For me, one of the best things about doing seminars or on-ice videos is meeting new people and making new friends because of it. They've allowed me to put myself out there as a resource for others to use, to help them be more efficient or put more fish on the ice and I've made some new friends because of it over the last few years and even been able to meet them on the ice on several occasions.
This happened recently when Aaron got a hold of me through my website and emailed me looking for some help to get into ice fishing more. He was wanting to fish more at Deerfield since his in-laws had purchased a cabin nearby and he was looking for some winter entertainment. So, he asked about places to try on the lake and gear he should look at. I offered to help him with gear purchases at the store as well as meeting him, one of his kids, and his dad who was visiting from Washington state out at Deerfield. I enjoy helping others find gear and even more so when that gear catches them some fish. Once he had the gear, we met at the lake a couple of mornings later.
At the first location, my friend Beau and I caught a few trout, but the star of the spot was Aaron's son, Koby. He'd never been ice fishing before, so I was hoping he'd tie into a good one and it didn't disappoint. A big trout slammed his jig and it was great to watch him fight the fish and bring it up through the hole after several minutes. It ended up being the biggest fish we caught that day; a nice 18" rainbow and I was just ecstatic that his first iced fish turned out to be a good one.
We moved over to another location an hour or so later and I was happy we did, since the second turned out to be a great one as Aaron, Koby, and Aaron's dad all caught several nice trout while we were there. I was happy to see the lures and other gear I'd recommended working so well for them and I think it was safe to say that they were hooked on the hardwater after that morning and I'm looking forward to the next time we can meet out on the ice soon.
Meeting new people and making friends is something that ice fishing has always been great for. Most of my fishing friends I made thanks to getting out on the ice with them first. Now most of them look forward to the hardwater almost as much as I do since it gives us a chance to hang out as well as catch some fish. So, take advantage of community-oriented experience that ice fishing provides and make some new fishing friends this year. You might just make some new friends for life.