detect 1/200th of a drop of a substance in 100 gallons of water? That a bass can detect a prey fish odor source at 25 feet or that bass have been noted to have a better sense of smell than even the best bird dog? With that sense of smell the masking powers of a quality fish attractant are critical in hiding unpleasant odors such as gas, sunscreen and cigarette smoke.

 

 

 

If these shallow haunts aren’t producing, deep weedlines are a good option as well. Dunking creatures, jigs or weighted stickworms inside these weedlines can prove effective during high skies. On the flipside, running shallow to medium diving cranks, spinnerbaits, rattlebaits or swimbaits along classic ambush points like inside or outside bends in weed edges at dusk/dawn for opportunistic largemouth can be the deal. P.S- don’t forget your arsenal of poppers, walking baits, buzzbaits and the like.

When reading sonar, look for hard bottom transitions on these weedlines/flats/patches which show up as light to dark colors on the screen. I read these transitions in composition as a broken light blue to solid red reading on my sonar (Lowrance HDS) but do your research on this as color palettes can be customized as you see fit and can be vary depending on your choice of name brand. As I mentioned, look for anomalies such as bends, turns, underwater points and sunken islands which can be found with the use of updated GPS cards and of course, a good pair of polarized glasses. My personal choice for these are Smith Optics ChromaPop lenses in a frame that blocks light from penetrating from below and through the sides which aids in spotting these choice hidden gems that usually go unnoticed with cheap lenses. Also, good UV protection is of obvious importance so do yourself a favor and don’t skimp on this essential item.

lake forg frog

The Fork Frog features legs that are at a 90-degree angle to the body, which creates more resistance and in return slows the Fork Frog down to where you can fish it slow to where fish will not miss the bait. The Fork Frog has the physical features of a realistic frog, with the paddle feet creating more commotion helping the fish locate the bait.

Beyond everything just mentioned, punching slop and burning frogs have their time and place as well. The number one rule here is that you must commit to it. Flipping 1/2oz-1 1/2oz baits on 65-80lb braid on a heavy action flippin’ stick can take its toll on you, but can tempt the biggest bucketmouth on any given lake. Using either a hollow body frog or a rigged up plastic buzzin’ frog with a flippin’ bait like a creature or a tube as a 1-2 punch can knock out any heavyweight bass you may encounter. Fan cast key areas until you contact one, and if you catch it on the frog, great! If you have a missed strike, double back with a flippin’ bait and get ready to set hook. The best way to pick apart a large expanse of vegetation is to hit transitions such as variations in weed types, small openings which will often be hard bottom, stumps or just about any change you find visually. Working these areas should be done erratically with sudden stops on openings, beside stumps and along said transitions.

Colin1Okay, now you’re going to cuss me out. What if none of the tactics I’ve mentioned work out for you? Well, they might not. Why? Please don’t come looking for me, but this time of year can prove to be the most difficult to figure out, as so many patterns could work on a multitude of different areas. If there is a lack of current on a riverine type lake, river or stream, fish could be in a funk. Low water levels, stagnant waters, high traffic/high pressure situations, higher than normal water temps, lethargic fish (and complaisant anglers alike) and, well you get the picture. This is the time of year to keep an open mind and experiment. Do not get stuck in patterns, look at every day as a new day and just get out and put your time in. There is no substitute for time on the water. I don’t know what is going on in your neck off the woods, only you can figure it out.

See you out there.

 

ALL OF THE FISH DISPLAYED IN THE PHOTOS WERE CAUGHT AND RELEASED IN THE KAWARTHA’S NORTHUMBERLAND REGION OF ONTARIO! GET OUT THERE! PLAN YOUR TRIP NOW!

 

Jamie Wilson- Exist To Fish Canada Lead Writer/Editor

Jamie Wilson- Exist To Fish Canada Lead Writer/Editor

Cover All Depths: Breaking down water columns to locate Bass.

Cover All Depths: Breaking down water columns to locate Bass.

Cover All Depths: Breaking down water columns to locate Bass.

jamie1 I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, patience is not the key to success during any outing on the water. Sitting and waiting for Bass to “turn on” will be a waste of your time and abilities.

So, what do you do when you show up at the lake? Does it have to be so random? Should you be aimlessly searching, hoping to find active fish? Or should you essentially find the key depth that Bass are relating to and simply appeal to their instincts? The latter is the obvious answer, so let’s break it down.

I believe your success is predicated on good preparation and clear, well thought out game planning that begins the night before you hit the water. Let’s say your plan at first light is to hit a shallow rocky point adjacent a steep break line that drops into a main lake channel or basin, and for arguments sake, your theory of the Bass being up on this shallower structure is correct. Then what? What happens when the Bass pull off this structure and begin the next phase of their day? Are you prepared to follow these predictable daily movements?

Start by getting your arsenal in order. Hitting a good morning spot brings to mind one obvious presentation – topwaters such as poppers are high on my priority list. If poppers aren’t cutting the mustard, walk the dog style baits can be very effective. Storm Chug Bugs and the Lake Fork Magic Popper(1oz) can be strait retrieved in a pop and stop cadence or can serve as a very erratic walk the dog meets popper presentation. A 6-6’6” medium fast baitcasting rod, coupled with a 6.3-1 reel spooled with 17lb mono is a great choice for this job. I find the 17lb mono allows more action and makes it easier to walk the bait than 20lb mono. Also, the mono floats and tends to keep the bait from being pulled underwater as with thinner diameter braided line.

Lake Fork Magic Popper

LFT “Premium Series” Magic Poppers. For all types of game fish attraction, water clarity and sunlight conditions.

 

Next, as Bass begin to pull off a bit deeper as the sun comes up, having sub-surface baits like wakebaits and shallow running crankbaits tied on will pay dividends. This will allow you to cover water yet still target Bass that are transitioning off their morning spots. Looking for pods of bait dimpling the surface can still be a clue, but as the sun gets higher and the surface of the water breaks up with the wind, this clue disappears. This is where the shallow crankbaits can help you deduce where the Bass are set up. Now, Late morning brings high sun and light penetration pushing fish that jamie3much deeper, so pull out the medium diving crankbaits or 1/2oz willow leaf spinnerbaits. Line choice is important here. Fluorocarbon is the deal for both, so I like 10lb fluorocarbon for cranks and 17lb, or as light as 15lb test for spinnerbaits. Keep in mind that fluorocarbon sinks, and the thinner diameter the line, the deeper the bait will run. When weeds are present, braided line can be beneficial in snapping free a crankbait from snags but make sure to have a true medium speed, soft crankbait rod as braid can cause lighter trebles to be ripped out of a light biting Bass’ mouth.  I prefer medium action Crankin’ Sticks by Bass Pro Shops in a 7’2” length for open water/long casts and the 6’6” for more precise casting around cover/structure. For spinnerbaits I prefer Bass Pro Shops 6’6”-7’ heavy action/med-high speed (6.1-1 to 7.1-1) Rick Clun signature series baitcasting combos.

LFT Premium Series 1.5 finesse Square Bill

LFT Premium Series 1.5 finesse Square Bill

 

During the mid-day/afternoon period, in open water, Bass are cruising below suspended pods of baitfish so pull out the deep diving cranks. If you are seeing clouds of baitfish with small arcs mixed in, you are not seeing Bass. Look deeper, along bottom as Bass will be following these schools around in a non-threatening way until they can corral them into a point of ambush such as weedlines, large rocks, steep banks etc. Match the depth of the area with a corresponding crankbait. Many companies manufacture crankbaits that can dive down to as deep as 22ft, long casts being obviously jamie2important here. Lipless cranks can be dropped down to a given depth which is where I favor the weight forward Kamooki Smartfish. If you contact Bass but you are getting short strikes, that’s a great time to throw a vertical presentation like a jig or tube in the same location around the fringe of the school. Also, one of my go-to baits for this game is again, the Kamooki Smartfish which has a unique spiraling action when ripped/jigged vertically mimicking an injured or fleeing baitfish.

smartfish

Kamooki’s patented technology is what really separates the SmartFish® from all other lures. The secret of the SmartFish® is in harnessing the intricate relationship between the buoyant and non-buoyant properties. This is best demonstrated when the lure is resting on structure, where remarkably, the SmartFish® maintains its upright profile on a single contact point. It is in this position, that the SmartFish® achieves mechanical equilibrium. Through the harmony of its precisely crafted zinc keel and bottom-heavy design, integrated with a beautiful, uniquely shaped body, the SmartFish® comes alive!

 

The next order of business can be targeting Bass relating to, and keying on a narrow strike zone a couple feet off bottom. My favorite presentation for this situation is drifting or strolling a drop shot. That fact that this rig can be suspended and held in this strike zone for longer periods than other presentations is what sets it apart. If you are seeing large arcs holding 2ft off bottom, you can literally put a drop shot right on their noses and keep it there for as long as needed. If Bass are keying on baitfish feeding on bottom or crustaceans, dragging tubes, swimbaits or creature bait rigged on a 3/4oz football jig is a great option. My latest favorites for these are Craw Tubes, Live Magic Shad(swimbait) and The Flipper(creature) by Lake Fork trophy Lures.  Another great option for bottom bouncing is the Kamooki Smartcraw which is a lipless crankbait with a neutrally buoyant tail up position at rest which mimics a crawfish in a defensive position, Bass candy indeed.  For these choices I like 7’ medium heavy spinning rods/2500-3000 series reels spooled with 20lb braid/18-24” 12-15lb fluorocarbon leader. For tubes and Kamooki Smartcraws, a swivel for the mainline/leader connection(tubes) and the split ring(Smartcraw)  is a must as both will spiral on the lift and drop, causing line twist. As late afternoon transitions to dusk, just simply follow the fish back to the spots they were found at dawn, ending off with the first technique we discussed today.

 

smartcraw red

SmartCraw® uses patented Kamooki SmartFish® precision-balancing technology to deliver the most crawfish-like presentation available. Power and control are at your fingertips.

There you go. We just covered all the water columns in your favorite lake. Obviously, every lake is different so make the appropriate adjustments to match depth, cover etc. One thing to note is to not get lazy and caught up in steady straight retrieves. Fish erratically, fish fast, fish hard! Don’t wait for something to happen, get out there and make it so! See you out there.

ALL OF THE FISH IN THE IMAGES ATTACHED WERE CAUGHT AND RELEASED IN THE KAWARTHA’S NORTHUMBERLAND REGION. COME SEE FOR YOURSELF!!

 

Jamie WIlson- Exist To Fish Lead Writer Editor

Jamie WIlson- Exist To Fish Lead Writer Editor

Bottom Bouncing for Lake Trout

Bottom Bouncing for Lake Trout

Bottom Bouncing Lakers

 

When talking to people about fishing I get excited and passionate like most of us do! But when I talk to people about lake trout, watch out, my excitement is thru the roof! I can’t help but to be fascinated by this specie, I become a totally different person when I get in the lake trout mode, almost like a hockey player gets during game 7 of the Stanley cup playoffs, determination. For those who know me, this isn’t new to them, but for those who are reading this and thinking, is this guy nuts, I have to say yes I am!

I wrote an article on downrigging basics a while back and I had a hard time writing that article without talking about lake trout because it’s what I do so I am super pumped to share with you one of the biggest success I have had fishing for big Larry’s! For those of you who don’t know, Larry is what we call Lake Trout!

 

justin1

If I told you to bounce bottom for lakers, you would probably say, sure no problem, but if I told you to bounce bottom for lakers using your downriggers, you would say, no way dude! Settle down, I am here to tell you that there is a safe and successful way to do it without breaking or losing expensive gear!

Justin2

Step 1, the set up.

Whether you are using electric or manual downriggers, this method works with both. Make sure you have some good steel downrigger cable spooled on your downrigger, I use 250 pound steel cable. Next, you will need a snubber, people use these for dipsey divers when fishing steel line to basically brace the impact of a fish hitting it since steel line doesn’t have any stretch, no different for downrigger cable. Attach your snubber to your downrigger and then attach your downrigger ball to that. You must use round downrigger balls for this method, the fish shaped ones will not work good. As far as weight, I always start with an 8 pound weight and move up from there depending on the water conditions or the depths I am fishing.

Justin3

Step 2, release clip.

Most people will have their release clip attached to the ball, instead, I use a stacker clip and attach it just above the snubber on the downrigger cable, this will help ensure nothing gets caught on your lure, except the fish of course! I like to have my leads pretty tight to the ball, usually 10 -15 feet and sometimes a little closer but never more as I will explain soon. It’s important to use a quality release clip like *Scotty release clip, they are great for this type of fishing, make sure it is nice and tight on the clip, I always pinch it tight to make sure it is secure.

justin5justin4

Step 3, the lure.

Probably the second most important step is lure choice. I have tried many combos and lures but this is truly the best combo in my opinion. It’s called peanuts and cow bell! Some may have heard of it before and others are really confused at the moment. This method starts with laker trolls or gang trolls, however you want to call them, that is your attractant, your flash. Behind that, about 15-24 inches, I have a spin and glow or wobble troll, this is your lure, this is what the fish bites. My go to is a blue fire tiger in size 00 from Yakima Baits, you can get them pre rigged but I tie my own. I tie it on a 25 pound test fluorocarbon leader with a quality treble or single Mustad hook. Single hooks seem to be more effective on most days but when I lose a fish half way up, I switch it to a treble.

As far as rod choice, well the options are not limited, I use an 8 foot, medium heavy rod with a line counter reel. This rod is spooled with 25 pound Big Game line. You typically would not use a line counter reel for downrigging but for me, it helps me dial down the perfect combination to catching these giant lake trout.

Last step.

Send your combo down to the bottom. Once you hit bottom, I always let out an extra 10 feet of downrigger cable. For example, I’m fishing in 80 feet of water, my downrigger counter will read 90-95 feet. This allows the ball to drag and bounce off bottom and create some disturbance, I call it the dinner bell! Make sure your rod is set in the rod holder and is bent in half with no slack line left, set your drag and watch your rod bounce with the bottom. If you see your rod bounce on a rhythmic pace it will mean that you are dialed in perfect. I keep my speed at around 1.6 to 2.0 MPH, my sweet spot is 1.7! I always drive in an S pattern to help the lures speed up and slow down to help me determine how fast these fish want it. Always pay attention to the small details once you get a fish. Take a picture of your catch, release it and repeat the process until your arms fall off!!

Get out there, have fun and catch yourself a bunch of Larry’s during those beautiful summer months!

 

Justin Girard-Exist To Fish Canada Writer

Justin Girard-Exist To Fish Canada Writer

Product Review: The Original Rod Sox

Product Review: The Original Rod Sox

Date: December 3, 2015
Product type: Rod Cover
Manufacturer: Rod Sox
Reviewer:  Conley/Fuchs – TheBassassins
Introduction:
How is it possible that rods get so tangled? For us fishing time is the most important time, so we try to eliminate unnecessary steps on the way as much as possible.
The night before all rods get rigged and neatly stored in the truck just to get to the boat launch and find a fine mess. While loading up the boat the hustle begins again, fiddling with tangled lines and 15 - Spinning - yellow rod tips quickly adds time to your tight schedule. Well knocking your Sox off is a lot more fun!  This open water season we covered all rods with the Rod Sox and what a difference it made, it only takes a few seconds at the end of each day to put them back on. Which results in easy storage and the next launch is a breeze.
(Rod Sox) Specifications
Type Rod Cover
Length Variety
Weight NA
Material Rubber/Mesh
Hooks NA

Colors Red/Blue/Yellow/Green/White

Rod Sox Rod rod covers

Rod Sox Rod rod covers

Origin USA
MSRP $7.99-$9.99US
Quality/Construction: 
The construction of the Rod Sox are great – the mesh is woven perfectly which allows you to store them quite easily by rolling them up when not is use.  One of the best features is also the very sturdy rubber band at the beginning which allows you to not only guide the sox on quickly but keeps them locked down below the largest ring – very smart!
Quality Ratings for (Rod Sox)
Finish(1-5) 5
Level of Detail(1-5) 5
Hardware(1-5) 5
Craftsmanship(1-5) 5
Total 20
Possible 10
Rating (10 being highest )
Performance: 
Lived up to all expectation when it comes to performance; quick and easy on and off, stores away easily and truly prevents your rods/lines from tangling.
Performance Ratings (Rod Sox) Casting - blue
Castability(1-5) NA
Ease of Use(1-5) 5
Quality of Action (1-5) NA
Position at Rest (1-5) NA
Durability (1-5) 5
Total 10
Possible 25
Rating (10 being highest ) 10
Features/Design: 

As mentioned about the rubber ring at the bottom really did make a huge difference when inserting the rods in and holds the sox preventing them from sliding off.  Another unique feature which we

Rod Sox

Rod Sox

didn’t have the use for but I could see being great for those with the room.  Each Rod Sox has a wall hanging attachment for easy, organized storage of your rods.  Only thing we found was the range of sizes could be expanded a little — have a few rods that were in between and we found ourselves going with a shorter model, leaving the lures more exposed causing some hook snagging.  Understandably though their size range does cover a large majority of rods on the market.

Feature /Design   Ratings (Rod Sox)
Consistency(1-5) 5
Weight(1-5) 5
Realism (1-5) NA
Range of sizes (1-3) 2
Total 12
Possible 13
Rating (10 being highest ) 9.5
Application: 
As mentioned above these things are a breeze — taking the TIME at the end of the day is the only thing that is needed.  Once you get into the habit of always using them it gets easier and easier.
(Rod Sox) Collective Final Rating
Construction/Quality 10
Performance 10
Price 10
Features 8
Design (Ergonomics) 9
Application 10
Total Score 9.5
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: 
In conclusion it seems like such a simple thing to overlook but the Rod Sox have fixed a problem most of us just accepted.  Save yourself the hassle and damage created when storing/transporting your rods — get some Sox on them… you won’t go back.
Robert Conley

Robert Conley

Robert Fuchs

Robert Fuchs

The Bassassins

The Bassassins

rod sox

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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