Since being shown the ways of a Vexilar over 10 years ago by Big Jim McLaughlin I have never been without one on the ice. It’s as important to me as any other piece of equipment, in most cases more important.
This past week was yet another piece of evidence that the use of a flasher 100% of the time gives you an edge on the ice.
In the lake I was fishing it is widely known that the Lake Trout are rarely on the bottom. They cruise the lake pushing the massive schools of Smelt around. While they likely have a buffet of Smelt at their disposal 100% of their lives, like any other scenario that lonely Smelt all on his own is the one that becomes breakfast, lunch or dinner.
I was sitting in 55 feet of water with a school of Smelt under me reaching from 42 feet down to 30 feet, 12 solid feet of Smelt. In this situation I will always jig 8 to 10 feet above that school. The Smelt were sending an incredibly strong signal back to the Flx-28, one giant red mark that moved up a down a bit.
The mark started to flicker a bit, turned orange in spots, then green. Clearly something was in the school scattering them. It is awesome to be able to see this happen in real time right under you. Gets the heart pumping a bit to know that something is down there busting up that school and they’re hungry.
Seconds later, the school was gone. What remained? A solid red bar that instantly flew up the column at my bait. I instinctively started to reel up continuing the chase. The vapor trail of redness caught me and nearly ripped the rod from my grip. Game on!
15 minutes of fun to tame the beast. I knew as soon as she came topside it was my best “iced” Laker ever. 34.5 inches and FAT all over. Quite the fish.
Keep eating big girl, see ya when you are 20 lbs. Could be soon!
Without knowing what was happening under the ice as it was all going down this fish likely would have never made the photo shoot. Glad she did.
American Express says “Don’t leave home without it”, well you could always borrow a few bucks from a buddy. No buddy is going to lend you his Vexilar if he’s fishing along side you!