To make that record fish a reality one could just venture out, drill a hole and rely on luck. No doubt there are days when there are 400, 500, even 600 huts out there all doing the same thing. So what can be done to separate yourself from the pack and not leave everything to chance? To answer this without getting too specific on what gear you are using or how you are using it, I like to take a step back and look at the larger picture.
The author with a Lake Simcoe Jumbo Perch
Before I even start to think about what rod I should use, which line I should spool or what lure I am going to drop through the hole, I’m thinking about location and where I’ll be drilling my hole. For the most part this is easy, just walk towards all the huts out there and find your own piece of real estate, but again that won’t separate you from the pack. To gain an edge in this respect I like to use a smart phone app called Navionics. It will run you about $20 to install, but worth every penny if it’s going to put you on fish. Simply stated, the app allows you to view very detailed depth charts of most North American lakes and operates via GPS from your device’s location. I use it every single time I go out and all I am really looking for is some type of contour, shoal or other variance that I think will benefit my fishing. Using the app is very easy and can be vital in hole placement even by a couple feet. Although the app wont guarantee that you're drilling right on top of a huge school of jumbos, it certainly helps to remove some of that plain luck and will separate yourself from those who aren’t using it.
Always be safe and check the ice conditions every time your planning to get out and once you’re out if you follow these tips it will increase your chances in landing some world class jumbos and remove some of that pure luck factor that plagues many of the hard water warriors.
A couple of late winter Simcoe perch destined fro the frying pan.