Tag Archives: Vexilar

3-29-14 – Getting Near The End

With a late winter storm hitting the area for the second half of the weekend I decided to journey to a bay I had only fished once this season with hopes that the crappie and sunnies had gathered for their pre-spawn ritual.  I picked my buddy up and we headed out no knowing what to expect.  The weather has finally broke out of it’s freezing cold spell which it seemed like we were in all winter and I knew it was only a matter of time that things started to heat up, no pun intended.

We arrived to the bay and was greeted by a good friend that had been fishing for a few hours already and the prognosis didn’t look good.  The fish seemed to be scattered, being a large bay we had our work cut out for us.  After talking with my buddy we made our way to one of my waypoints and began to drill.  After working through the first series of holes and only managing four keeper perch and a bass we headed to another waypoint in hopes to find a few more fish.  As we were getting close I realized that my mark was smack dab in the middle of about 30 tip-ups.  I approached the fellow fishermen and asked if they minded if I fished around their set-up, like most Vermonters they didn’t mind and after a few short stories I began to drill the area out.  With a lot of time left in the day I had decided that if we didn’t stumble upon the fish quick we were going to make a big move down to a bay that I had fished a few more times this season.  I worked this set of holes without marking a fish, I knew this fish were around but time is everything when you don’t have a lot of it, especially to fish so we packed up and headed out.

The second stop would prove to be worth the trip.  We met a few buddies out there who had found some fish, all the credit goes to these guys.  The area was all drilled out so we had our greeting and got to work.  The crappie had moved into the area within the past few weeks and they were thick.  I have actually never seen it like this in this bay.  This particular bay had very thick weeds at the beginning of the ice season, they had now died of for the most part and the fish were cruising the tops of them, and when I say cruising, I mean cruising.  The fish were on the move and it was to our advantage to have a few of us there to stay with them.  The good bite lasted for a solid hour or so and then turned into a slow pick.  It was a great time with good friends and as it would turn out, a great way to end my season on the ice.  It was time to head home, pack the ice gear away, and get tied up for spring walleye and crappie, till next time…….



2-8-14 – Round 3 VSHTS

Saturday Febuary 8th brought us to round 3 of the Vermont Sportsman Hardwater Tounament Series at Mallets Bay on Lake Champlain.  Conditions weren’t ideal at all, with temps in the teens and a wind chill around zero.  Besides the weather, the bay was going to present it’s own challenges.  The portion of Mallets Bay where this event was held, had ample room for fishermen to move around and fish plenty of water, but the fish seemed to be located on one particular weed bed which meant the fishing was going to be close quarters.

At 6 am, we were given the go ahead to start drilling holes and use our electronics but no lines in the water until 6:30.  Most of the 36 fishermen all headed for that one weed bed and started drilling their holes.  In hind sight, I think we drilled all the fish out of that area,  as we started fishing the action was slow.  Those that made slight adjustments in location were able to stumble upon the larger groups of fish that had been drilled out at first light.  Dylan made a slight but significant move east and was able to connect on nice crappie that ultimately won him big fish for the day.  Funny part was it was the same hole that his crappie came from yesterday! The bite was tough to say the least for the better part of the day.  The fish were scattered and easily spooked when we would punch a few new holes.

Towards the end of the day, Dylan figured out that the crappie were suspending about half way down the water column and they were cruising, which means you didn’t always mark them on your electronics. Jigging at four feet would often bring a cruising crappie in and make them bite.  This was a major adjustment made, as we had been fishing in the weeds for the better part of the event.

At the weigh-in Dylan checked in his 6 fish limit with two seeds, two crappie, one bluegill, and a perch giving him a weight of 3.68 pounds and good enough for first place along with his big fish prize.  Bobby struggled all day to say the least not catching any crappies and weighing in a limit of seeds and dink perch for a weight of 1.78 lbs.  At the end of the day, the win for Dylan was a major boost in the points moving him up to first place from 6th.  Bobby’s weight caused his to drop a few positions down to 6th from third but he’s still in the hunt.  The final points event for the season will take place at Laphams Bay in Shoreham on Febuary 22nd.  It’s going to be a shoot out!

1-3-14 – Looking For The Crappie

I had a few hours to kill one Saturday so I decided to go check on the crappies in a pond that has had our numbers lately.  The weather was cold with a high of the day reaching 9 above but with the wind chill it was hovering right around zero.  I have had one good day in search of crappies on this pond, which was last winter right around this time of the year so my hopes were up.

I made my way out to a point and drilled out my grid of holes working from 8 feet of water all the way out to 20.  I knew that the fish were going to be mostly dormant but I was hoping by covering a lot of water I would be able to find them balled up somewhere.  The pond has very little shoreline contour and the spot I chose was one of the only points that had a sharp break with weeds on the inside falling off into an inside turn of the deep basin.  It’s didn’t take long to mark some fish on my FLX-28 Vexilar released this year.

I started deep and began picking up mostly Yellow Perch.  I know that the crappie run with the pumkinseed in this pond so once I found them I was hoping I would find the crappie.  Usually the target depth is 18 feet but all I was find in the deeper water was perch.  I cut a new grid of holes along the shoreline headed towards a natural pinch point working along the edge of the weed bed.  The closer I got to the pinch point the more pumkinseeds I was catching, I knew that I had to be getting close.  I drilled and drilled and fished using my T7 custom rod and my Maki Plastics for four hours and was never able to find the crappie.  Sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t, every venture out is still a learning experience.


12-8-13 – Mixed Bag

I hit the road with a buddy after sunrise as we didn’t know what to expect for ice. We had made a plan the night before of places that we wanted to fish with each being more likely than the last to be holding ice. The first spot we checked was solid but was our last resort. Having a good feeling, we made the trek to our first choice location only to see a four wheeler out on the middle of the pond. Game on!

Although the ice wasn’t thick enough at only 4″ for me to be using any kind of vehicle, to each their own. We unpacked my car and started walking out. We punched a series of holes over a large area with varying depth and vegetation. We were to be targeting perch, pumpkinseed, and crappie so our depths ranged from 7-20 feet of water.

The fish were starting off the day slow but when located they readily bit. As time wore on, it appeared that the crappie were no where to be found but that the large perch (12″+) were cruising the weed edge in 15-19 FOW regularly. Working tungsten jigs with red and white jamei’s from Maki Plastics we hole hopped identifying a few locations that held better concentrations of fish than others.

For the majority of the day we worked over the areas that were producing allowing them to recharge with when when they slowed up. A few hours before sunset we decided to make a move to a location on the lake that the crappie hold up in the summer. While the fish were vacant, we were closer to the car. We packed up as the sun started to set and made our way home.






11-1-2013 – Between Seasons

As summer comes to an end, our fishing trips become more limited in the Northeast.  We spend much of our time in the woods doing a little hunting and preparing for the upcoming ice season.  Right now is a great time to go through your tackle, charge electronics, and set your shanty up making sure the mice didn’t have an extra meal over the summer. We thought we would take a few minutes to highlight some new products for this season.

On that note, there are a ton of new products out from Clam Outdoors this year that we would like to introduce you to.  First is the new one man portable fish traps; the “Legend Thermal”.  “The “Legend Thermal” has all an angler will need and want in a one person shelter. Full thermal top, lightweight design, rod storage and deluxe seat system to name a few features. Genz himself put his stamp of approval making this the best one person shelter on the market hands down. I think we know which one he will be fishing out of next ice season!”  A dependable portable shelter has been a major factor in our ability to stay on good bites and determine new patterns.

Set Up Size L 92″ x W 43″
Pack Size L 43″ x W 35″ x H 14″
Center Height 67″
Weight 70 Lbs.
Fishable Area 16 Sq Ft

THE ICEARMOR LIFT™ Cold weather suit is more than just a cold weather suit. Yes, it certainly will protect you from the cold, wind and ice. Yes, it is 100% waterproof and windproof. But More than this, the Icearmor lift suit includes an internal “lift” lining that provides added buoyancy versus our edge suit, giving the angler an extra “lift” when it’s needed. Yielding cutting edge design, look and function, the bibs and parka have the same great features as the original Icearmor blue/black edge™ suit. Everything you’ve come to expect from Icearmor —from strategically placed pockets to ballistic nylon-covered padded knees—this suit will surely fit the outerwear expectations of today’s ice angler.

732468_L1Clam Outdoors has also entered the market with a new line of tungsten jigs this year.   70% denser and 30% heavier than lead,  this makes for small jigs that fish heavy, punch through slush, sink fast, show up on electronics, and give you sensational feel as you pound ‘em. It’s like the difference between ‘glass and graphite. Instantly, you’re better at bite detection.


We have fished tungsten jigs for a number of years now and there is a noticeable difference in both presentation and fishability.  They make for a more effective presentation using small micro plastics like the “Maki” from Maki Plastics,  (also found at Clam Outdoors) and the heavier weight allows you to get your jig back to the fish after a catch.

Another product that we are really excited about is the new flasher that Vexilar has came out with.  This season Vexilar has introduced the FLX 28 to the market and it is sure to make a huge scene.

UP28PV_Softpack_400pxThe features found in the FLX-28 read like the wish list of avid ice anglers starting with digital depth, Auto Range, Two zoom zones, battery status, FIVE color palettes to select from for maximum visibility, five foot depth range adjustments starting at 10 feet, Maximum range of 300, Day and Night display brightness settings, Low power options for fishing in super shallow water, a unique Weed Mode for better performance while fishing in weeds.


  • Frequency: 200 kHz
  • Power output: 400 watts peak-to-peak (50 watts RMS)
  • Display resolution: 525 segments
  • Current draw: 200 ma at 12V DC
  • Dimensions: 4.4″H x 6″W x 2.5″D
  • Depth Range: Maximum 300 feet
  • Weight: 1.1 Lb.

4-2-13 – I Swear, I’m Done Now!

With the weather we were experiencing, being out on the open water seemed silly. The temperature was in only in the 20’s the wind was just about strong enough to blow me off the lake. The moral booster for the day was that the sun was shining pretty much the whole time! Oh and the fish were biting!

I was on the ice just after 6 am and the holes from guys the day before were froze up solid. We took time to open them up with a hand auger because of the predictability of these fish to scatter at the sound of a power auger. Within only a few minutes, the five of us on the water were catching fish. The majority of the fish were holding close to the bottom but aggressively charged up when above the weeds, 3-4 feet up. In the late afternoon, for a bit, the only way to catch anything was to pound the bottom. The majority of the fish were pumpkinseed and they were in the thick weeds. That bite lasted only for about 3o minutes though.

Throughout the course of the day, the fish didn’t really change their preferred jigging presentation. As long as it was moving and had some bait on it, they would bite. I fished with Maki Plastics most of the day. I found that the “bubble gum” Jamei was the most productive. I was fishing this on a maroon/white bumble bee from Bentley Fishing USA. At times, the fish wanted the bait tipped with a maggot or wax worm. When the fish were being picky, it was very obvious. Just about every time they would sniff it, I would add meat, then catch that fish.

With the wind blowing as it did, the day was tough. Using tungsten jigs was almost necessary for the way that I fish. I fished until about 5 and basically had to leave because my eyes were so shut from battling the wind all day. This weekend, the boat will be coming out unless the shoreline fishing opportunities are decent.


3-26-13 – Went Out With A Bang

After a great day on the ice yesterday, it would have been nearly impossible not to get back out today. The weather was going to be similar to yesterday with a little more wind and still lots of sun. As we drove up in the dark, our biggest concern was what the shores would look like. We knew the ice out on the bay we knew would be fine.

Getting on the ice was not an issue and neither was finding the fish. They hadn’t moved from the day before and they were biting well. From 7 am until about 2 pm, we worked over a large area trying to stay on active fish. Throughout the day, I put on a few miles and was able to put some real nice fish on the ice in my travels. Quite a few colors were tied on but the last two days have had the same pattern; light in the morning and evening and dark during the day. White was the best color during low light and maroon/white was the best daytime color. With the water being so clear, this is my usual theory.

The day of fishing, if it was the last one, was a great on to go out on for the winter. Walking off the ice, the top layer was getting soft but as we neared the edges, we knew the end of the ice was very near. One of the access points has a small pipe running in with only a trickle of water coming in but in front of this was a large, wet, honeycombed area. After getting off the ice, the walk back to the car was a bittersweet one but in no time we will be out in our boats!