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p>By Chip Leer

Early Ice Walleyes

Early winter offers walleye anglers who travel light and fish smart a chance to savor some of the season’s finest fishing.

Using common sense about ice safety is step one. My general rule is 5 to 6 inches of good clear ice to start walking, and I test the ice every few feet with a chisel or spud bar to avoid any unpleasant—and potentially tragic—surprises.

The first ice period is magical on all types of walleye fisheries, from natural lakes in the Canadian Shield to prairie potholes, large reservoirs and the Great Lakes. However, focusing on lakes (and areas of lakes) that freeze up first will allow you to enjoy the action faster than waiting for late-freezing spots to ice up.

Clear H2o Tackle near Edwardsburg will host its annual Winter Open House this weekend featuring the latest innovations in ice fishing tackle.

In addition to tackle displays of rods, reels, lures, augers, fishfinders and portable ice sheds, the store will offer free food and special pricing.

Hours are 7-7 Friday, 6-6 Saturday and 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call the shop at 269-414-4131.

D&R Sports Center in Kalamazoo will host an Ice Fishing Show next Saturday and Sunday at the store.

There is no charge.

Ice fishing seminars are scheduled throughout both days and more than 25 factory representatives will be on hand to discuss ice fishing products.

Six top-ranked ice fishing pros will be delivering how-to seminars and offering informal discussions about the sport and Michiana fishing.

Hours are 9-5 Saturday and 10-4 Sunday.


By Ted Pilgrim, Traditions Media

You Can Learn a Lot with Use of Underwater Camera While Ice Fishing

A singular theme runs through the game of sight-fishing. It’s the visual see-stalk-cast and hang-on-to-your-rod sequence that anglers can’t get enough of; why fly fishers cherish above all else drifting dry flies for trout; why inshore anglers can’t sleep the night before an adventure on the shallow bonefish flats; why muskie hunters happily take a beating for twelve hours straight for the mere chance at one big fish . . .

Pure, adrenaline-laced, heart-pounding fun!

Believe it or not, the same motivation fuels the pursuit of crappies, walleyes or other species through a hole in a frozen lake—especially when one views the action via underwater camera lens. Big bonuses result, too. Like learning new and fascinating fish behaviors, or discovering what your lure, line and retrieve really look like underwater, having witnessed the aquatic drama with your own two eyes.