After my seminar back in December one of the attendees, Summer, had pulled me aside and asked for some advice on catching fish. She'd said that they could see fish on their flashers, but they hadn't caught anything in almost 3 years of trying out ice fishing. I gave her a little advice and ask her to contact me again with any questions or to possibly arrange a time that we could meet up on the ice for some in-person instruction.
About a month after the seminar, she contacted me for some fishing tips on Sylvan. I sent her a map of where to go and depths to look for spots as well as lures to try. A couple of days later, she messaged me a big thank you and had some pictures of trout that she and her family had caught! Their faith in catching fish through the ice had been restored she said.
Asking if she'd like to meet me out on the ice, I arranged a morning for us to meet up at Deerfield for some bigger trout action. Along with her husband, Brad, she brought out her three kids, Kadlin, Casen, and Nolan. It was a very nice morning, with little wind and a steady barometer reading.
I drilled holes and set-up Vexilars so that everyone could use once they got there, but before they arrived at the spot, I fished the area to make sure fish were there. No sooner did I drop down a minnow hooked onto a Clam Pro Tackle Blade jig with the new CSAW rod from Cold Snap Outdoors to use on my Arctic Warriors, then a fish showed up on the screen.
After hooking up with a few fish on the CSAW as well as jigging at another hole and reeling in couple, I was very confident that the family would be able to catch a number of fish. I also put out my Aqua-Vu micro camera attached to the new panning system I got for Christmas and immediately saw several trout hanging around the area. I knew the kids would get a kick out of using the camera. Once they arrived, the kids immediately watched the camera and saw trout swimming around, including many that tried to eat the camera which they thought was cool.
Nolan hooked up with the first fish on the CSAW. He posed proudly with it before sending it back down the hole. After that, Kadlin claimed it as her hole and she watched that Vexilar screen and the tip of the rod like a hawk. She would catch four trout in that hole and was excited for fish she reeled up. In between helping Summer and Brad with some tips for what jigs to use, how to rig certain plastics, and cadences to use to make the plastics quiver and undulate, I managed to move around to different spots, checking to see where the trout were moving around to and suggesting that they move around to different holes nearby.
Nolan caught his own fish as well and was happy to be on the board and his smile said it all. Brad and Summer both caught some fish as well. I think it is safe to say that they now have full faith that they can catch fish and a good spot to return to in the future. I was excited that I could help them get on some good fighting fish and help them to catch fish more efficiently by showing them some new techniques to use. The smiles are the ultimate thank you and the best part of helping them catch more fish and making some new friends in the process.