I was leaving Westside Cafe last week after wolfing down three eggs, toast and bacon with my father-in-law, Lewis, and Butch Blasing, a member of my guide team, when I ran into a couple of local businessmen.
They asked me why I wasn't out fishing. I told them I was on my way to St. Paul for the Ice Fishing Show. One of them, a local tackle distributor, said "promote or perish."
As I walked away those words really sunk into my thick skull.
Just like in any other business, promotion is necessary to a fishing guide. Sport shows are a great place for getting your name out there. They're also a great place to meet people who can make your business better.
I've been to just a few of these shows, but I've learned how important they are. The two P words, promote or perish, will always be with me now, for once something enters my thick skull it doesn't get out easily.
As for the show, it was good. We didn't book many trips, but we gave away a lot of literature and refrigerator magnets. It's fun to watch the people who attend these events. But after three days of standing on the concrete Butch and I were sore.
New-wave ice fishing vehicles are going to revolutionize the sport. Two models, the Wilcraft and the Snow Bear, are both amazing machines that can be driven to your favorite spot and fished out of. You have to see them to believe them. They'll get you to places you couldn't reach before.
And won't that be great?
The days of fishing out in the open with no shelter are pretty much behind me. It's time to get smart and save some of my digits so I can fish a while longer. But for now, it's time to get busy because we have fishable ice and I have work to do.
Q: Walleyedan, what's your preference in ice fishing electronics?
A: Ice electronics included flashers, graphs, hand-held sonar, GPS and underwater cameras. The serious angler will have all of these. But if I was just getting started I would go with a flasher or graph. Lowrance, Marcum and Vexilar are the top three. I'll have at least one of each this winter so I can compare. I've had a Vexilar in the past, but after talking with Paul Thorne of Marcum and Mike Schnettler of Lowrance, I plan to put the other two to the test and see what the real story is.
Walleye Dan Eigen can be reached at www.walleyedan.com or 839-5598
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