Bassassins are proud to introduce a new breed of ice fishermen. These custom builds are laid out for maximum performance and efficiency.
Our first contender is:
The Run & Gunner
We have chosen this class as our intro because we believe it’s the most demanding but under the right conditions, the most exciting build.
Lightweight and agility form the base for hit and run tactics, fast moving, quick striking, until he finds actively feeding fish.
Only carrying minimum gear, bare to the bone, constantly on the go… It’s a challenging task but when well executed it can be tremendously rewarding, laying the foundation to future success for seasons to come.
Drill, Flash, Slush, Catch, Move
In a nutshell, these are our most important tools
- Pliers \ Pocket knife
The auger, 8” if we are targeting trophy pike and walleye but the bigger diameter will also slow you down significantly. In general a 6” drill will get the job done more efficiently. Don’t forget to plunge your hole when you are done drilling, this will eliminate pesty slushing and will save essential time.
The R&G’s best friend is a flasher, instantly knowing your depth with comparison to charts and your gps will tell you if your in the right spot or not. We don’t spend more than a few minutes over one hole. In general when there is fish close by they will key in to your offerings and show up on your screen, if it stays empty move on.
A good slusher comes in handy on those super cold days. We prefer the metal kind, since they can be used to quickly pop open older holes, also once frozen over they can withstand a beating on the ice to free them up again.
Pliers are gold, unhooking fish as quickly as possible in frigid conditions is most important, delicate fins covered in water, exposed to wind-chill will freeze to death within seconds. Fingers get cold fast and vital sensitivity goes first, pliers get the job done regardless.
My trusty old pocket knife will take care of dissecting minnows into bite sized little pieces. A pair of sharp clippers will make short process of heavy braid and steal leaders, making retying a breeze.
Always dedicate different pockets to different tools, this way you know where everything is at all times. When you have to think fast these little tweaks will make all the difference in the world.
Again, the less time is wasted with scrambling and fumbling, the more the R&G will fishand catch .
This is the key to the game, always be looking for the usual suspects,
The targeted species will dictate which one we will fish in particular but burn those 3 in to your mind and you can’t go wrong.
Shallow bays, away from the current or with close access to deeper water or both, are always a safe bet for any species.
Searching for and fishing on their feeding grounds is the main objective, eliminating less fruitful waters and staying on the fish is the ultimate goal. Knowing what fish like doing where and when will help establish useful patterns.
Do Your Homework!
Google maps, Navionics and Anglers Atlas are great tools to scout out an area before hand. Mark potential hot spots in your GPS. My Iphone is the ultimate multi tool, it has everything we need under one hood, paired with a waterproof case it becomes the teams tactical unit.
Electronics should always be attached, those numb hands become notoriously clumsy ,a simple lanyard is the winning ticket here. We have seen it over and over again, things just naturally have the tendency to slide down into the abyss. A 2 dollar investment will save yourself cries of despair.
If no technology is available or in case it fails, use your surroundings to your advantage. Carefully study shore lines and guestimate how they could continue under water. A pit stop at the local bait shop and a little chit chat with the owner can eliminate hours of searching. Always be prepared, you can never know to much!
The R&G doesn’t use portable shelters or huts, good clothing is the most important aspect to help brave the elements.
- wind and water proof outer shells
- warm and breathable inner layers
Being able to quickly undress and peel back when we drill a bunch of holes is vital. Sweat is your biggest enemy, staying dry and warm your main concern. An added bonus to this lifestyle is the amount off drilling that keeps the body exercised and the blood flow going.
Waterproof gloves are a must, when things get hectic at the hole and you have to reach in for some reason you can do so confidently. Paired with a set of warmers they can mean the difference between do or die.
A pair of knee guards, water resistant boots, a warm hat, polarized shades and a lightweight back pack will put the finishing touches on our R&G.
The R&G carries an elite selection of trusted weapons of confidence, there is no room on board for half the bait shop so downsizing is key. Our standard selection always contains ( from light to heavy ):
- Tiny tubes and jigs
- Williams wabler’s in silver/ blue or gold
- Swedish Pimples
- Blades in perch and shad
- Raps in perch and shad
- heavy macho minnows
- large spoons and tubes
- spare hooks and trebles
- stingers in various sizes
- pretied heavy mono and steal leaders
- split shots
The R&G is usually equipped with a medium heavy and a light rod, both rigged accordingly. A light fluo carbon line in the 6-8 lb range is well suited.
In addition the R&G can carry a Tipup, when he works longer on a particular area deploying a second line will double the odds. If time is available than most likely the Tipup will produce the bigger and better fish. It often attracts fish from further away, a seemingly free meal can sometimes fire them up and a suspended shiny silver minnow is visible from quite some distance underwater.
The key elements for this build are staying on the move and being as light weight as possible. Spending a day out on the ice jumping from hole to hole, exploring new territories, finding new honey spots has its perks. Fortune favours the bold!
Ice safety is at the utmost importance, venturing into an unknown area should never be taken lightly and always be handled with care. The R&G never goes out alone and always comes prepared.
We will never lose the fear and respect for the ice, We treat 4” the same way as 15” and don’t take it for granted. Ice conditions can change drastically fast. Keeping track of ice thickness can help point out weaker spots,.
The R&G’s ability to conquer great distances allows him by default to run into more fish. You never now, you just might walk right into a monsters backyard…there is only one way to find out and its the Run and Gunners way.
Its not for the faint hearted and willingly enduring long, cold hours outside is not everyone’s cup of tea. For those who will though, it can hold adventures and treasures and the experience has taught that it always seem to be well worth the hardship.
So don’t just sit there this winter, gear up light, go on a hunt and make your own luck.
Run and Gun lads
Originally posted at bassassins.com