Years ago, ice fishing was much different when compared to today's modern age. "Old timers" used homemade spring bobbers to detect light biting fish, today we have high end custom and factory produced ice fishing rods with built in spring bobbers like one of my personal favorites the Clam Outdoors Matt Johnson Signature Series rod.
Not many people used flashers or fish finders of any kind, they would count the number of "pulls" it took to get to the bottom or they would just let the line free fall until the line went slack, reel it in a few turns and start from there, Vexilar??? Who is that?
Micro soft plastics??? What the heck is that? Glob on some spikes or wax worms and good to go, right?
Last weekend I was on one of my favorite panfish ponds and as I was fishing, it occurred to me that I had an incredible amount of equipment, to the point that my portable one man flip over shelter reminded me of a bass boat on tournament day, it also occurred to me that each item serves a very specific purpose.
My Vexilar FLX20 flasher tells me how deep the water is, how hard the bottom is, if there are any fish under me and where my lure is in relation to all of that.
My Vexilar underwater camera helps me identify what fish species I'm seeing on my flasher, it tells me if the weed bed I'm fishing is full of good green oxygen rich weeds or dead vegetation and I can also get a really good idea of the fish’s mood and how they are relating to the bait I am using.
Flip over one or two man shelters from Clam Outdoors keep me warm and dry which equals being able to spend more time on the ice and also could mean catching more fish, add a Mr.Heater Buddie heater and it gets down right comfy! Not to mention they double as a sled to get all this gear on and off the ice.
And, let's not forget the little things that play a big role, rod holders and T2 Toothpicks from Coldsnap Outdoors that help keep our hands free to take fish off or re-tie baits and remove those nicely painted jigs from the fish’s mouth.
As you can see, each item in my "toolbox" serves a specific and very important part in "modern" ice fishing and can also help you put more fish on the ice as well.