When I received the invitation to go ice fishing, I was told that we'd be fishing in Grand Rapids. The first thing that came to mind was Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Much to my surprise was that the trip would be to Grand Rapids Minnesota.
Grand Rapids is located west of Deluth by about an hour and a half.
Our first day of fishing was on Bow String Lake, a big body of water that had about 30 inches of ice; something we haven't seem much of in the Chicago and northern Illinois area this season.
I got to speak with Megan Christianson of Visit Grand Rapids (www.VisitGrandRapids.com. She's a great source for learning about the area and finding loding, dining, fishing possibilities and tourism attractions.
Jim DaRosa of the Fishing and Outdoor Radio Show and I fished with with many of the reps and prostaff of Frabill and MarCum Technologies.
I was quite comfortale fishing out of a Frabill 2 person ice tent that had a nice padded bench seat and plenty of room. This tent comes on a sled and sets up in less than 30 seconds.
I also got to use a MarCum flasher and underwater camera. It's really cool to see fish come up to your bait and suck it in. On the flasher, you can see fish coming up to your bait before they even get into the camera's view.
The catch of the day was crappies, perch and a few northern pike. I popped my first crappie within 10 minutes of clearing my first ice hole. It was a nice 12 incher.
I'm guessing that we had a group of about 25 outdoor writers and industry reps on the ice and we caught enough fish to provide a great fish dinner last night.
Today, we're heading out to fish in a hard side ice shelter. I heard that it's more like an ice house... huge... with all the whistles and bell and comforts of home. It will be pretty neat to fish on 30 inches of ice while needing nothing more than a long sleeve shirt to stay warm.
I glad that we got the invitation to this Visit Grand Rapids, Frabill, and MarCum Technologies Ice event. Finally, I got into some great ice fishing this season.