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Just got home earlier this week from a 13 day road trip across the ice belt. The Saint Paul ice fishing show was incredible…30,000 avid ice anglers thru the doors in 3 days was ice overload!!! Our A Able/Perch Assault/Kalispell, MT booth was in an excellent location and we got to talk to a lot of folks about Montana ice fishing! Expect to see some pretty heavy hitters in the industry coming to fish with us soon, and along with that, opportunities to visit with and learn from them.

Some show “highlights”… Dave Genz’ new book, a cool “ice fishing then and now” display, some great seminars, and visually stunning displays from ALL the top manufacturers. You REALLY should plan to attend one of these shows. I do a lot of consumer shows advertising our business and none seem to have the friendly, we are all in this vibe as the ice show does.

On the way back, I drove through Webster SD and learned quite a bit about the Waubay Lake area. it was 46-50 degrees that day, so I stayed off what little ice there was. I have been invited to bring a Perch Assault tournament to this area in 2014 and will work hard to do so. 200 teams would be a likely number and that Glacier Lakes region is getting famous for huge perch…

Then it was north to Devils Lake. North Dakotans don’t consider ice “good” until they can drive a pick up on it! So when you ask…be specific. I probably could have gone almost anywhere on the lake in my Wilcraft…or any four wheeler/snow mobile. I fished a sunken road bed in 6 Mile Bay for a couple hours but could not find any walleye…The amount of fresh water shrimp in that lake is crazy, drill a hole and they are swimming all around it within 3-5 minutes! Guess what your bait should mimic?

Then, northward to Lake Metigoshe in the Turtle Hills region of ND. This lake is famous for walkable ice by Thanksgiving every year, and shares the border with Canada. If you go to Ice Team’s website, you will see video of Dave Genz and crew filming up there this year. BIG Blue gill…10” and one pound blue gill. I spent 2 days here and was shown great hospitality and put on fish by some great folks. Really got to put the new Marcum LX-6 sonar through its paces on those ‘gills and walleye.  I will most likely make this my annual “first ice” trip in conjunction with travel to St Paul ice show…

The NEW Marcum LX-6 Sonar and a 1 lb Blue Gill

After here, it was off to Malta to fish Nelson Resevoir before heading to Dave Snyders new Lewistown Sports and helping him kick off the ice season. Caught a nice 22” walleye, but the tip up guys were slaying the Northern’s on 8-10” of good ice. Had a great crowd of 50 or so at Lewistown sports and met some great folks.

Saturday was ice fishing day at the Billings Cabelas. Gave three seminars and talked about a lot of icey things. Think I helped a few folks decide which fish finders to buy and have been invited back to help keep their staff up to speed on all thing ice fishing. Sunday was the same thing at Wholesale Sports in Bozeman, MT where about 25 folks came out for the Ice Fishing 101 seminar and 5-6 for the Electronics on Ice seminar. Was great to meet and re-meet with some fellow Ice Shantians at both events. Was also invited back for some staff training.

Traveling around educating ice anglers

Bummed out that we had to reschedule our Dec 15th Perch Assault, but that means I have time to go find some ice this week around here! Looking forward to the pre-fishing for the Hebgen Lake NAIFC event in February! Pam and the crew are working tirelessly to put on an incredible event. I hope we really can bring a strong Montana contingent down for that, it’s our opportunity to fish against some of the best tournament anglers on the continent.

Pretty tired after 13 days on the road, but really looking forward to getting back out now that all my gear is, or has been, covered in ice for the new season! If you want to see some photo’s from the trip, check out our face book page, “a able fishing charters and tours” and “Perch Assault”

Be safe out there! Mike