Minnesota is known as one of the best fishing destinations in the world, offering anglers a wide variety of species to target, not to mention tremendously diverse fisheries to choose from.
No matter the season, up-north anglers find ways to refine traditional tools and presentations to adapt to their seasonal needs. Winter is no exception, in fact, even when there’s two feet of ice covering their favorite fishing holes, anglers are still finding ways to get it done. National Walleye Tour pro Mark Courts has put together an impressive resume by thinking outside the box on the open-water months but it’s his hard-water presentation that’s turning a few extra heads lately.
Similar to summer, Courts leans on the Hydrowave to help him land more and bigger fish during the winter months. “I find the Hydrowave Mini has the same exact results in the winter as my H2 does in the summer”, explains Courts. “The point is to stimulate the environment in the area in which I’m fishing. This is so useful in the winter where I’m not as mobile as I may be in my boat in the middle of the summer.”
Ice anglers are very effective these days at moving around the lake and being more productive. Courts, who has no problem moving with the fish but has found that sometimes, the best strategy is to stay with them.
“I’m finding that the Hydrowave will keep the action around me more constant and seems to either keep the panfish active or keeps them replenishing,” he says. “In fact, it’s nothing to sit on top of one or two holes and catch large panfish all day. Where the panfish congregate the game fish will never be far behind and it’s not long before the walleyes start moving in wanting to get in on the action.”
Ice fishing isn’t the only way to fish when things freeze up for our northern states. 2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Seth Feider—similar to Courts, was born and raised in Minnesota—doesn’t let old man winter get in his way of getting out and catching some fish.
Seth instead focuses all his fishing efforts in pursuit of bass and instead of drilling holes in the ice, prefers to keep a traditional rod and reel in hand by frequenting the numerous “hot pots” or warm water discharge’s that are scattered across the state.
Feider finds the Hydrowave a useful tool all summer long and has found the Hydrowave Mini perfect for wading these warm water pools for smallmouth bass.
“Smallies are geeks for the Hydrowave all season long and the winter is no different, explains Seth. “Since the Mini runs on a simple 9-volt battery, I just keep it wrapped in my waders. Since I’m fishing shallow water, the Mini will call in the bronze bass from a pretty good distance.”
Pressure is beginning to be a serious factor as more and more anglers are frequenting these areas in search of some fabulous fishing but with more pressure, means fewer opportunities.
“I’ve just seen too often where the Hydrowave has made a bass screw up”, he confesses. “I see it all the time, a smallmouth will follow my jerkbait to the boat and instead of turning away and getting boat shy, which often times they do, the fish seem to instead grab the bait at the last minute.
”Wading is no different, the bass know they’re being fished for, they aren’t exactly jumping on the bait but the Hydrowave seems to push the advantage in my favor. No matter summer or winter, I have the confidence that I can catch them.”JoshDouglasFishing.com.