Over the past few seasons, I've been taking or meeting groups of people often on the ice, often many with varying levels of experience. But a short time ago, I arranged for a large group of people to meet me on the ice through the Outdoor Campus-West here in Rapid City as a follow-up to my seminar there from last month.
Total attendees included 12 who signed up for the trip, plus 6 interns from the Campus! I didn't have enough flashers for everyone, but the Campus provided plenty of other gear so that everyone would have a chance to fish and stay comfortable.
I picked a new area in the Gold Run area of Deerfield to bring them to that would allow for us to spread out and have chances to move around to wherever the fish were at. Once everyone arrived at the spot, I gave them instructions on using the Vexilar’s and how to read the screens.
They picked up on it quickly. Fish were being caught here and there amongst the attendees throughout the morning, though it wasn't as good of a bite as I had hoped. But the director said they were happy to just be catching some fish and the interns gained some valuable experience to help those who will come to visit the Campus in the future. Many of them had never ice fished before!
I've been enjoying these trips the last few seasons. While they provide for some scrambling around for extra flashers in the days before, it's still fun to see their faces as they bring up their catches or learn about fishing on the hardwater.
Some may get these opportunities very often, so it is important to help them to be as successful as possible while also having fun. On some trips, the fishing isn't always the best, but if everyone is having fun, that's the most important to bring home. It can help them decide to make another trip onto the ice and hopefully have some more success.