I apologize for not pulling off a blog from the ice on Friday ... let's just say that brutal winter weather got in the way.
The end of last week was just about the worst time to head north to chase after monster pike, but I did it anyway. I had neglected to look at a weather report before heading out, but when it comes to ice fishing, you can just about never have enough clothing, so I was well insulated when the arctic blast swept down upon the northern plains and dumped snow and sub-zero temperatures all over the place. I also tossed a box of DueNorth All Purpose traction aids into the truck to help my less-than-coordinated buddies keep their footing when sprinting toward tip-ups (check tomorrow's blog for more on tip-ups) that some of my mischievous buddies like to spring. They get a kick out of watching eager anglers race to the ice hole with anticipation, only to pull up the chub they had set 10 minutes earlier.
At the end of the day, the DueNorth traction aids performed like a charm, though. The Over Sized model fit even the largest (monster-sized) LaCrosse Pac boots in the group and large easily fit the more reasonably-sized winter footwear. On the second day of my trip the weather turned brighter and the DueNorth grippers made it possible to take advantage of a bit of walleye action … not all 100 yard dashes were in vain.
Seriously, I have used all kinds of foot-traction devices for getting around safely on the ice, and the DueNorth grippers are reliable, light and very easy to use. One of my friends said that they were easier to put on than any other creepers he has tried. Another friend noted that it was nice to be able to drill a hole in the ice without the augur spinning him around (he’s kind of slow). A third friend was really impressed that the little spikes on the DueNorth grippers didn’t catch on the indoor-outdoor carpeting in the luxury ice shack that we used one of the days … I’ll have more to say about that shack and its amenities tomorrow.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.