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Seaguar Report

Ice fishermen target yellow perchIce fishermen target yellow perch

Just about anywhere you find frozen waters, you'll find one particular species: the yellow perch.

They are renowned for their tasty filets, with some arguing that they are even better table fair than their cousins, the walleye. Perch are a prime target for this very reason, especially when it comes to ice fishing. Another great thing about them is that they are readily available in many waters and are generally willing to bite once you locate them.

Three Wisconsin guides who know them well are Vince Moldenhauer, Josh Teigen, and Troy Peterson. While all guide for them on the ice in the "The Badger State," they each have different approaches that will apply universally anywhere in the native range of the yellow perch.

By Louie Stout

Don’t let this warm spell discourage you from thinking about ice fishing or stocking up on gear.

The ice is coming. You can count on that.

And, rather than procrastinate replacing or restocking your ice tackle, swing by Clear H2o in Edwardsburg this weekend and save money.

The Edwardsburg store will be hosting its annual Ice Fishing Open House and owner Darrin Schaap promises a lot of good bargains.

The Open House begins Friday and runs through Sunday. Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 6 to 6 Saturday and 6 to 4 Sunday.

“We’ve planned a lot of door-buster sales as well as price reductions on many products,” said Schaap. “We’ve got a lot of good deals and plenty of inventory.”

That inventory includes pop-up shanties, various types of augers, lures, rods and reels, electronics and clothing to keep you warm.

“We’ve got a deal on Shimano combos for $25,” he added. “We have all of the electronics, from the basic flasher model of fishfinder to graphs with mapping and GPS as well as the forward facing sonar for ice fishing.”

Battery driven augers continue to offer advanced technology and the lightweight lithium batteries that can run your auger or your graph are available at reasonable prices, he noted.

“We’ve also got augers that you can operate with your hand-drill to avoid having to manually crank through the ice,” said Schaap. “We have winter suits that will keep you afloat in case of a mishap.”

Check out the store’s Facebook page to see sale flyers and some of the deals or call the store at 269-414-4131.

p>By Louie Stout

Ice FishingIce Fishing

Clear H2o Tackle in Edwardsburg will host its Ice Fishing Open House Dec. 9 through the 11th at the store.

Store Owner Darrin Schaap promises good bargains on several items, including ice suits, rod and reel combos, clothing, electronics, shanties and ice fishing accessories.

In addition, special sales are offered on open water fishing gear. Schaap said on bass, walleye, trolling tackle and lures will be included in bargain pricing.

“If an angler can’t make it that weekend, come see us beforehand,” Schaap said. “Many of our deals are already in place.”

The store is located at 69037 Christina Lake Road in Edwardsburg, not far from the Juno Lake public access.

Store hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends. For more information, call the shop at 269-414-4131.

Seaguar Report

Josh Teigen with yellow perchJosh Teigen with yellow perch

If it's going to be cold out, it might as well be cold enough to freeze the lakes and rivers. Right now, ice fishing season is quickly approaching in many regions and one of the best ways to get in on the action is by targeting first ice panfish.

A trio of Wisconsin guides, Troy Peterson, Vince Moldenhauer, and Josh Teigen, all count early ice panfish as one of their favorite bites, and each has a unique approach to fishing this time of year. They each share their thought processes and methods for early-season ice fishing

Mr. Bluegill's Ultra-Shallow Bite

Josh Teigen with bluegillJosh Teigen with bluegill

Troy Peterson is known as "Mr. Bluegill," and he guides anglers for them, along with many other species, throughout the year. As soon as the ice forms on the lake, his approach is to stick close to shore and search for vegetation and warmer water.

"Right when the ice forms, everyone is itching to get out and you have to be quick," he said. "The first two weeks of the season can be excellent, but the fish get pressured and areas get fished out. I look for weedy bays and houses on the lake that have pumps or artesian aquifers because that will show you that warmer water is coming into the area. The panfish will stay in the areas as long as possible until it gets too cold and they will head out deeper."

By Louie Stout

Michigan outdoorsman Bill FerrisMichigan outdoorsman Bill Ferris

If you want to bone up on your ice fishing skills, D&R Sports Center offers a solution.

After a break during the pandemic, the shop will resume its West Michigan Ice Show Dec. 3-4 at the Kalamazoo store. There is no charge for entry.

USA Ice Team member Chas ThompsonUSA Ice Team member Chas ThompsonYou’ll get top-notch tips and advice from USA Ice Team members Chas Thompson and Steph Sissell. They will demonstrate the latest use of equipment and gadgets and share their methods and tricks for catching more fish. They will tie together science, creative techniques and a commonsense approach to fishing on hard water.

In addition Michigan outdoorsman Bill Ferris from Iona will share his insight on fishing Michigan waters. He has a passion for targeting bluegills, crappies, perch and walleye and will touch on the equipment he uses and the use of electronics.

USA Ice Team member Steph SissellUSA Ice Team member Steph Sissell“We’ve asked these guys to address the needs for the beginner as well as the expert during their seminars,” said store owner Randy VanDam.

Furthermore, VanDam said there will be factory representatives from St. Croix, Rapala, Okuma, Northland Tackle, Vexilar, Humminbird, Shimano, 13 Fishing, Clam, Stopper Lures, Moonshine Lures and more.

Discounted prices on ice fishing gear and tackle will be offered during show hours, which are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10-3 Sunday.

For more information, visit www.dandrsports.com or call 269-372-2277

By Louie Stout

Ice fishing fever has spread more than the Omicron Virus as more anglers continue to branch out on area lakes.

“A lot of people are getting out on a lot more different waters which tells me the ice has gotten better,” said Brian Hensley of Clear H2o Tackle in Edwardsburg, Mich. “I’m hearing of 6 inches or less, but that doesn’t mean you can walk just anywhere. You still have to be careful, especially in those areas where others haven’t ventured or lakes that got more snow.”

Snow hadn’t been a problem in lakes around Middlebury, Ind., said Mike Raber of the Tackle Shack.