Friday, December 18, 2009

Ice Fishing 201

Steve Carey of Fish Sense Lures with a beautful Merrill Creek Reservoir Smallmouth he caught in Mid-December, fishing with his creation, The Binsky.

Before last winter, I had only been ice fishing a half-dozen times. I actually thought it was some kind of bizarre punishment from Mother Nature; being forced to stand on frozen water in order to catch a fish.  It was the final insult to the harsh realization that it was winter.

Thankfully, my opinion has changed.....and now I can't wait for ice.

Last year was not only slightly successful, but I actually had a lot of fun. I took what knowledge I had picked up in the previous years and used it to catch a few fish.  This year, with the addition of some new gear, good info from the Knee Deep Club guys and forums like, I think that I'm officially ready to take my game to the next level.

I have a ton of new toys that I am totally stoked to try out, but 3 of them immediately come to mind, and here there are............

The Binsky

It was my distinct pleasure to sit down with owner of Fish Sense Lures, Steve Carey, and BS about fishing for a couple hours. It took no longer than seeing his collection of Kistlers to know this guy could fish.....then he showed me some pictures.

Our paths crossed a few days later on Lake Hopatcong, and although there were a ton of boats out there, he and his buddy were the only ones catching fish.

Steve is a big believer in blade baits and an even bigger believer in his Binsky. I would have to agree. I've seen his pictures of lake trout, smallmouth, largmouth, a replication of a monster walleye, Chuck's testimony and Steve telling me how he donated a Binsky to a Hopatcong musky after a long, hard fight. The bait's vibration and vertical presentation make it perfect for the jigging that the Knee Deep Club members do in the late-fall and winter, and is probably why it is quickly catching on up there. It's perfectly suited for the ice as well, and I can't wait to try it.

You can check out the Binksy and buy a few at

The Shimano Symetre 500

Anyone who has ever gone fishing with me knows that I'm a Shimano guy.  I own a few Penns, a few Daiwas and a couple Okumas, but for the most part, I buy Shimano.

I bought this little beauty last Spring to put on my ultra-light.  In only a half-dozen outings, it has already caught its share of trout and I couldn't be happier with its performance.  It handles 4-lb. test perfectly and I can cast tiny spinners a healthy distance even though my ultra-light is only 5 1/2-feet.

After spending far too much time on The Shanty, I've quickly learned that it is the opinion of quite a few seasoned pros that the Shimano Symetre 500 is THE top-notch ice fishing reel.  I have a small Frabill rod that it is perfectly balanced on, and can't wait to tie on a Swedish Pimple with a mousie and start hauling in panfish.


It doesn't take a genius to figure out that ice is slippery, and since I am not the most nimble of creatures, there have been far too many times that I have planted my ass on it.  This can also be dangerous, especially when you get as excited as I do when a flag goes up.

This year I decided to spend a few less times wiping out, and was in the market for some kind of cleat.  There are a handful of options, but when making my decision, all I had to do was remember what I saw on Webguy's feet, 'cause not many people know better than him.

I bumped into him for the first time last year on the River Styx, and during our conversation noticed that he was wearing Korkers.  The Shanty confirmed my already well-founded suspicion that as far as footgear for hard-water fishing is concerned, these little devils are the poo.


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  3. Ice fishing is very exciting adventure. When you want to go ice fishing you must carry warm cloth, rain coat, fishing rod, reel, fishing lures etc. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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